Promenade du Peyrou, Montpellier
Situated at the North of the City it is where the aqueduct brought water into the town. Being French, it doesn't look like a water building at all, more a work of art. It's called teh Chateau d'Eau. The Promenade is a wide open space with some trees and benches where you can stroll and people watch as much as you like. There were a couple of stray dogs playing in the area, I watched for a good half hour to see if the owners appeared but no. A group of school children stopped nearby to have lunch and a rest and some of the more energetic boys started playing run and chase with the dogs. It was a lot of fun to watch, but as the school group prepared to leave, the dogs became quite upset as they realised that their playmates, now part of the pack, weren't staying.
The statue on horseback is Louis XIV.
At the depth of the Promenade of Peyrou stands the chateau d'eau a most elegant structure and a nearby is the eastern end of the 880 m long aqueduct, a most unexpected creation, carrying into the city the waters for the town. Just as surprising is the Corinthian Temple which acts as a reservoir at this point with its handsome shape.
At the center of the Promenade there is immense equestrian statue of Louis XIV dressed as a Roman Leader directing his Legions, set at the highest site in the city. However, although the statue was begun by d'Aviler, it was only finished in 1776 by Giral, when it was put in place.
What better way to spend your time in Montpellier than by taking a stroll through Esplanade du Peyrou, a large open space lined either side with trees that provide welcome shade from the powerful summer sun.
As you enter the esplandade, your eyes will focus on the statue of Louis XIV, just in the middle of the square, and on a monument opposite to the entrance. It will look like a fountain, but it actually is an old aqueduct, called Chateau d'Eau (Water Castle) dating back to 1768. It still provides water to the fountains of Montpellier. The view from here is breath-taking.
Starting from the Water Castle, the aqueduct continues for 880m, with an impressive structure made up of 53 arks: Les Arceaux, form which the surrounding area takes its name.
An impressive market is held under the arks on Sundays, with an abundance of fresh, local produce. There's plenty of choice and it's always bustling without being too crowded.
Laid out in 1689 by d'Aviler, the Promenade's two tiers of terraces were built at Montpellier's highest point to provide an impressive setting for festivals and a commemorative equestrian statue of Louis XIV.
On a cloudless sunny day, of which there are many in this part of the world, you can see the Pic Saint Loup and the foothills of the Cevennes.