Montpellier is a frenetic place, a young University town and the gateway to the Mediterranean for many holidaymakers. It is not a place that is afraid of moving forward and it is thoroughly modern in some ways. It retains, however, a pleasing number of historic areas and attractions. Here are ten of the best attractions in the city:
Place de la Comédie
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This square is the main focal point of the city. It is a charming spot and the perfect place to begin your explorations of the city. It became the central focus of the city in the mid-19th Century when the railway station was built 200m to the south.
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Musee_Fabre.jpg
This museum was founded by a local painter, Fabre, in 1825. It houses an extensive collection of artworks dating from the 15th-20th Centuries and underwent a massive renovation project early in this Century. Works were completed and the museum reopened in 2007.
Porte du Peyrou
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A triumphal arch that was built in 1691 on the old city walls, the Porte du Peyrou is dedicated to the glory of Louis XIV. It is situated at the highest point in the city and is one of the city's best known attractions. From the top of it you can get amazing views out over the city.
Château de Flaugergues
Photo Courtesy: http://www.ca-fondationpaysdefrance.org/fondation4/images/site/projets/flaugergues%20s%20de%20murcia.jpg
This castle, erected by a wealthy merchants, is an elegant mansion house of great historical significance. Within you will find a fine collection of Flemish tapestries.
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/Cathédrale_Saint-Pierre_de_Montpellier.jpg
The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier is a Roman Catholic place of worship and a national monument of France. This grand cathedral has conical pillars at its entrance, twelve chapels and some fine stained glass and artwork within.
Château de la Mogère
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Another folly near Montpellier built by wealthy merchants in the 18th Century, there are guided tours allowing you access to the splendour of the lavish interior and landscaped gardens.
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Montpellier_Antigone_(2414058926).jpg
Between the old centre of Montpellier and the river Lez you will find this neighbourhood, which is best known for the architecture, designed by Ricardo Bofill. The neighbourhood is an interesting example of late 20th Century urban planning. It was built on the site of the former Joffre barracks.
Jardin des plantes de Montpellier
Photo Courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Montpellier_jardin_plantes3.jpg
This is an historic botanic gardens and arboretum which is a delightful place to while away some time in quiet contemplation. This is the oldest botanic gardens in France and dates back to 1593. Plants were originally grown here for medicinal reasons.
La Serre Amazonienne
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This interesting attraction is a tropical greenhouse that respresents the Amazonian environment and houses a collection of exotic tropical plants. Perhaps not something you might expect to find in the South of France but fascinating none the less.
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The river flowing through Montpellier is the Lez. It is a picturesque river beside which it can be very pleasant to stop and have a few drinks or a bite to eat while gazing over the calm water.
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