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 the Jardin des Plantes de Paris (1626).
The Montagne de Richer lies within the garden's oldest section, which also now contains a systematic garden. The garden was expanded twice in the 19th century. Its orangery was designed by Claude-Mathieu Delagardette (1762–1805) and completed in 1804, the arboretum was landscaped in 1810, and the English Garden, with pool and greenhouse, dates from 1859. The monumental Martins greenhouse opened in 1860.
Today the garden contains about 2,680 plant species, including 500 native to the Mediterranean region. Of these roughly 2,000 species are grown outdoors, and 1,000 under glass.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.