A little history of Montpellier arc de triomphe

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The arch - ©Fritz Geller-Grimm / CC-BY-SA The arch - ©Fritz Geller-Grimm / CC-BY-SA
Montpellier arc de triomphe Arch Louis XIV

This Doric arch celebrates Louis XIV's victories and conquests. Designed by Dorbay, king's architect D'Aviler started the work in 1691. City of Montpellier spend 11 850 livres for it.

Also known as porte du Peyrou ("Peyrou's gate"), because the arch is near the entrance of the Peyrou promenade, you can see two low-relief representing the revocation of the Edict of Nantes with the inscription extincta heresi, but also the junction of Mediterranean and Atlantic sea by Languedoc's canal, with the caption junctis oceano et Mediterraneo maris. Artist Philip Bertrand, who was born in Montpellier, made these sculptures.

In front of the arch, here's the Peyrou royal place, a broad esplanade with its Sun King's statue. A little further, the famous water tower. Did you know the former statue, made in Paris in 1692, get to Montpellier in 1718 after several adventures? It crossed France, from Le Havre to Bordeaux, then fell into the river Garonne... Revolutionaries finally found the statue in 1793. The current Louis XIV dates back to 1838.


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