The administrative seat of the Hérault département and of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the city of Montpellier itself boasts 250,000 inhabitants, while the greater urban area has a population of more than 500,000. In the later Middle Ages, Montpellier was a major Mediterranean port. The city centre contains a large number of hôtels particuliers dating from the eighteenth century. The undeniable charm of the urban setting owes much to the prosperity of the city during these periods.
In this ancient university town, famous for its medical faculty-the oldest in the world in continual operation since the Middle Ages – Montpellier has also been an administrative and commercial centre for centuries, with-medical research and teaching in the health sciences occupying a central place. The city is currently second in France in terms of demographic expansion, and first in the proportion of students in higher education to total population. Situated ten kilometres from the Mediterranean and its beaches, Montpellier is little more than an hour by plane and a little over three hours by TGV (Train Grande Vitesse) from Paris (a direct TGV line runs from Charles de Gaulle airport to Montpellier).
The Congress will be held in the Corum, a large conference and concert complex, situated at one end of the Esplanade, in the city centre’s pedestrian zone. Accomodation in the universities residence halls are available for seven nights at very reasonable prices. Three levels of comfort are proposed to Congress members. All of the residences have been recently renovated, and most are on or near the new tramway line.