Montpellier (UK: /mɒntˈpɛli/, US: /ˌmnpɛlˈj/, French: [mɔ̃pəlje, -pɛl-] (listen);[2][3] Occitan: Montpelhièr [mumpeˈʎɛ]) is a city in southern France near the Mediterranean Sea. One of the largest urban centres in the region of Occitania, Montpellier is the capital of the department of Hérault. In 2017, 285,121 people lived in the city, while its urban area had a population of 616,296. The inhabitants are called Montpelliérains.

Montpelhièr  (Occitan)
Clockwise from top: The Place de la Comédie, Port Marianne's lake, Lez's bank with the Montpellier Town Hall, and the Cathedral of Saint Peter.
Location of Montpellier
Coordinates: 43°36′43″N 3°52′38″E
CantonMontpellier-1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Montpellier – Castelnau-le-Lez
IntercommunalityMontpellier Méditerranée Métropole
  Mayor (20202026) Michaël Delafosse
56.88 km2 (21.96 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2018)[1]
  Rank7th in France
  Density5,100/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Montpelliérain, Montpelliéraine (fr)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
34172 /34000, 34070, 34080, 34090
Elevation7–121 m (23–397 ft)
(avg. 27 m or 89 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

In the Middle Ages, Montpellier was an important city of the Crown of Aragon (and was the birthplace of James I), and then of Majorca, before its sale to France in 1349. Established in 1220, the University of Montpellier is one of the oldest universities in the world and oldest medical school still in operation, with notable alumni such as Petrarch, Nostradamus and François Rabelais. Above the medieval city, the ancient citadel of Montpellier is a stronghold built in the seventeenth century by Louis XIII of France.

Since the 1990s, Montpellier has experienced one of the strongest economic and demographic growth in the country. Its urban area has experienced the highest population growth in France since the year 2000. Numbering 70,000, students comprise nearly one-fourth of its population, one of the highest such proportions in Europe.[4] Its living environment with one of Europe's largest pedestrian area,[5] along with its rich cultural life and Mediterranean climate, explain the enthusiasm for the city, which is nicknamed the "Gifted". Montpellier was nominated for "Best Emerging Culture City of the Year 2017" by the think tank LCD.[6] It is ranked as a Sufficiency city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.