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Montpellier (Occitan Montpelhièr) is a city in the south of France. It is the préfecture (administrative capital) of the Hérault département. Population: 229,055 (1999).

Its University is one of the oldest ones in France (founded in 1289).

Several housing projects have been designed by the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill.

Many places in the New World are named after it, often with varying spellings: see Montpelier.


Montpellier is one of the few cities in France that does not have a Roman background. In the early Middle Ages the nearby episcopal town of Maguelone was the major settlement in the area. But raids by pirates probably encouraged settlement a little further inland.

Montpellier became a possession of the kings of Aragon by the marriage of Peter II of Aragon with Mary of Montpellier. James III of Majorca sold the city to the king of France in 1349 to raise funds against Peter IV of Aragon.

Montpellier was the birthplace of:

See also: Medieval university

External link

Official web site (in French):