Montpellier

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Montpellier

(môNpĕlyā`), city (1990 pop. 210,866), capital of Hérault dept., S France, near the Mediterranean coast. It is a great commercial center. Its industries, many of them recently developed, include food processing, salt working, textile milling, printing, and the manufacture of metal items and chemicals. Tourism, improved by the development of the nearby coast, is a major industry. Montpellier's population increased dramatically during the 1960s, due in part to an influx of refugees from Algeria. Dating from the 8th cent., Montpellier was the center of a fief under the counts of Toulouse; it passed (13th cent.) to the kings of Majorca, from whom it was purchased (1349) by Philip VI of France. A Huguenot center, it was besieged and taken by Louis XIII in 1622. It was the seat of the provincial estates of LanguedocLanguedoc
, region and former province, S France, bounded by the foot of the Pyrenees, the upper Garonne River, the Auvergne Mts., the Rhône, and the Mediterranean.
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. Montpellier's fame rests principally on its university, founded in 1289. Its noted medical faculty is traced to the 10th cent.; Rabelais was its most famous student. The city is also the seat of agricultural and military schools and of an international wine festival. The botanical garden there was founded in 1593.

Montpellier

 

a city in southern France, located on the Lez River near the coast of the Gulf of Lions. Capital of the department of Herault. Population, 161,900 (1968). Montpellier is a transportation junction. Among its industries are electrical engineering and machine building; clothing, food, and fertilizer are also produced there. Montpellier is an important center for winemaking and the wine trade. A university and a botanical garden are located in the city.

Montpellier arose during the eighth century on the site of two villages. Because of its location near the sea and on intersecting trade routes, the city developed into a major economic center in the 12th and 13th centuries, producing cloth and leather and trading with Italy, Spain, and the Levant. Montpellier became part of the kingdom of Aragon in 1204 and of the kingdom of Mallorcain 1276. Self-governing after 1204, Montpellier became famous during the 13th century for its medical school; its university was founded in 1289.

In 1292 a portion of Montpellier was purchased by the French king, and in 1349 the entire city was annexed in this fashion. During the religious wars of the 16th century, Montpellier became a stronghold of the Huguenots, who ruled the city from 1567. Louis XIII took the city in 1622 after a lengthy siege. In the 17th century, Montpellier was made the capital of the province of Languedoc. At the end of the 18th century it became the capital of the department of Herault.

Montpellier

a city in S France, the chief town of Languedoc: its university was founded by Pope Nicholas IV in 1289; wine trade. Pop.: 225 392 (1999)
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