Why the first Sunday of the month is a great time to visit Montpellier

Stuck for something to do on Sunday? You shouldn’t be. As many of you probably know, on the first Sunday of the month museums and art galleries across France throw open their doors and let everybody in for free. Montpellier is blessed with many free things to do anyway but for one day a month the choice is even wider. Here’s a selection of the best places to visit.

Musée Fabre 

After a €61m renovation in 2007 Montpellier has an art gallery befitting of its status as an up and coming cultural hub in France. The four-year renovation process added a new gallery to the old Hôtel de Massillian that was converted into Musée Fabre back in the 1820s. Local artist François-Xavier Fabre triggered the creation of the museum by donating works and other philanthropists soon followed. It is these donations that gave the gallery the collection of paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters that complement its core of French works. Among the collection are wealth of excellent works by lesser known names which more than compensate for the lack of truly household name artists. The museum also hosts several temporary exhibits throughout the year and is a stunning building in its own right.

Site archéologique Lattara

As well as being a museum of archaeology, the Musée Henri Prades in Lattes is one of the biggest training and research centres in Southern France. It stands on Lattara, the site of an ancient Roman port and houses a large collection of pottery found there as well as the only known artefacts with Etruscan forms of writing in France. A half hour trip to the end of tram line 3 followed by a 10-15 minute walk will get you there if you don’t have access to a car.

Musée de la pharmacie

Back in the heart of the Ecusson, the Pharmacie et Chapelle de la Miséricorde is a shining example of the long history that Montpellier shares with the medical fraternity. It consists of two rooms dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries and houses many rare pots and other artefacts.

 

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