A new future for the city
This new body was to change the city's future and give it unprecedented international influence.
The College did not have buildings of its own until the early 14th Century. Lectures were given in the Regent's residence, while consultations were held in Saint Firmin church. Contemporary engravings in the College's anatomy museum show the realities of this teaching, with scenes of dissection being carried out in front of the students.
In 1340, the University founded an anatomy course, which soon made its reputation, attracting students from all over Europe.
Some highly prestigious practitioners
Large numbers of doctors came to train in Montpellier, some of whose names have been passed down through History.
In 1556, the College was the first in France to construct a lecture theatre dedicated to the examination of corpses. In 1593, the first botanical gardens were completed. These were created by Richer de Belleval, a doctor holding the chair of anatomy and botany, and were entirely dedicated to medicinal plants. They still exist today.
Among the great practitioners who taught at the College and the famous personalities who came to study there, the most notable are Arnaud de Villeneuve, Gui de Chauliac, Nostradamus, Jean d'Alais and Petrus Hispanus, the future Pope Jean XXI. There was also Guillaume Rondelet, François Rabelais, who obtained his doctorate of medicine here, François de Lapeyronie, the King's surgeon, who treated the sovereigns of Europe and founded the Academy of Surgery, and, later, Paul-Joseph Barthez, personal doctor to Louis XVI and Bonaparte, founder of biology...
In 1795, Jean-Antoine Chaptal, professor of chemistry, established a decree attributing to the university a former monastery adjoining the Saint-Pierre cathedral. This is the current College, which houses, amongst other treasures, a library of 900 manuscript volumes, 300 works dating from the early days of printing (incunabula), 100,000 volumes printed before 1800 and all the theses from the College of Montpellier and Paris since the 17th Century.
The great lecture hall, the Henri IV building, the anatomy building and the Institute of Biology were added in the 19th Century.
Montpellier Tourist Office - 30, allée Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
34000 Montpellier - France
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