Favorite thing: In "Rue Droite" (Strait Street), the main shopping street the belfry, 42 meters high is what remains of the ancient castle of the Viscounts of Millau. The lowest part was built on a square pattern in the XIIth century. In the XIIIth, it was sold to a middle-class family. The city buys it in august 1613 for 4000 "livres Tournois" (pounds) to build on it a watch tower. this top was built on an octagonal pattern in 1615 and was 50 m high. On july 29th 1811, a thunderstorm knocked down the spire which was replaced by a terrace. From the top, the sight is superb on the city and surroundings.
Favorite thing: The covered market was designed by Baltard, built at the end of the XIXth century and open on january 1st 1899. It is an example of the most modern architecture of that period, based on steel structures such as the Eiffel tower in Paris and as the now destroyed ''Halles'' of Paris, also designed by Baltard.
As the Halles in Paris were called ''le Ventre de Paris'', these covered market are called ''Le ventre de Millau''. They are one of the few remaining samples of this architecture.
The sign says :
Au Coeur des aménagements Haussmaniens du Millau de la belle époque, les Halles sont le symbole toujours vivant du modernisme de la fin du XIXe siècle.
Le Ventre de Millau
Favorite thing: On some of the older doors coats of arm are carved. This one has a rose at the bottom and stars in various places. I don't know its meaning and to whom it belongs. This is not the coat of arm of the city of Millau which is "D'or à quatre pals de gueules, au chef d'azur chargé de trois fleurs de lis d'or".
Favorite thing: At one end of the square, flowers are presented. We visited Millau in Spring and the plane trees had not yet many leaves, which does not matter much as the sun does not yet burn too badly. In Summer, fortunately, the market place will get shade from the trees and the flowers will keep well.
Favorite thing: You can go out of the market of Place Foch by another covered passage. Millau, though only at 350 m elevation, can be pretty snowy. In Winter, these passages give a protected environment that allows to go from one house to another and to avoid the snow.
Favorite thing: The covered market is now too small. Many booth are installed outside. Early in the morning, this baker, cooking traditional "boules" (bowl) of bread has set is tables right in front of the main entrance into the covered market. They smell sooo goood !
Favorite thing: Many booths are on the nearby square (Place Foch). On the other side of the Place, they sell fresh fruits and vegetables. On this side they sell dried fruits and spices of every kind. They are all loose and sold by weight. It is much less expensive than what is packaged !
Favorite thing: There are many vaulted passages in Millau. This vaulted passage, not allowed for cars, leads to Place Foch and Place Emma Calvé where every Wednesday and Friday morning, the market is held, both in the open and in the covered market.
Favorite thing: I wondered what was that artwork sitting by the side of the covered market, in front of the School of Music. I learnt from a small sign that the pupils from the neighboring elementary school had carved it. They had also painted the wall behind.
Favorite thing: The entrance into the school of music is in the modern glass building. The old buildings of its surrounding and the covered market reflects themselves on the glasses, which makes a "melting pot" of ancient and modern architecture !
Favorite thing: This picture shows the inside of the covered market of Millau (les Halles). From the inside, one can see better the iron structure of the building with its thin and delicate iron columns that support the roofing structure.
Favorite thing: When the school of music had to be extended, the architects have associated the ancient building, on the left of the picture with the most modern glass design, on the right. The result is very harmonious.
Montpellier le Vieux is a natural park with a lot of rocks. It looks like ruins of an antique city.
No link with the city of Montpellier.
Fondest memory: Open from March to November (9AM to 6PM or 7PM on July & August)
The park has a little train (3 euros)
Favorite thing: Fruits, delicatessen, etc... You can find anything for dinner, in and outside the covered market. As it is often the case, the covered market is the kingdom of retailers ,while outside, mainly producers are installed.