Montpellier Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Montpellier

Montpellier is a very attractive city from an architectural standpoint. Some of the local structures are extremely old, this being an inviting factor for history buffs. Among the ancient landmarks worth visiting here are the Tower of Babotte, the Opera House and more. Those with the taste for modernity will certainly love to explore the local buildings facade frescoes - a new course in contemporary art.
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Montpellier Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Montpellier Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Montpellier (See other walking tours in Montpellier)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Place de la Comédie
  • Opera House
  • Chapel of the Blue Penitents
  • Tower of Babotte
  • Mural at Place Edouard Adam
  • Mural at Place Saint Roch
  • Church of Saint Anne & Carre Saint Anne Gallery
  • Prefecture of Hérault
  • Palace of Justice
  • Montpellier Cathedral
  • Les Ursulines
  • Plant Garden
  • Montpellier Aqueduct
  • Water Castle
Place de la Comédie

1) Place de la Comédie (must see)

The Place de la Comédie is the main focal point of the city of Montpellier, in the Hérault department in southern France. The square is first mentioned in 1755 and is named after the theatre located there, which burned down in 1785 and 1855. The Place became the main focal point of the city when, in the mid-19th century, the main railway station was built some 200 metres south of it. At the center of the square is a fountain called the Three Graces, built by sculptor Étienne d'Antoine in 1790. The original piece was placed in the Musée Fabre in 1989, but moved again during the refurbishment of the museum to the Opéra Comédie, which is located at the square. At its northeastern corner, the square continues into the Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle, a small park connecting the Place to the Corum, a large concrete and granite complex built by Claude Vasconi. At its southeastern corner it is linked to the Lycée Joffre, formerly the Citadel of Montpellier.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Opera House

2) Opera House (must see)

The Opera House was inaugurated in 1888. Fires and wars damaged the construction many times. During the Revolution, it was used as a venue for different political events. The present building of the Opera House is the work of four talented architects, the so called "four musketeers" - Avinaud, Jullian, Coste and Baussan. Many other famous sculptors, architects and other masters worked on the building that is one of the main architectural monuments in Montpellier today.
Chapel of the Blue Penitents

3) Chapel of the Blue Penitents

The Chapel of the Blue Penitents is the building where the Company of the Blue Penitents of Montpellier reside. They organized their meetings in many different places. The chapel was built in Neo-Gothic style between 1846 and 1848. The Company of the Blue Penitents are the only ones who support the restoration and preservation works.
Tower of Babotte

4) Tower of Babotte

The Tower of Babotte is located in the center of Montpellier. Its height is twenty six meters. The tower was built in Medieval times, along with other towers that surrounded the city. Nowadays only the present one and one more remain intact. In the eighteenth century, when a solar eclipse was to take place, the tower was transformed into an observational site. It now serves as a meeting place for astronomers.
Mural at Place Edouard Adam

5) Mural at Place Edouard Adam

The mural at Place Edouard Adam is the biggest fresco of this kind in Montpellier. It was painted by Olivier and Agnès Costa, popular and talented artist who worked in this area. The present fresco depicts trees and balconies, as well as people looking out of the windows. It is one of the most realistic works of its kind.
Mural at Place Saint Roch

6) Mural at Place Saint Roch (must see)

The mural at Place Saint Roch is one of the four "fresques" (frescoes) that decorate the city. The present one faces the Saint Roch Church. It covers an area of three hundred square meters. It represents a facade of a house and people chatting on the front stairs.
Church of Saint Anne & Carre Saint Anne Gallery

7) Church of Saint Anne & Carre Saint Anne Gallery (must see)

Church of Saint Anne in Montpellier is one of the most eye-catching landmarks in the area. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city, and therefore can be seen from a long distance. The Neo-Gothic-style church was erected between 1866 and 1869 by Jules Cassan, on the former site of a church dating from the 12th century.

Since 1991, the building hosts a popular contemporary art gallery - "Carre Saint Anne". The building hosts exhibitions of paintings, photographs and other graphic pieces, featuring varied artistic trends. The manager, Dominique Thévenot, is very interested in promoting creative young persons of the region. Admission is free all year long, with exceptions during the biennial of creative young persons.
Prefecture of Hérault

8) Prefecture of Hérault

The Prefecture of Hérault is an enormous construction built in the nineteenth century. It is occupied by various administrative offices, and is decorated with many beautiful architectural elements and ornamental Corinthian columns. A big clock surrounded by sculptures of females is installed above the entrance of the Prefecture. There is also a statue of a woman holding weapons of Montpellier in her left hand and a vase pouring water in her right.
Palace of Justice

9) Palace of Justice

The Palace of Justice is a significant building reflecting the city's history. It was built in the nineteenth century. Its construction was finished in 1853, but the site has a much longer history, dating back to the 12th century, when Guilhem VI built his palace here. The present building of the Palace of Justice is designed in Neo-classical architectural style. The facade of the palace is decorated with Corinthian columns.
Montpellier Cathedral

10) Montpellier Cathedral (must see)

Montpellier Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier) is a Roman Catholic cathedral and a national monument of France, located in the town of Montpellier. It is the seat of the archbishops, previously the bishops, of Montpellier. Originally attached to the monastery of Saint-Benoît (founded in 1364), the church was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1536, when the sea of Maguelonne became part of Montpellier. It suffered extensive damage during the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century, and was subsequently rebuilt in the 17th century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Les Ursulines

11) Les Ursulines (must see)

The Ursulines was built in 1641. Its design was realized by architect Jean Bonnassier. The initial function of the building was to shelter a nunnery which was transformed into a women's prison during the Revolution. For several years after that, the place became an assemblage of barracks. Nowadays the building has the role of hosting a dance studio and several offices linked to Montpellier Dance. Numerous choreographic events take place in the Ursulines.
Plant Garden

12) Plant Garden (must see)

The Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier (4.5 hectares) is a historic botanical garden and arboretum. The garden was established in 1593 by a 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). In turn, it serves as a model for the Jardin des Plantes de Paris (1626). The Montagne de Richer lies within the garden's oldest section, which now contains a systematic garden. The garden was expanded twice in the nineteenth century. Its orangery was designed by Claude-Mathieu Delagardette 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, 500 of which are native to the Mediterranean region. Of these, roughly 2,000 species are grown outdoors and 1,000 under glass.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Montpellier Aqueduct

13) Montpellier Aqueduct (must see)

The Montpellier Aqueduct - Les Arceaux - is one of the most notorious city landmarks. The arcade was built in the 17th century to supply the wells of the growing city of Montpellier with water from the spring of St. Clement, which is actually about 14 km away. The Aqueduct measures 880 meters, with 53 arcades built in two levels, using the old traditions of Roman times. The outer base of the archway carries water up to 3 meters wide, while the interior contains several water tubes covered with lead to avoid freezing. It was inaugurated on the 7th of December, 1765. Every Sunday the Aqueduct base hosts the "Les Arceaux" green and flea market.
Water Castle

14) Water Castle (must see)

The Water Castle is a catchment basin designed as a monument. It is located in the Peyrou park. The Water Castle was built in 1768 by Jean-Antoine Giral. The monument is fed by a 14-kilometre aqueduct. The construction, though reminiscent of a triumphal arc, has a hexagonal form and is adorned with Corinthian columns. The most fun thing about the Water Castle is that admirers can climb to the top and enjoy the perfect panorama of the city, as well as the Cévennes Mountains.

Walking Tours in Montpellier, France

Create Your Own Walk in Montpellier

Create Your Own Walk in Montpellier

Creating your own self-guided walk in Montpellier is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Montpellier Shopping Tour

Montpellier Shopping Tour

Montpellier, being a French city, has an abundance of shops of all kinds. Of course the shops that promote traditional products, such as cheese, wine and perfume are the most popular among visitors and the owners try to reflect in them the true traditions of the French culture. French designers are also very famous everywhere in the world and the products bought in their shops are perfect gifts...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Montpellier Museum Walking Tour

Montpellier Museum Walking Tour

The museums of Montpellier are an important part of the city's culture and history. They not only provide external decoration to the city's panorama, but they also concentrate on the far-reaching evolution of the art and other branches (medicine, history). Over the centuries, Montpellier has had the chance to gain an impressive amount of precious showpieces which are definitely an...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Montpellier Antigone Walking Tour

Montpellier Antigone Walking Tour

The Antigone is the most modern and futuristic part of Montpellier. Most of the buildings in this area are conceived by architect Ricardo Bofill and all of them are designed in neo-classical style, but they each have their individual charm and beauty. Established around the end of the 1970s, the architectural complex starts at the edge of Place de la Comedie and runs up to the river Lez. It is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Montpellier Corum Walking Tour

Montpellier Corum Walking Tour

The Corum in Montpellier is a very interesting place to visit considering the number of events organized here. Its surroundings are also well worth visiting. Montpellier, being a very animated city, hosts a big number of diverse concerts, festivals, expositions and other such events and most of them are held either in the Corum, or in the Ursulines, Pavillon Populaire and Kiosque Bosc. The Corum...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Top Religious Buildings

Top Religious Buildings

Montpellier is a city with an impressive number of churches. The architecture of all the religious buildings is amazing and aside from the theological purposes they are fulfilling, they are also a very nice decoration for the city. Montpellier is rich in very old churches, but there are also new churches with modern designs that are a refreshing detail to the city's panorama, like Saint...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles