• Montpellier - History

Montpellier - Historical Heritage...

Montpellier was first built in the XI century
The Count of Mauguio offered two large parcels of land to Guilhem as a reward for his loyalty. Guilhem's heirs then developped their familly strenght on this land which was called the Montpellier bourg and was bordering the Montpellieret village which belonged to the Eveque of Maguelone.

It is in the XIII century that the two villages united within the fortified was of the newly created town.

In 1204, the town becomes spanish after the wedding of Guilhem VIII daughter, Marie of Montpellier, with Peter of Aragon. Montpellier was sold back to the king of France in 1349.

This periode was extreamly important for the economic development of the town. The Montpellier mercants were trading with the East buying various spices and therapeutical plants. The specificity of those was analysed and studied in the newly created medical university. Law and art schools emerges at the same period. The University of Montpellier grew in strenght from then on and attracted students from all the kingdom. (Rablais finished his medecine degree there in 1530)

At the end of the XIV century Montpellier started to declin because of the various medival illnesses that destroyed a large part of its population such as the pest and the famine that often came with it.

It is with the arrival of Jacques Coeur the king's (Charles VII) man in charge of the royal silver that Montpellier regained its reputation as a town of trade in the XV century. Unfortunatly the incorporation of Montpellier to Provence (a french powerful region) definatly put an end to the development of Montpellier as Marseille became the main trading port with the East.

In the XVI century Montpellier was affected by the first war of religion between the catholic and the protestants. These fought for the domination of the town and successively gained it. In 1622 Louis XIII finaly put an end to it and regained control of the town
His troops made the siege o Montpellier over three month. Richelieu built a citadel in order to watch and control the town. As a consequence many protestants left the town which benefited the catholic 'Montpellierains'.

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