Walk between the arches of the vast aqueduct near the moated water tower in this dazzling park celebrating the glory of a monarch.
The Arc de Triomphe and an equestrian statue of Louis XIV provide a regal charm to the scenic 18th-century Place du Peyrou. The park is known for its aqueduct and neoclassical water tower, whose summit offers panoramic views of Montpellier’s historic center. Wander along the tree-lined esplanade at the park’s core and admire the various statues and gardens.
Reach the Arc de Triomphe at the eastern end of the esplanade and marvel at its sheer size. See the royal coat of arms alongside the bas-reliefs, Latin inscriptions and medallions. Guided tours are available through the tourism office, allowing you to climb up the 90 steps leading to the viewing platform at the top of the arch.
Snap photos of this triumphal arch, with the Louis XIV equestrian statue and the water tower in the backdrop. Walk through the arch and cross a narrow road to enter the park. In summer, students and visitors can be found sunbathing on the patches of grass along the esplanade.
Study the sculpture of Louis XIV with his arm raised victoriously, then continue to the Château d’Eau water tower. Spiraling stone staircases lead up to the base of this neoclassical structure, which is fronted by a partial moat. Enjoy the views of the park and the adjoining aqueduct. See the structure at night, when the undersides of its arches are illuminated in a dark blue glow.
Note that the park was constructed in 1774, when Louis XVI took the throne. It is free to enter and open to the public from early morning until midnight in summer. Expect it to close earlier in winter.
Peyrou Park is a little west of the city center of Montpellier. Walk west from the Place de la Comédie for 10 minutes to get here, passing through the Arc de Triomphe on the way. While here, explore the Saint-Pierre Cathedral, the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier botanical garden and the shops of the Rue Foch.