|OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||OPQ||14:42:36|
30 times stage town - 265,000 inhabitants (Montpelliérains) Young and dynamic, Montpellier is also one of the sportiest towns in France and has many clubs playing at the highest national level, with success for MHSC, Montpellier Hérault Sport Club, French football champions in 2012 with the Montepellier Waterpolo team and MAHB, Montpellier Agglomération Handball also winning national titles. There were also excellent results for its rugby and women’s basketball teams.
In total, there are roughly 500 sports associations registered in the city whilst the ‘Sport for all ‘ programme enables everyone, from children to OAPs to take part in the activity of their choice with coaching and assistance provided.
Montpellier hosts other events that add to its appeal.
The Tour de France, which will once again hold one of its stages in the Languedoc capital is the best example.
Added to that is the South of France Open Tennis or the FISE, International Festival of Extreme Sports, the biggest freestyle sports competition in Europe.
11 times stage town – 51,200 inhabitants (Albigensians) Historic and Cultural town whose episcopal city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but that was also elected as the 2012 most sporting town in France by L’Equipe, Albi shows that it is constantly changing and that it knows how to combine heritage, modernity, research and innovation.
Every year it attracts more than 800,000 tourists that come to visit the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, the largest brick built religious building in the world, a veritable masterpiece of southern French gothic style, as well as the Palais de la Berbie that is home to the Museum Toulouse-Lautrec and its superb collection of paintings and posters by the painter who was born in Albi.
There is a continued burst of dynamism with the opening of the Grand théâtre des Cordeliers in 2014, a project designed by the architect Dominique Perrault.
This facility for contemporary architecture, the only one in the region, will place the arts at the centre of the cultural district at the heart of a town that has become the gateway for tourists to the episcopal city.
Albi cultivates the quality of life of its residents, its appeal and has more than ever before a recognised global identity.