Montpellier is the capital of the of Hérault Département and of the Languedoc-Roussillon Région. Founded in the 8th century, it is situated in a fertile plain about 7 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. In the 10th century it was a trading center for imported spices. In 1141, it aquired a city charter. During the rule of Louis XIV, 1643 to 1715, it was made the administrative capital of the Languedoc region. Montpellier was a medieval walled city. Like most of them the modern city grew up around its old quarters. Montpellier has typically ugly modern architecture alongside an ancient centre. The tram makes it easy to visit the numerous art galleries and museums. The heart of the present city is contained within boulevards built on the site of the city walls. It possesses some spectacular sites. See:
University. Medical schools were established here by the Moors in the 9th century, at which time they were the most advanced scientific culture in the Mediterranean basin (or Europe for that matter). As a Christian foundation, these schools developed into the oldest Christian school of medecine in Europe, founded in 1021. a school of law was founded in 1160.
The University of Montpellier was founded in 1220, its faculty of medicine incorporating the earlier medical school the following year. the university was suppressed during the French Revolution, but was gradually re-established after 1799. In 1970, it was reorganized into three universities: imaginatively called Montpellier I, Montpellier II, and Montpellier III.
The imaginary Saint Roch (or Saint Roque) came from Montpellier. He was credited with the ability to to cure diseases such as plague and cholera. The main railway station ithere is named after him, as are a city church and various squares and streets.
Things to see include: