Montpellier is the capital of Herault, France and the center of economy, culture and education in Languedoc region. Located in southern France near the Mediterranean Sea, the city is 471 miles southwest of Paris and enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate.
Montpellier was developed into a city in the 8th century. In the 13th century, the King of France Louis IX granted Montpellier the free trade privileges across the whole France, thus substantially increasing the wealth of this city. Since 17th century, the government of Herault was set up here. Montpellier is also a famous city for its culture. It boasts the University of Montpellier founded by Nicholas IV, Roman Pope, in 1289. The Fabre Museum and the Atger Museum of Montpellier house numerous paintings, especially ancient ones, among which there are more than 300 paintings by the renowned Italian painter Raphael alone. Montpellier has long been a tourist resort for its moderate climate and beautiful scenery with a lot of ancient architectures. Perou Square located at the highest point of Montpellier is one of the most well-known squares in France. At the end of the square, there is a tableland, from which you can look over the Mediterranean Sea and look afar to the Seven Mountain, Pyrenees Mountains and the Alps. The statue of Frech king Louis XIV on horseback (built from 17th to 18th century) was situated at the square as well. Opposite to the square is the gilted Arch of Triumph-- L'arc de Triomphe de Perou, which was built to commemorate Louis XIV. Hundreds of official residences built in the 15th or 16th century were well reserved in the city for sightseeing. Located in southern France and rich in grape production, Montpellier has a thriving trade in wine and other traditional industries such as foodstuffs, textiles, candles, soap, perfume and chemicals. There¡¯s a nuclear power plant built in 1956 at the city, which is well-known in France. In 1981, Montpellier and Chengdu were concluded as sister cities.