Museums, cultural leisure, outdoor activities and a lovely heart, it offers all the advantages of the city, with sun, beach and the Mediterranean as a bonus. Hand in hand with the Camargue and backed by a magnificent region, Montpellier gives you the choice of escapades knowing that it is always towards it that you reviendrez ! So, let's take advantage of these last days of sunshine to treat ourselves to a Mediterranean getaway of choice.
The Montpellier agglomeration is scattered, but the historic centre simmers in a medieval cauldron that gives all its flavour to the maze of alleys. The XVIIth and XVIIIe siècles have bequeathed here treasures of elegance, splendid buildings with sculpted fountains, and the Peyrou promenade which maintains the memory of the Sun King. Thus the mélange des styles enchante : the doors of private mansions are covered with a roof when the high façades are on first-name terms. More than the heart, the Escutcheon district is the soul of Montpellier, the inhabitants meet there and the shops attract the flow of onlookers on the cobblestones of the streets of the Lodge and the Prefecture. The observer will stroll with pleasure in this interlacing of old stones which preserves some curiosities such as a Mikhvé, the Jewish ritual bath of the XIIIe siècle stranded rue de la Barallerie, the residences of Paul Valéry and Jean Moulin or the many vaults which valiantly support the rue de l'Ancien-Courrier, one of the oldest in the city.
To the north, the vast Promenade du Peyrou and its unobstructed view of the Saint-Clément aqueduct which dominates the market and a few games of pétanque is a pleasant preamble
The Jardin des Plantes, just a stone's throw away, covers the pavement in the centre with greenery. Created in 1593 under Henri IV, the oldest botanical garden in France is now listed and offers an olfactory ballad of scented plants 2 700 espèces
We will then pass by the Arc de Triomphe, built in 1691 in honour of Louis XIV, which marks the entrance to rue Foch. The neo-Gothic bell tower of the Sainte-Anne church can already be seen, transformed into a cultural space, leaving the services at Saint-Roch, below the rue Saint-Guilhem. To the east is the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, a medieval citadel impressive for its massive stature and Gothic austerity . Fortunately, the adjoining square animates its square with its terraces of cafés and restaurants. The small squares are truly the quiet force of the centre, airing out the confined space of the narrow streets. The animation continues on the Jean-Jaurès square where the students look at the statue of the leader politique ; the Marché-aux-Fleurs square, set back, is much quieter, perhaps in memory of the former convent of Capucins ; the pedestrian square Sainte-Anne rocked by the rustle of its fountain or the elegant Canourgue square, surrounded by private mansions such as the Cambacérès-Murles hotel, the work of the Montpellier architect by excellence : Jean Giral. The place Candolle cardboard is tapped in a very popular gouaille before leading to THE place to be, where all the scenes of the city are played. The place de la " Com " (the place de la Comédie), as the Montpellierians call it, is a bit like the city's croupier that distributes the centre, the station, the Polygone shopping mall and at the end the Corum ship. Around the Fountain of the Three Graces, Q. G. appointments, the ballet of passers-by and street scenes animated by local troubadours are incessant. The square is extended by the Charles-de-Gaulle esplanade, an elegant promenade lined with plane trees and guinguettes that stretch out over wide lawns listening to the murmur of the pools . Typical painting of Montpellier or the Languedoc art of living.
Art in all its cultures
Events, festivals, concerts, exhibitions... there's something for everyone, all the time. The cultural temple of the city is undoubtedly the Fabre museum, to be visited at least once and more if affinity. Entirely renovated in a contemporary design and museography, it exhibits some 800 œuvres from the 15th century to XXIe siècle in several thematic routes. Temporary exhibitions complete its programme, which includes a monumental work by Buren, integrated into the site, and two rooms devoted to Pierre Soulages, who left the museum some thirty paintings. Lovers of the region can visit triptyque : the Museum of the History of Montpellier, the Museum of Old Montpellier and the Museum Languedocien ! L'ami de l'Infanterie also has its own musée ; the fine arts enthusiast will go to the Atger museum, which contains beautiful pieces from Flemish, Italian, French schools, etc., while pieces of a completely different kind are on display at the Agropolis-Musuem devoted to agriculture and world food. The Sainte-Anne square, the popular pavilion, the Saint-Ravy gallery..., the city collects a plethora of galleries showcasing young creation. Cinemas, libraries, media libraries and theatres also put their grain of artistic madness into Montpellier's cultural life
Behind the pavement... the vineyard and the sea
The vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon have been attracting a multitude of bottle enthusiasts for several years. Coteaux-du-Languedoc, saint-chinian, minervois and faugères have experienced a revival of interest, rewarding the skilled work of the winegrowers. We may or may not like the typicity of these vins de Soleil, but it must be said that they are, at least in terms of quality, on the heels of certain grands crus. Carignan at the head, cinsault, mourvèdre, syrah on the rouges side; white grenache, picpoul, bourboulenc, macabeu and clairette on the blancs side: the local grape varieties are often worked " au naturel ", with a minimum of sulphur, a process that is more and more appreciated.
The city has no culinary identity as such, it picks up the plate of its neighbours, all of whom share the graces of the Mediterranean and a damn lucky land. You can therefore revel in Mediterranean cuisine with the scent of the garrigue, fruit straight from the sea, goat's cheese from the land and good recipes from housewives. Take a bite out of the pâté de Pézenas made from lamb and kidney meat or the Sète tielle, an onion and garlic pie poulpes ; plunge, cutlery straight ahead, into the macaroni, a burgundy with parmesan cheese, the stewed squash or the famous gardianne. After such agapes, some will dive into the arms of Morpheus, others will go slumming in the many bars and discos of the city
When? Flattered by the Mediterranean climate, the region enjoys a clear sunshine from March, which takes its summer quarters until sometimes November. Take advantage of it!
Get there. By car (A9 and A75), train or plane, everything is possible to get to Montpellier
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