Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Montpellier, a city of southern France, capital of Herault, stands on a slope about six miles from the sea, 75 miles N.W. of Marseilles. The town was granted by Louis IX. the privilege of free trade with the rest of France, and from this time its prosperity grew more rapidly. In 1350 it passed from the house of Aragon to that of Valois. In 1536 it became an episcopal see, but in the next century was one of the strongholds of the Huguenots. It was captured by Louis XIII., and some years later suffered under a terrible plague. The cathedral, which was restored in the early part of the 17th century, is one of the largest churches in the south of France. Montpellier also has a university (founded in 1292 by Pope Nicholas IV.), a famous medical school, dating from a still earlier period, and the oldest botanical garden in France. There are also some fine scientific collections and a splendid museum. The Place du Peyron, a magnificent square, with a terrace looking on the Mediterranean, is celebrated for its gateway (a triumphal Doric arch), and for two promenades leading to the boulevards. Montpellier has large manufactories of wax-tapers, candles, and soap, and does a large trade in wine and brandy.