A short guide to Perpignan

The Old Town of Perpignan with the Castillet

Old Town ©bortescristian/Flickr

The historic town of Perpignan is located in the south of France. This city is known for its medieval architecture and its many markets, including the Marché aux Puces vintage market.

The ancient city is located at the foot of the Pyrénées, near the junction of the Basse and Têt rivers. This medieval town has many narrow cobbled streets, stone buildings and many shops. Most of the food sold in the local markets is produced in the region, including fruit, vegetables and wine. So here is a short guide to Perpignan to help you start planning your trip.


The Old Town of Perpignan

In the center of the Old Town visitors will find the Place de la République, the city’s main square. Slightly north of the square is the Castillet, an ancient fortified town gate which is the city’s symbol. The Casa Peiral is located there, a large museum dedicated to Catalan folk art and traditions.

The Old Town of Perpignan with the Castillet

The Old Town with the Castillet ©bortescristian/Flickr

The city has many churches which are filled with art and carved statues. The Cathedral of St. Jean is one of the city’s main landmarks, a cathedral that incorporates the ancient structure of the Romanesque church of St Jean le Vieux with the more recent features of an organ gallery and a white marble altar. Next to the doorway there is a chapel known for its carved crucifix, the Dévot Christ.

Near the Castillet is the Loge de Mer, which used to be the Exchange and Maritime Court. The bronze sculpture of Venus is located near the building. Another nearby palace is the Palais de la Députation.

Museums in Perpignan

The Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud is one of the city’s main art museums. In the museums visitors will find many paintings by Rigaud, Picasso and Tintoretto. Another main museum is the Museum of Natural History, where there are several exhibitions dedicated to Southern France.

The Musée d’Avions du Mad Palegry is a museum dedicated to aviation. There is a Mirage, a Republic Thunderflash and more than 250 model aircraft.

Square with cafes in Perpignan, Southern France

Perpignan square ©Alberto Perdomo/Flickr

The Perpignan Citadel was built in the shape of a star. The outer walls are known for their views of the town. In the center visitors will find the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, built in the medieval style. The courtyard is decorated with Gothic arcades. The parish church, located in the Citadel, is the Church of Sainte Marie la Réal.

Festivals and Coast

Perpignan celebrates several festivals. The Perpignan Roussillon is a Mediterranean Festival which fills the region with concerts and other cultural events.

The coast at Perpignan, France

Perpignan waterfront ©1st4FrenchProp/Flickr

Visitors will be able to explore the region of Roussillon. The coast, Côte des Perpignanais, is located a short distance away from the city. Port Barcarès and Port Leucate are two of the main ports and resorts.

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