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The must-sees

in Montpellier

  • Les Arceaux Aqueduct

    Situated just across from the hotel, the Saint-Clément aqueduct (more commonly called Les Arceaux) was built in the 18th century to provide Montpellier with water. After the Royal Academy of Sciences considered the issue of water in Montpellier, engineer Henri Pitot de Launay was called upon in 1754 to see to this task. He was inspired by the Roman aqueduct of the Pont du Gard. The aqueduct links the Saint-Clément spring to the water tower on the Promenade du Peyrou across a distance of 14 km. Thanks to this construction, Montpellier has got numerous fountains dotted around its city centre. 
    Spread out across 800 m, the construction consists of a double row of arches, from which the neighbourhood it passes through, Les Arceaux, gets its name. A market is held at the foot of the aqueduct on Tuesday and Saturday morning.

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  • Jardin des Plantes

    Just 10 minutes from our hotel, discover the oldest botanical garden in France, founded in 1593 by Henri IV, which stretches out over 5 hectares at the heart of Montpellier.
    Stroll under the shade of the bamboo groves or along the shaded paths of the English garden, admire the Martins greenhouse and its “succulent” plants, or daydream by the lotus pond in the footsteps of André Gide or Paul Valéry. Attached to the Faculty of Medicine, and formerly solely dedicated to research and teaching, this space continues to attract researchers from around the world. Montpellier’s Jardin des Plantes has been a listed site since 12th February 1982 and has been listed as one of France’s “Monuments Historiques” since 3rd September 1992.

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  • Faculty of Medicine

    Montpellier is the historical capital of medical sciences! It is home to the oldest medical school still operating in the Western world, dating back to the 12th century. It houses the Conservatory of Anatomy, an astonishing place home to 5000 anatomical parts and models. In 1180, William VIII, then Lord of Montpellier, signed an edict granting anyone the right to teach medicine in Montpellier. The city’s destiny was changed forever, and Montpellier saw its international stature grown unprecedentedly.
    The renown of medical sciences in Montpellier has been considerable, with several famous personalities having marked its history, including Rabelais (who became a doctor of medicine in Montpellier in 1537), Nostradamus and Lapeyronie.

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  • Promenade du Peyrou

    A short distance from our hotel in the city centre of Montpellier, Le Peyrou is the place where three works come together – the Porte du Peyrou, a ceremonial gate replaced by a triumphal arch; 
    the promenade quickly promoted to the Place Royale du Peyrou; and the aqueduct, running from the Saint-Clément spring. Its construction started at the end of the 17th century, the promenade was intended to house an equestrian statue of Louis XIV. Designed by the architect Daviler, the terraces were designed to allow people to see the Cévennes and the Pyrenees. The engineer Pitot then added a 7 km-long aqueduct intended to provide Montpellier with water from the source of the River Lez.
    Every Sunday morning, the Parc du Peyrou plays host to a flea market.

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  • Cathédrale Saint-Pierre

    Less than 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel, the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre almost looks like a medieval fortress with its two towers flanked by an imposing porch. A perfect example of Gothic architecture in Southern France, it is the only medieval church in the Écusson neighbourhood to have survived the French Wars of Religion in the 16th century. 
    It was commissioned by Pope Urban V at the end of the 14th century. It became a cathedral in the 17th century when the Archbishopric was moved from Maguelone to Montpellier. It is next to the Faculty of Medicine, installed in a former Benedictine monastery which the cathedral once belonged chapel to.
    Inside, a major work by the painter Sébastien Bourdon draws you straight into the city's artistic life during the 17th century.

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  • Historic centre

    Between the illustrious Place de la Comédie and the triumphal arch in Le Peyrou, the old districts of Montpellier have retained their narrow, winding roads, a remnant of the city's medieval plan. Since the 17th and 18th centuries, they have been lined with exquisite stately townhouses that hide their main façades and their remarkable staircases within their courtyards.
    Set atop a hill that pedestrians today would hardly notice, the Écusson neighbourhood is the true heart of the old town, with its pink rooftops spread around the fortified cathedral. The yellow-tinted cut stone shines through the bright streets and the hidden squares, and against the façades of the grand townhouses built on former merchants’ quarters. Here, the locals meet up to have a drink on terraces, go shopping, or enjoy the cultural sites. The pedestrianised, historic centre of Montpellier is truly a place where joie-de-vivre reigns supreme!

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