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A Holiday to The Languedoc

This Is My Look At The Sights of Montpellier

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Montpellier: Ambition And Architecture

February 16, 2014

The history of Montpellier can also be traced through examples of its more historic architecture. The medieval mikve is a ceremonial Jewish bath dating from the 13th century and is one reminder of the importance of the Jewish community, which played a leading role in the development and influence of Montpellier. The imposing Cathedrale Saint-Pierre originally dates back to the 15th century and is also the site of the historic Faculty of Medicine. On a less grand scale are the many private 17th- and 18th-century mansions, some of which canbe visited with a guide from the tourist office. Also witha guide you can ascend (steep and narrow) stone stepsto the top of the Arc de Triomphe, a smaller scale copyof the Parisian arch, built here in honour of Louis XIV.If you do make the climb to the top you are rewarded with a birds-eye view of Montpellier, the coast and mountains. Importantly, the cultural ambitions of Montpellier can now be said to rival its architectural heritage. Theresa busy programme of festivals every year including an internationally renowned Dance Festival, a Gay Pride festival, Europes largest extreme sports festival and thisyear, 2013, the Tour de France has a stage finish inthe city. Every Friday during summer Les Estivalesde Montpellier is a popular night-time market with a mix of stall-holders selling artisanale goods and local produce. A cultural must-see is the Musee Fabre , one of Frances largest art galleries outside Paris, which was re-openedin 2007 following a 61 million euro refurbishment. It houses over 800 works of art and sculpture coveringthe Flemish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French collections and including painters of the great 16th- to 18th-century European schools (Zurbaran, Reynolds, Tenier, Greuze, Ingres, Delacroix, to name but a few) together with ceramics and sculptures.
For the original version of the article including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.francetoday.com/articles/2013/08/25/montpellier_ambition_and_architecture.html

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