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 refurbished Hôtel de Massillian, officially opened on 3 December 1828. Fabre's generosity led others to follow his example, notably Antoine Valedau who donated his collection of Dutch and Flemish masters to the city. On the death of Fabre in 1837, a legacy of more than a hundred pictures and drawings completed the collection.
In 1864, Jules Bonnet-Mel, an art collector from Pézenas, bequeathed 400 drawings and 28 paintings. In 1868, Alfred Bruyas offered the works from his private gallery to the city. He is credited with having moved the museum collection into the modern era. In 1870, Jules Canonge, from Nîmes, gave a collection of more than 350 drawings. A legacy of Bruyas of more than 200 works completed his gift in 1877.
In 1968, Mme Sabatier d'Espeyran in accordance with the will of her husband, a diplomat and great bibliophile, gave to the city their hôtel particulier, built under the Third Republic along with its contents.
Around 2001, the Library moved out of the complex, freeing a sizeable area and offering the chance to carry out a major modernisation and enhancement of the building. This took four years and included a whole new wing. The building re-opened in 2007.
On display are ceramics from Greece and the rest of Europe. Furthermore, the museum has a large collection of paintings from the 17th until the 19th century, with a large representation of the luminophiles movement. There is also sculptures.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.