Tips for Visiting Montpellier, France
Montpellier is a city of 500,000 people and growing all the time. By comparison, Toulouse has twice as many people but feels like a smaller city. Montpellier probably gives this impression because it has bigger buildings, a more open city center, and being on the Mediterranean, which is a popular place to live, it is surrounded by other fairly large cities.
RSS | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | TuneIn Radio
La maison des octrois
Montpellier does not have very much left of the oldest buildings left. Its walls were taken down very early on. and there isn’t much left from the Middle Ages. On the other hand, it shines when it comes to classical and neo-classical architecture.
From the 1200s into the 1600s, the cities with the most population in France were Toulouse, Rouen and Montpellier. Paris was smaller. This has to do with trade routes that have existed for 2000 + years.
Montpellier is the home of one of the oldest medical schools in the world. Locals like to say theirs is the oldest, but Elyse says it is second to the medical school of Palermo. The Montpellier university system overall is the second oldest in France and it is the home of many students today.
Georges Frêche who was the mayor of Montpellier between 1977 and his passing in 2010. He had big ideas and developed the city in directions that not everybody liked, but he left a big mark on the city. The buildings developed under his leadership are over-sized and over the top, but Annie found them pleasing. The city has an outstanding tramway system that makes it easy to get around all over the city.
The Opéra Comédie on the Place de la Comédie was the home of Molière and his theater, and you can still enjoy the arts there today.
Medical School in Montpellier
The medical school in Montpellier may be the oldest one in the world, even though it’s hard to prove. What we know for sure is that it is one of the oldest medical schools in the world and to this day, Montpellier is one of the flagship French cities when it comes to medical care. Montpellier also welcomes many medical conventions each year.
This is not a driving city, use the tram, which is particularly nice there. The gastronomy is wonderful, the wines are great again there. In the 1900s wines from that area (Languedoc) lost a lot of their quality, but now they are getting much better, and surprisingly good whites and reds. You can’t go wrong with the food either, local specialties are tasty. There is too much to say about this area, we’ll have to do another episode!