Hôtels Particuliers information
Lonely Planet review
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Montpellier's wealthier merchants built grand hôtels particuliers, often externally quite sober but with resplendent inner courtyards (mostly, alas, closed to the public). The most important houses are marked by a descriptive plaque in French.
Just off place Pétrarque, the Hôtel de Varennes is a medieval building given a smart Renaissance makeover, which now contains the city's small history museum, the Musée du Vieux Montpellier .
A short walk south on rue Jacques Coeur is the 17th-century Hôtel des Trésoriers de France , home to the Musée Languedocien . Just west is the Hotel St-Côme , a suitably grand building for the city's Chamber of Commerce.
Further west near the Cathédrale St-Pierre is the early 17th-century Hôtel de la Vieille Intendance , built during the reign of Louis XIII for the queen mother and his niece Marie Louise d'Orléans (coloquially known as 'La Grande Mademoiselle'). The house was later occupied occupied by the city's intendant (governor), the philosopher Auguste Comte and the Sète-born poet Paul Valéry.