Perpignan Tourist Information
Perpignan is the capital of the Pyrenees-Orientales. On the River Tet, 12 kilometers west of the Mediterranean and 30 kilometers north of the Spanish border at the base of the Pyrenees (PirenËus, Pirineus, Pyrénées). Catalonia stradles the border, influencing the language and cuisine.
Perpignan became French in 1659 as the result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. During and after the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) the city received Spanish Republican refugees. After Algerian independence was conceded in 1960, it became a refuge, this time for French settlers arriving from North Africa.
The city has been a market Center for wine, fruit, and vegetables for some time. Much of the produce is grown in the rich plains on which the city is located. These plains are alluvial, blessed by the abundant sunshine and water from the Pyrenees. They are also the firthest south in all of France, Historically Perpignan provides the rest of France with the first fruit and vegetables of the year.
Outside the railway station stands a statue of Salvadore Dal. A tribute to the man who helped the tourist trade by claiming after a visionary experience that Perpignan Railway Station was the centre of the universe. Other places of interest include:
The Palais des Rois de Majorque. A medieval palace of the kings of Majorca dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. Partially restored, found in the southern part of the town. Surrounded by the bastions of a great 17th and 18th century citadel.
The Rigaud Museum contains a collection of paintings by Catalan primitive artists and by the Perpignan native, Hyacinthe Rigaud. The Castillet, a 14th and 15th century crenellated fort that once defended the principal gate in the city walls. (Rigaud settled in the Castillet)
Loge de Mer. the ancient "Lodge of the Sea" (14th-16th centuries) once housed the maritime tribunal, now houses the Venus of Maillol.
Museum of Natural History. Includes birds, butterflies, insects, and mummies. Open from 9h to 12noon and from 2pm to 6pm. Tel 04 68 35 50 87
The Cathedral of Saint-Jean. 14th and 15th century in the Gothic stryle.
The Church of Saint-Jacques (14th century)
Websites- Perpignan Tourism
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