Escada SE is a German luxury women's designer clothing company headquartered in Munich owned by Indian businesswoman Megha Mittal. As of 2017 Escada SE operates in 80 countries with 600 points of sale worldwide; the luxury fashion label employees around 1,500 employees with international locations in Milan, London, Beverly Hills, New York City. Escada was founded in 1978 by Wolfgang Ley in Munich, Germany. Being a former model and having a solid education in tailoring from the Royal Court in Stockholm, Margaretha Ley became known for her bold, feminine designs. 1978 saw the first presentation of the Escada womenswear collection, which featured exquisite inlays and appliqués. The company soon stood out, with its distinctive creations featuring unusual combinations of colors and patterns, exclusive embroidery, elaborately designed knitted fashions. Escada continually extended its collections and its creative work. In the course of its international expansion, Escada SE went public in 1986. In 1994 the company launched the Escada Sport label, established its own accessories collection including bags and shoes and granted major licenses, collaborating with such partners as Procter & Gamble.
In 2007, the artist Stefan Szczesny created a new Escada collection in France. Since July 2008, Bruno Sälzer was the acting CEO with responsibilities for design and sales. In 2009, Escada sold its subsidiary Primera AG, based in Münster, Westphalia which comprised the brands apriori and Laurèl, as well as BiBA. On August 11, 2009, Escada filed insolvency at Munich Local Court, as an exchange offer for the outstanding bonds of €200 million was not accepted by the necessary 80% of all bond holders. In November 2009, it was acquired by India's London-based billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, whose daughter-in-law, Megha Mittal, is the owner and Director of the Board, she is married to Aditya Mittal. On 20 February 2014, according to Women's Wear Daily, Bruno Sälzer will step down as CEO of Escada by December 2014. On September 1, 2016 Iris Epple-Righi joined as the CEO of Escada after 13 years with Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Niall Sloan joined Escada as the Global Design Director on August 1, 2017 after designing for luxury label Burberry and Hunter.
Escada divides its business activities in three segments: Fashion with the brands Escada Mainline and Escada Sport. Accessories consisting of bags and small leather goods. Licenses which utilizes the Escada brand for fragrances, eyewear. Diana, Princess of Wales was a customer of Escada, famously wearing an Escada coat for a formal visit to Berlin in 1987. Kim Basinger was awarded the Oscar in 1988 in an Escada gown. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is a regular Escada customer. In 2010, she wore Escada to the pre-wedding party at the wedding of Prince Nikolaos of Greece. In 2011, she wore Escada to the Monaco royal wedding, the pre-wedding dinner for the British royal wedding, as well as the state visit to Germany. Sarah, Duchess of York, wore Escada to Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball in 2011. On 18 October 2007, the group "Global Network Against the Fur Industry", made up of organizations such as Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade or Offensive gegen die Pelzindustrie, launched a campaign against Escada, in the form of a day of action, in hopes of getting Escada to stop selling fur.
According to their website, on October 18, there were 40 actions against Escada in 14 countries. On October 6, 2007, Escada headquarters were vandalized by the Animal Liberation Front. Since that date the campaign against Escada continues with regular pickets in front of Escada-outlets worldwide. In October 2010, Frank Elsner, the representative for press and business communication, confirmed to the campaigners that Escada will go fur-free, starting January 2011. Media related to Escada at Wikimedia Commons Official website
University of Paris
The University of Paris, metonymically known as the Sorbonne, was a university in Paris, active 1150–1793, 1806–1970. Emerging around 1150 as a corporation associated with the cathedral school of Notre Dame de Paris, it was considered the second oldest university in Europe. Chartered in 1200 by King Philip II of France and recognised in 1215 by Pope Innocent III, it was often nicknamed after its theological College of Sorbonne, in turn founded by Robert de Sorbon and chartered by French King Saint Louis around 1257. Internationally reputed for its academic performance in the humanities since the Middle Ages – notably in theology and philosophy – it introduced several academic standards and traditions that have endured since and spread internationally, such as doctoral degrees and student nations. Vast numbers of popes, royalty and intellectuals were educated at the University of Paris. A few of the colleges of the time are still visible close to Pantheon and Luxembourg Gardens: Collège des Bernardins, Hotel de Cluny, College Sainte Barbe, College d'Harcourt, Cordeliers.
In 1793, during the French Revolution, the university was closed and by Item-27 of the Revolutionary Convention, the college endowments and buildings were sold. A new University of France replaced it in 1806 with four independent faculties: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Theology. In 1970, following the May 1968 events, the university was divided into 13 autonomous universities. Although all the thirteen universities that resulted of the original University of Paris split can be considered its inheritors, just three universities of the post-1968 universities embodied direct faculties successors while inheriting the name "Sorbonne", as well as its physical location in the Latin Quarter: the Pantheon-Sorbonne University. From 2010, University of Paris successors started to reorganise themselves into different groups of universities and institutions that were upgraded to "pôles de recherche et d'enseignement supérieur".
As a result, various university groups exist in the Paris area, among them Sorbonne Paris Cité, Sorbonne Universities, the University of Paris-Saclay, Paris Lumiéres, Paris-Seine, so on. In January 2018, two of the inheritors of the old University of Paris, Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre and Marie Curie University, merged into a single university called Sorbonne University. In 2019, two other inheritors of the University of Paris, namely Paris Diderot University and Paris Descartes University, are expected to merge. In 1150, the future University of Paris was a student-teacher corporation operating as an annex of the Notre-Dame cathedral school; the earliest historical reference to it is found in Matthew of Paris' reference to the studies of his own teacher and his acceptance into "the fellowship of the elect Masters" there in about 1170, it is known that Pope Innocent III completed his studies there in 1182 at the age of 21. The corporation was formally recognised as an "Universitas" in an edict by King Philippe-Auguste in 1200: in it, among other accommodations granted to future students, he allowed the corporation to operate under ecclesiastic law which would be governed by the elders of the Notre-Dame Cathedral school, assured all those completing courses there that they would be granted a diploma.
The university had four faculties: Arts, Medicine and Theology. The Faculty of Arts was the lowest in rank, but the largest, as students had to graduate there in order to be admitted to one of the higher faculties; the students were divided into four nationes according to language or regional origin: France, Normandy and England. The last came to be known as the Alemannian nation. Recruitment to each nation was wider than the names might imply: the English-German nation included students from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe; the faculty and nation system of the University of Paris became the model for all medieval universities. Under the governance of the Church, students wore robes and shaved the tops of their heads in tonsure, to signify they were under the protection of the church. Students followed the rules and laws of the Church and were not subject to the king's laws or courts; this presented problems for the city of Paris, as students ran wild, its official had to appeal to Church courts for justice.
Students were very young, entering the school at 13 or 14 years of age and staying for six to 12 years. Three schools were famous in Paris: the palatine or palace school, the school of Notre-Dame, that of Sainte-Geneviève Abbey; the decline of royalty brought about the decline of the first. The other two did not have much visibility in the early centuries; the glory of the palatine school doubtless eclipsed theirs, until it gave way to them. These two centres were much frequented and many of their masters were esteemed for their learning; the first renowned professor at the school of Ste-Geneviève was Hubold, who lived in the tenth century. Not content with the courses at Liège, he continued his studies at Paris, entered or allied himself with the chapter of Ste-Geneviève, attracted many pupils via his teaching. Distinguished professors from the school of Notre-Dame in the eleventh century incl
Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan fashion designer known for "exceptional personal style", for dressing various First Ladies, including Jacqueline Onassis, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama. She was born María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño on January 8, 1939, in Caracas, Venezuela, to Guillermo Pacanins Acevedo, an air force officer and former governor of Caracas, María Cristina Niño Passios, her socialite grandmother introduced her to the world of fashion, taking young Carolina to shows by Balenciaga and buying her outfits at Lanvin and Dior. She has said "My eye was accustomed to seeing pretty things."In 1957, at the age of 18, she married Guillermo Behrens Tello, a Venezuelan landowner, with whom she had two daughters and Ana Luisa. They divorced. In 1968, in Caracas, she married Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, who had inherited the Spanish title The 5th Marquis of Torre Casa in 1962 upon his father's death. Reinaldo was the host of Buenos Días, a Venezuelan morning-television news program and the elder son of Don Reinaldo Herrera Uslar, 4th Marquis of Torre Casa, a prominent Venezuelan sugarcane plantation owner and art collector.
Therefore, by marriage, Carolina held the title The Marquise consort of Torre Casa, until it was retracted in 1992, as Reinaldo had issued no son. Her husband is a special-projects editor of Vanity Fair magazine, they have two daughters, Carolina Adriana and Patricia Cristina, six grandchildren. In 2009, Herrera became a naturalized United States citizen. In 1965, Herrera began her career working as a publicist for Emilio Pucci, a Florentine Marquis himself and a close family friend, she began working at Pucci's Caracas boutique, moved to New York in 1980. Associating with Mick and Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol, at Studio 54, she became well known for her dramatic style, she first appeared on the International Best Dressed List in 1972 was elected to its Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1981, her friend Diana Vreeland Editor-in-Chief of Vogue suggested that Carolina design a clothing line, she did so, having samples made in Caracas, debuted her collection at Manhattan's Metropolitan Club to critical acclaim.
A well known Park Avenue boutique, Martha's, agreed to showcase her clothing in their prominent windows. Upon this initial success, she raised capital to fund a more formal launch, her first runway show in 1980 included future supermodel Iman. Carolina Herrera presents her Ready-to-Wear Collection semiannually at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York; the company has been based in New York City since 1980, in 1981 the brand received recognition from several key publications, including Women's Wear Daily and Tatler, with particular early attention to her well designed sleeves. A few of her most notable clients have included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who asked her to design the dress for her daughter Caroline's wedding, Duchess of Cadaval, who asked her to design the dress for her marriage with Prince Charles-Philippe of Orléans, Duke of Anjou, actress Renée Zellweger. In the late 1980s, Spanish fragrance company Puig licensed the Carolina Herrera name to develop and market a line of perfumes.
In 1995, the firm acquired the Carolina Herrera fashion business, retaining her as Creative Director. In 2008, they launched; as of 2011, her daughters Carolina Jr. and Patricia Lansing participated in the creative direction and design. In February 2016, it was reported by WWD that the fragrance side of the business had more than 25,000 points of sale across the globe while the CH brand included 129 freestanding stores. In 2015, the first advert for the brand was released, featuring models Elisabeth Erm and Joséphine Le Tutour. In July 2016 Herrera announced the release of her new women's fragrance to be available for purchase in September, her biggest fragrance launch in 14 years; the scent is called'Good Girl' and Karlie Kloss is the face of the fragrance. In 2018 Herrera showed her last line for her eponymous brand and handed creative directorship of the brand over to Wes Gordon. CH Designs In 2008, she was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, "Womenswear Designer of the Year" in 2004.
Herrera is a recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence as well as Spain's Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts, presented to her in 2002 by King Juan Carlos I. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute in 1997, she received the Fashion Group International Superstar Award, the Style Awards Designer of the Year in 2012 and the "Mercedes-Benz Presents" title for her 2011 collection. She has been on the cover of Vogue seven times. Since 2004, she has been a member of the board of directors of jewelry designer Mimi So, since 1999 on the board of the CFDA. In 2014, she earned the 2014 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. Carolina Herrera Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear Collection Carolina Herrera
Thomas Carlyle Ford is an American fashion designer, film director and film producer, known professionally as “Tom Ford”. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2006, having served as the Creative Director at luxury fashion houses Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford directed the Academy Award-nominated films A Single Man and Nocturnal Animals. Tom Ford was born on August 27, 1961, in Austin, the son of realtors Shirley Burton and Thomas David Ford, he spent his early life in the suburbs of Houston, in San Marcos, outside Austin. In Santa Fe, he entered St. Michael's High School and moved to Santa Fe Preparatory School, from which he graduated in 1979. At age 16, he enrolled at Bard College at Simon's Rock, but dropped out, he moved to New York City to study art history at New York University. Ford dropped out of NYU after a year. Ford began studying interior architecture at The New School's art and design college, Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. While in New York, he visited Studio 54, where he realized he was gay.
The club's disco-era glamor would be a major influence on his designs. Before his last year at New School, Ford spent a year and a half in Paris, where he worked as an intern in Chloé's press office, inspiring his interest in fashion, he spent his final year at The New School studying fashion, but graduated with a degree in architecture. When interviewing for jobs after graduation, Ford said that he had attended The New School's Parsons division, but concealed that he graduated in architecture, that his work at Chloé was a low-level public relations position. Despite his lack of experience in fashion, Ford called American designer Cathy Hardwick every day for a month in hopes of securing a job at her sportswear company. Hardwick agreed to interview him, she recalled the incident: "I had every intention of giving him no hope. I asked him, he said,'Armani and Chanel.' Months I asked him why he said that, he said,'Because you were wearing something Armani'. Is it any wonder he got the job?" Ford worked as a design assistant for Hardwick for two years.
In 1988, Ford moved to Perry Ellis, where he knew both Robert McDonald, the company's president, Marc Jacobs, its designer, socially. He grew tired of working in American fashion. In a interview with The New York Times, he commented, "If I was going to become a good designer, I had to leave America. My own culture was inhibiting me. Too much style in America is tacky. It's looked down upon to be too stylish. Europeans, appreciate style."At the time, Italian fashion house Gucci was struggling financially and was seeking to strengthen its women's ready-to-wear presence as a part of a brand overhaul. The company's creative director, Dawn Mello said, "no one would dream of wearing Gucci". In 1990, Mello hired Ford as the brand's chief women's ready-to-wear designer and Ford moved to Milan. "I was talking to a lot of people, most didn't want the job," Mello said. "For an American designer to move to Italy to join a company, far from being a brand would have been pretty risky." Ford and his longtime partner, fashion journalist Richard Buckley, relocated to Milan that September.
Ford's role at Gucci expanded. When Richard Lambertson left as design director in 1992, Ford took over his position, heading the brand's ready-to-wear, image and store design. In 1993, when he was in charge of designing eleven product lines, Ford worked eighteen-hour days. During these years, there were creative tensions between Ford and Maurizio Gucci, the company's chairman and 50% owner. According to Mello, "Maurizio always wanted everything to be round and brown, Tom wanted to make it square and black." Though Maurizio Gucci wanted to fire Ford, Domenico De Sole insisted. Nonetheless, Ford's work during the early 1990s was behind the scenes. In 1994, Ford was promoted to Creative Director of Gucci. In his first year at the helm, he introduced Halston-style velvet hipsters, skinny satin shirts and car-finish metallic patent boots. In 1995, he brought in French stylist Carine Roitfeld and photographer Mario Testino to create a series of new ad campaigns for the company. Between 1995 and 1996, sales at Gucci increased by 90%.
At one point, Ford was the largest individual shareholder of Gucci stock and options. By 1999, the house, bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at more than $4 billion; when Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, Ford was named Creative Director of that label as well. Saint Laurent did not hide his displeasure with Ford's designs, stating "The poor man does what he can". During his time as creative director for YSL, Ford nonetheless won numerous Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Like his work at Gucci, Ford was able to pull the classic fashion house back into the mainstream, his advertising campaigns for the YSL fragrances Opium and YSL M7 were controversial and provocative. In April 2004, Ford parted ways with the Gucci group after he and CEO Domenico de Sole, credited as Ford's partner in Gucci's success, failed to agree with Pinault Printem
Fashion design is the art of applying design and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as bracelets and necklaces; because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes. Designers interpret them for their audience, their specific designs are used by manufacturers. This is the essence of a designer’s role. Fashion designers attempt to design clothes, they consider, to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, they work within a wide range of materials, colors and styles. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses; some clothes are made for an individual, as in the case of haute couture or bespoke tailoring.
Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market casual and every-day wear are called ready to wear. Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion house, as'in-house designers', which owns the designs, or they work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers; the garments bear the buyer's label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels; some fashion designers design for individual clients. Other high-end fashion designers cater to high-end fashion department stores; these designers create original garments, as well as those. Most fashion designers, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, children's fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a'name' as their brand such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, or Juicy are to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a design director. Fashion designers work in different ways.
Some sketch their ideas on paper. When a designer is satisfied with the fit of the toile, he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. A sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit. Fashion design is considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth, the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by anonymous seamstresses, high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done; the term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 is considered as fashion design.
It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy; the garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis, with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, is made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.
Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity. Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute mass market, they are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week; this occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort and bridal. Half-way garments are an alternative to "off-the-peg", or prêt-à-porter fashion. Half-way garments are intentionally unfinished pieces of clothing that encourages co-design between the "primary designer" of the garment, what would be considered, the passive "cons
Aix-en-Provence, or Aix, is a city and commune in Southern France, about 30 km north of Marseille. A former capital of Provence, it is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture; the population of Aix-en-Provence numbers 143,000. Its inhabitants are called Aixois or, less Aquisextains. Aix was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs, following the destruction of the nearby Gallic oppidum at Entremont. In 102 BC its vicinity was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, where the Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism. In the 4th century AD it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda, it was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was plundered by the Franks and Lombards, was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737.
Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, did not reach its zenith until after the 12th century, under the houses of Barcelona/Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic centre and seat of learning. Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence. Current archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. A deposit of fossil bones from the Upper Continental Miocene gave rise to a Christian dragon legend. Aix-en-Provence is situated in the south of France, in a plain overlooking the Arc river, about a mile from the right bank of the river; the city slopes from north to south and the Montagne Sainte-Victoire can be seen to the east. Aix's position in the south of France gives it a warm climate, though more extreme than Marseille due to the inland location.
It has an average January temperature of 5 °C and a July average of 23 °C. It has an average of only 91 days of rain. While it is protected from the Mistral, Aix still experiences the cooler and gusty conditions it brings. Unlike most of France which has an oceanic climate, Aix-en-Provence has a Mediterranean climate; the Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with double rows of plane trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall, divides the town into two sections; the new town extends to the west. Situated on this avenue, lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, is the Deux Garçons, the most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it was frequented by the likes of Émile Zola and Ernest Hemingway; the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour is situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix. Built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century, including a richly decorated portal in the Gothic style with doors elaborately carved in walnut.
The interior contains 16th-century tapestries, a 15th-century triptych, depicting King René and his wife on the side panels, as well as a Merovingian baptistery, its Renaissance dome supported by original Roman columns. The archbishop's palace and a Romanesque cloister adjoin the cathedral on its south side; the Archbishopric of Aix is now shared with Arles. Among its other public institutions, Aix has the second most important Appeal Court outside of Paris, located near the site of the former Palace of the Counts of Provence; the Hôtel de Ville, a building in the classical style of the middle of the 17th century, looks onto a picturesque square. It contains tapestries. At its side rises a handsome clock-tower erected in 1510. On the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is the former Corn Exchange; this ornately decorated 18th-century building was designed by the Vallon brothers. Nearby are the remarkable thermal springs, containing lime and carbonic acid, that first drew the Romans to Aix and gave it the name Aquae Sextiae.
A spa was built in 1705 near the remains of the ancient Roman baths of Sextius. South of the Cours Mirabeau is the Quartier Mazarin; this residential district was constructed for the gentry of Aix by Archbishop Michele Mazzarino brother of Cardinal Jules Mazarin in the last half of the 17th century and contains several notable hôtels particuliers. The 13th-century church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte contains valuable pictures and a restored organ. Next to it is the Musée Granet, devoted to European sculpture. Aix is referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th-century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau: At the top, a 19th-century fountain depicts the "good king" René holding the Muscat grapes that he introduced to Provence in the 15th century.
Montpellier is a city near the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Hérault department, it is located in the Occitanie region. In 2016, 607,896 people lived in 281,613 in the city itself. Nearly one third of the population are students from three universities and from three higher education institutions that are outside the university framework in the city. Montpellier is the third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Nice, it is the 7th-largest city of France, is the fastest-growing city in the country over the past 25 years. In the Early Middle Ages, the nearby episcopal town of Maguelone was the major settlement in the area, but raids by pirates encouraged settlement a little further inland. Montpellier, first mentioned in a document of 985, was founded under a local feudal dynasty, the Guilhem, who combined two hamlets and built a castle and walls around the united settlement; the two surviving towers of the city walls, the Tour des Pins and the Tour de la Babotte, were built around the year 1200.
Montpellier came to prominence in the 12th century—as a trading centre, with trading links across the Mediterranean world, a rich Jewish cultural life that flourished within traditions of tolerance of Muslims and Cathars—and of its Protestants. William VIII of Montpellier gave freedom for all to teach medicine in Montpellier in 1180; the city's faculties of law and medicine were established in 1220 by Cardinal Conrad of Urach, legate of Pope Honorius III. This era marked the high point of Montpellier's prominence; the city became a possession of the Kings of Aragon in 1204 by the marriage of Peter II of Aragon with Marie of Montpellier, given the city and its dependencies as part of her dowry. Montpellier gained a charter in 1204 when Peter and Marie confirmed the city's traditional freedoms and granted the city the right to choose twelve governing consuls annually. Under the Kings of Aragon, Montpellier became a important city, a major economic centre and the primary centre for the spice trade in the Kingdom of France.
It was the second or third most important city of France at that time, with some 40,000 inhabitants before the Black Death. Montpellier remained a possession of the crown of Aragon until it passed to James III of Majorca, who sold the city to the French king Philip VI in 1349, to raise funds for his ongoing struggle with Peter IV of Aragon. In the 14th century, Pope Urban VIII gave Montpellier a new monastery dedicated to Saint Peter, noteworthy for the unusual porch of its chapel, supported by two high, somewhat rocket-like towers. With its importance increasing, the city gained a bishop, who moved from Maguelone in 1536, the huge monastery chapel became a cathedral. In 1432, Jacques Cœur established himself in the city and it became an important economic centre, until 1481 when Marseille overshadowed it in this role. At the time of the Reformation in the 16th century, many of the inhabitants of Montpellier became Protestants and the city became a stronghold of Protestant resistance to the Catholic French crown.
In 1622, King Louis XIII besieged the city which surrendered after a two months siege, afterwards building the Citadel of Montpellier to secure it. Louis XIV made Montpellier capital of Bas Languedoc, the town started to embellish itself, by building the Promenade du Peyrou, the Esplanade and a large number of houses in the historic centre. After the French Revolution, the city became the capital of the much smaller Hérault. During the 19th century the city thrived on the wine culture that it was able to produce due to the abundance of sun throughout the year; the wine consumption in France allowed Montpellier's citizens to become wealthy until in the 1890's a fungal disease had spread amongst the vineyards and the people were no longer able to grow the grapes needed for wine. After this the city had grown because it welcomed immigrants from Algeria and other parts of northern Africa after Algeria's independence from France. In the 21st century Montpellier is between 8th largest city; the city had another influx in population more largely due to the student population, who make up about one-third of Montpellier's population.
The school of medicine is what kickstarted the city's thriving university culture,however many other universities have been well established in the coastal city that has developments such as the Corum and the Antigone that too have been drawing in more and more students. William I of Montpellier William II of Montpellier William III of Montpellier William IV of Montpellier William V of Montpellier William VI of Montpellier William VII of Montpellier William VIII of Montpellier Marie of Montpellier and King Peter II of Aragon James I of Aragon James II of Majorca James III of Majorca The city is situated on hilly ground 10 km inland from the Mediterranean coast, on the River Lez; the name of the city, Monspessulanus, is said to have stood for mont pelé, or le mont de la colline Montpellier is located 170 km from Marseille, 242 km from Toulouse, 748 km from Paris. Montpellier's highest point is the Place du Peyrou, at an altitude of 57 m; the city is built on two hills and Montpelliéret, thus some o