Gironde is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named after a major waterway; the Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde. Gironde is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Gascony. From 1793 to 1795, the department's name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the revolutionary party, the Girondists. Gironde is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area of 10,000 km², Gironde is the largest department in metropolitan France. If overseas departments are included, Gironde's land area is dwarfed by the 83,846 km² of French Guiana. Gironde is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach, Europe's longest, attracting many surfers to Lacanau each year, it is the birthplace of Jacques-Yves Cousteau who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
The Great Dune of Pyla in Arcachon Bay near Bordeaux is the tallest sand dune in Europe. The President of the General Council is Jean-Luc Gleyze of the Socialist Party. Cantons of the Gironde department Communes of the Gironde department Arrondissements of the Gironde department Bordeaux wine regions General Council website Prefecture website Gironde at Curlie Tourism Office website
Alpes-Maritimes is a department of France located in the extreme southeast corner of the country, near the border with Italy and on the Mediterranean coast. Part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, it had a population of 1,080,771 in 2013, it has become in recent years one of the world's most attractive destinations, featuring cities such as Nice, Cannes and Grasse, numerous alpine ski resorts. Alpes-Maritimes entirely surrounds Monaco; the department's inhabitants are called Maralpines. The Alpes-Maritimes department is surrounded by the departments of Var in the southwest, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the northwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it surrounds the Principality of Monaco on the west and east. Its topography is mixed; as its name suggests, most of the department is a constituent part of the overall topographic Alps – including the Maritime Alps – but it has the distinction of being a coastal district with its Mediterranean coast. The coastal area and densely populated, includes all the cities in an continuous conurbation from Cannes to Menton, while the larger but sparsely populated mountainous area is rural with the exception of the three large resorts of Valberg and Isola 2000.
The highest point of the department is the Cime du Gélas on the Franco-Italian border which dominates the Vallée des Merveilles further east. In fact the summit of Monte Argentera is higher at 3297 m above sea level but it is located in Italian territory. There is Mount Mounier which dominates the south of the vast Dôme de Barrot, formed of a mass of more than 900 m thick red mudstones indented by the gorges of Daluis and Cians. Except in winter, four passes allow passage to the north of the Mercantour/Argentera mountain range whose imposing 62 km long barrier covered in winter snow, visible from the coast. From the west the Route des Grandes Alpes enters the Cayolle Pass first on the way to the Alps and the sources of the Var in the commune of Entraunes; the route follows the Col de la Bonette – the highest pass in Europe at 2715 m – to connect to the valley of the Tinée the Ubaye. Further east, the Lombard pass above Isola 2000 allows access to the shrine of Saint-Anne de Vinadio in Italy.
At its eastern end, the Col de Tende links with Cuneo in Italy. The only region of the Alps close to Nice has an afforestation rate of 60.9% higher than the average of the department and well above the average of 39.4% for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The rivers in alphabetical order are: It is the climate that made the Côte d'Azur famous; the current department of Alpes-Maritimes, does not have only one climate, the complex terrain and high mountains divide the department between those who are well exposed and those which are less and with the mild Mediterranean climate there can be violent storms and prolonged droughts. The coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. Towards the interior in the north, a mountain climate. One of the attractions of the department is its level of sunshine: 300 days per year. Despite this the department is the most stormy of France with an average of 70 to 110 thunderstorm days per year. Alpes-Maritimes is divided into 2 arrondissements: the Grasse and the Nice,27 cantons and 163 communes.
In 2002 there were 14 intercommunalities. Including: 4 metropolitan intercommunalities of which: 3 are agglomeration communities Agglomeration community of Pôle Azur Provence Agglomeration community of the Riviera Française Agglomeration community of Sophia Antipolis and 1 is an urban community Urban community of Nice Côte d'Azur; the other 10 are Communauté de communes: Communauté de communes de la Vallée de l'Estéron Communauté de communes des Monts d'Azur Communauté de communes du Pays des Paillons Communauté de communes des Coteaux d'Azur Communauté de communes des Vallées d'Azur Communauté de communes de la Tinée Communauté de communes de Cians Var Communauté de communes des Stations du Mercantour Communauté de communes des Terres de Siagne Communauté de communes Vésubie MercantourThe following is a list of most populous cities of the department: Nice Antibes Cannes Grasse Cagnes-sur-Mer Le Cannet Saint-Laurent-du-Var Menton Vallauris Mandelieu-la-Napoule Vence Mougins Alpes Maritimae was created by Octavian as a Roman military district called maritimae Alps in 14BC, became a full Roman province in the middle of the 1st century AD with its capital first at Cemenelum and subsequently at Embrun.
At its greatest extent in AD 297, the province reached north to Briançon. A first French département of Alpes-Maritimes existed in the same area from 1793 to 1814, its boundaries differed from those of the modern department, however. In 1793 Alpes-Maritimes included Monaco and San Remo, but not Grasse, part of the départment of Var; the département was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons: Nice, cantons: Nice, Aspremont, La Brigue, Monaco, Roquebillière, Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Saorge, L'Escarène, Sospel and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Sanremo
Toulouse is the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km from Paris, it is the fourth-largest city in France, with 466,297 inhabitants as of January 2014. In France, Toulouse is called the "Pink City"; the Toulouse Metro area, with 1,312,304 inhabitants as of 2014, is France's fourth-largest metropolitan area, after Paris and Marseille, ahead of Lille and Bordeaux. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley, it hosts the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, ATR, SAFRAN, Liebherr-Aerospace and Astrium Satellites have a significant presence in Toulouse; the University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 103,000 students, it is the fourth-largest university campus in France, after the universities of Paris and Lille.
The air route between Toulouse–Blagnac and Paris Orly is the busiest in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers in 2014. According to the rankings of L'Express and Challenges, Toulouse is the most dynamic French city; the city was the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom in the 5th century and the capital of the province of Languedoc in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period, making it the unofficial capital of the cultural region of Occitania. It is now the capital of the second largest region in Metropolitan France. A city with unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, which earned it the nickname la Ville Rose, Toulouse counts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Canal du Midi, the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 because of its significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. Toulouse is in the south of France, north of the department of Haute-Garonne, on the axis of communication between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city is traversed by the Canal de Brienne, the Canal du Midi and the rivers Garonne and Hers-Mort. Toulouse has a humid subtropical climate, with too much precipitation in the summer months preventing the city from being classified as a Mediterranean climate zone; the Garonne Valley was a central point for trade between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic since at least the Iron Age. The historical name of the city, Tolosa, it is of unknown meaning or origin from Aquitanian, or from Iberian, but has been connected to the name of the Gaulish Volcae Tectosages. Tolosa enters the historical period in the 2nd century BC. After the conquest of Gaul, it was developed as a Roman city of Gallia Narbonensis. In the 5th century, Tolosa fell to the Visigothic kingdom and became one of its major cities, in the early 6th century serving as its capital, before it fell to the Franks under Clovis in 507. From this time, Toulouse was the capital of Aquitaine within the Frankish realm. In 721, Duke Odo of Aquitaine defeated an invading Umayyad Muslim army at the Battle of Toulouse.
Odo's victory was a small obstacle to Muslim expansion into Christian Europe, Muslims occupied a large territory including Poitiers. Charles Martel, a decade won the Battle of Tours called the Battle of Poitiers; the Frankish conquest of Septimania followed in the 750s, a quasi-independent County of Toulouse emerged within the Carolingian sub-kingdom of Aquitaine by the late 8th century. The Battle of Toulouse of 844, pitting Charles the Bald against Pepin II of Aquitaine, was key in the Carolingian Civil War. During the Carolingian era, the town rose in status. In the 12th century, consuls took over the running of the town and these proved to be difficult years. In particular, it was a time of religious turmoil. In Toulouse, the Cathars tried to set up a community here, but were routed by Simon de Montfort's troops; the Dominican Order was founded in Toulouse in 1215 by Saint Dominic in this context of struggle against the Cathar heresy. The subsequent arrival of the Inquisition led to a period of religious fervour during which time the Dominican Couvent des Jacobins was founded.
Governed by Raimond II and a group of city nobles, Toulouse's urban boundaries stretched beyond its walls to the north and as far south as Saint Michel. In the Treaty of Paris of 1229, Toulouse formally submitted to the crown of France; the county's sole heiress Joan was engaged to Alphonse, Count of Poitiers, a younger brother of Louis IX of France. The marriage became legal in 1241, but it remained childless so that after Joan's death the county fell to the crown of France by inheritance. In 1229, University of Toulouse was established after the Parisian model, intended as a means to dissolve the heretic movement. Various monastic orders, like the congregation of the order of frères prêcheurs, were started, they found home in Les Jacobins. In parallel, a long period of inquisition began inside the Toulouse walls; the fear of repression obliged the notabilities to convert themselves. The inquisition lasted nearly 4
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France. The municipality of Bordeaux proper has a population of 252,040. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Bordeaux is the centre of the Bordeaux Métropole. With 1,195,335 in the metropolitan area, it is the sixth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon and Lille, it is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" or "Bordelaises"; the term "Bordelais" may refer to the city and its surrounding region. Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry although no wine production is conducted within the city limits, it is home to the world's main wine fair and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.
The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France. In historical times, around 567 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala of Aquitanian origin; the name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city. In 107 BC, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, the Tigurini led by Divico; the Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, was killed in the action. The city fell under Roman rule around its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead, it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing during the Severan dynasty. In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414, the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.
In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Around 585, Gallactorius is fighting the Basque people; the city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 after they stormed the fortified city and overwhelmed the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force ready to engage the Umayyads outside Bordeaux taking them on in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne; the battle had a high death toll. Although Eudes was defeated here, he saved part of his troops and kept his grip on Aquitaine after the Battle of Poitiers. In 735, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudes's death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, but did not retain it for long.
The following year, the Frankish commander descended again to Aquitaine, but clashed in battle with the Aquitanians and left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745, Aquitaine faced yet another expedition by Charles's sons Pepin and Carloman, against Hunald, the Aquitanian princeps strong in Bordeaux. Hunald was defeated, his son Waifer replaced him, confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city. During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine, it was one of Waifer's last important strongholds to fall to King Pepin the Short's troops. Next to Bordeaux, Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac on a hill across the border with the Basques, where Basque commanders came over to vow loyalty to him. In 778, Seguin was appointed count of Bordeaux undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia.
They were meant to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings, who were assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes, but he was captured and executed. No bishops were mentioned during part of the 9th in Bordeaux. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England; the city flourished due to the wine trade, the cathedral of St. André was built, it was the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince, but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon, it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Château Trompette and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its wealth by halting the wine commerce with England.
In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the centre of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
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