The city of Montpellier is located between the Cévennes mountains and the coastline of the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
Montpellier was a population centre for the Huguenots, and was among the most important of the 66 villes de sûreté granted by the Edict of Nantes.
The Impressionist painter Frederic Bazille (1841-1870) was born in Montpellier. His father was a rich landowner and wine grower as well as a notable of the city of Montpellier. A number of his paintings are in the Museé Fabre including his depiction of a nearby location, "View of the Village of Castelnau-le-Lez".
A Little Tour in France, by Henry James
The air is mild, no doubt, but there are refinements of mildness which were not then suspected, and which in a more analytic age have carried the annual wave far beyond Montpellier. The place is charming, all the same; and it served the purpose of John Locke, who made a long stay there, between 1675 and 1679, and became acquainted with a noble fellow-visitor, Lord Pembroke, to whom he dedicated the famous Essay. There are places that please without your being able to say wherefore, and Montpellier is one of the number. It has some charming views, from the great promenade of the Peyrou; but its position is not strikingly fine. Beyond this it contains a good museum and the long façades of its school, but these are its only definite treasures.
Montpellier in A Little Tour in France, by Henry James
- 1598 - Edict of Nantes recognized the right of Protestants to worship and granted them other basic freedoms.
- 2 February 1616 - The artist Sébastien Bourdon born in Montpellier. Bourdon moved to Paris at the age of seven.
- 1622 - King Louis XIII of France besieged the city and took it after eight months, building the Citadel of Montpellier to secure it.
- 1691 - Arc de Triomphe with the inscription Ludovico magno LXXII annos regnante dissociatis repressis conciliatis gentibus quatuor decennali bello conjuratis pax terra marique parta 1715. The carved medallions, dating from 1773, celebrate the achievements of Louis XIV the Sun King.
- 1768 - Construction of the hexagonal Château d'eau du Peyrouby Henri Pitot. The water tower is fed by the St-Clément Aqueduct, with its 21.5 m high arches and double arcade (in imitation of the Pont du Gard).
- 1854 - Alfred Bruyas invited Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) to spend time in Montpellier, where the artist painted The Meeting or Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet in which Bruyas is seen welcoming the artist to his town. Bruyas donated his collection in 1876, and the painting is one of the treasures of the Musée Fabre, said to be a key work in any understanding of 19th century modernity.