Top Historic Sights in Montpellier, France

Explore the historic highlights of Montpellier

Musée Fabre

The Musée Fabre was founded by François-Xavier Fabre, a Montpellier painter, in 1825. It is one of the main sights of Montpellier. The town of Montpellier was given thirty paintings in 1802 which formed the basis of a modest municipal museum under the Empire, moving between various temporary sites. In 1825, the town council accepted a large donation of works from Fabre and the museum was installed in the ref ...
Founded: 1825 | Location: Montpellier, France

Montpellier Botanical Garden

The Jardin des plantes de Montpellier (4.5 hectares) is a historic botanical garden and arboretum maintained by the Montpellier University. The garden was established in 1593 by letters patent from King Henri IV, under the leadership of Pierre Richer de Belleval, professor of botany and anatomy. It is France"s oldest botanical garden, inspired by the Orto botanico di Padova (1545) and in turn serving as model for th ...
Founded: 1593 | Location: Montpellier, France

Montpellier Cathedral

Montpellier Cathedral was originally attached to the monastery of Saint-Benoît, which was founded in 1364. The building was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1536, when the see of Maguelonne was transferred to Montpellier. After the building suffered extensive damage during the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the 17th century.
Founded: 1364 | Location: Montpellier, France

Château de Flaugergues

The Château de Flaugergues is one of many follies erected by wealthy merchants surrounding the city. The castle preserves antique furniture and collection of Flemish tapestries. The follies in the region were constructed by aristocrats serving the French king. In 1696, Etienne de Flaugergues, member of the Cour des Comptes, bought a piece of land and built which henceforth carried his name. It took him 45 years to ...
Founded: 1696-1741 | Location: Montpellier, France

Citadel of Montpellier

The Citadel of Montpellier was built between 1624 and 1627, after several rebellions under the orders of Louis XIII in order to keep watch over the town. In the 20th century it became the Joffre Barracks, named after Joseph Joffre, and since 1947 the citadel has been an academic campus - the nationwide famous Lycée Joffre. In 1621, King Louis XIII arrived with soldiers to quell a Huguenot rebellion; he took over the cit ...
Founded: 1624-1627 | Location: Montpellier, France

Château d'O

Château d"O is one of the old country mansions or follies surrounding the French city of Montpellier. It was built by wealthy merchants from the 18th century onwards. The South entrance leads to the 18th century mansion, while North entrance leads to modern buildings, with Théâtre Jean-Claude Carrière. It is now a main sight of the city of Montpellier.
Founded: 1743-1750 | Location: Montpellier, France

Château de la Mogére

The Château de la Mogère is one of many follies surrounding Montpellier, built by wealthy merchants in the 18th century. In 1706, the grounds of la Mogère were purchased by Fulcran Limouzin. In 1715, architect Jean Giral drew the plan for La Mogère, giving it the appearance it still has today. Its harmonious façade is topped off by a pediment, standing against a background of pine trees, ...
Founded: 1715 | Location: Montpellier, France

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Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.