ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Perpignan Roussillon

Updated on December 19, 2017

Perpignan, A Charming City on the French Spanish Border

Perpignan is an enjoyable city but is somewhat overshadowed by Barcelona. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Perpignan is home to beautiful castles and palaces as well as wonderful historic village houses and buildings.

While actually in France, a good portion of Perpignan's population is of Spanish origin. The current residents are descendants of the refugees who fled to Perpignan to escape from the Spanish Civl war of the late 1930s. There are also Arabs from North Africa as well as Romany.

Perpignan France History

The height of Perpignan history was in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the kings of Majorca held their court here, and it is from this period that most of its historical interest derives.

Perpignan gets its name from a lieutenant in the Roman army, Perperna, who murdered his boss, a 1st-century general, Quintus Sertorius.

The city's heyday was in the 13th century when the King of Aragon and conqueror of Majorca, created the Kingdom of Majorca and County of Roussillon for his young son. This tiny kingdom was absorbed by the Catalan kings of Aragon in the 14th century, but prospered until 1463 when Louis XI's army besieged the town. Rather than give in, the Perpignanais ate rats until they were ordered by the king to surrender or die.

Ironically, Perpignan was given back to Spain in 1493, but in the 1640's Richelieu grabbed it back. Although there's no separatist movement among French Catalans today, their sense of identity is still very strong, evident in both the language and frequent use of the national yellow and red colours.

Palais des Rois de Majorque - Palace of the Kings of Majorca

The number one sight in Perpignan which has been the focus of the town's success and growth over the centuries is the Palace of the Kings of Majorca. This palace was used as the king's residence from the twelfth through fourteenth centuries.

Le Castillet - Casa Pairal or Catalan Museum

photo: Bertrand Rieger--hemis.fr

Le Castillet, was built as a gateway in the 14th century. It was later a prison and is now a museum. This is all that is left of the original city walls. Now housing the Casa Pairal, an interesting museum of Roussillon's Catalan folk culture, with samples of craft and religious art. The Museum is open daily except Tuesdays.

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Perpignan - St John the Baptist Cathedral of Perpignan

Begun in 1324 by King Sancho of Majorca and continued in the 15th century, the church was originally the seat of the Bishop of Elne. Since 1602 this cathedral has been the seat of the Bishop of Perpignan. The exterior walls of this imposing structure are particularly noteworthy: layers of stones from the local river bed have been squeezed in-between the brick. The Arab and Romany St Jean quarter, south of the cathedral, is packed with fourteenth and fifteenth century mansions and stately homes as well as North African shops and cafés.

Place de la Loge in Perpignan

Place de la Loge is the focus of the pedestrianised old town and home to Perpignan's most beautiful building, the Gothic Loge de Mer. It was originally the city's stock exchange and maritime court and is highly ornate with Venetian arches and loggia and a ship-shaped weathervane. Bizarrely, it is currently rented to a hamburger chain.

Next door is the Hôtel de Ville, fronted by imposing wrought-iron gates and Maillol's statue of La Méditerranée in the courtyard and the old Roussillon parliament building, Palais de la Députation.

Just to the east, is place Gambetta, site of the 14th century Cathédrale St-Jean. Inside the church are a number of elaborate Catalan pieces including the incredible Dévôt Christ, a wooden-carved crucifix depicting the agony of the tortured Christ in moving detail. One of France's oldest cemeteries is just past the chapel, Campo Santo, and is 600 years old.

Perpignan on a windy Sunday

Your thoughts on Perpignan. Have you been there?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      No, I haven't been there. Sure does look like an interesting place to visit. :)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 

      6 years ago

      Great images.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)