Welcome in Perpignan!
In Perpignan, appearances can deceive in many respects. As the administrative centre for the eastern Pyrenees, the city’s origins are firmly rooted in the Condado of Barcelona and the kingdoms of Aragon and Majorca. So it’s no surprise that in places it feels more Spanish than French. Perpignan is proud of its Catalan identity. Don’t be surprised if you see the Catalonian flag (red and yellow stripes) fluttering all over the city.
Discover Perpignan by starting from the Place de la Loge. This square forms the historical heart of the city. Surrounded by alleyways paved with pink marble, you will find the Loge de Mer here, built during the 14th century to house the Bourse des Marchands stock exchange and the Maritime Consulate. To one side you will also find the city hall and the Palais de la Députation.
The Palais des Rois de Majorque, meanwhile, takes up an entire quarter of the old city. With its archways, royal chapels adorned with frescoes and its earthenware, this huge palace makes no secret of its Spanish and Moorish influences.
Le Castillet is home to the Casa Païral Museum, devoted to Catalan art and traditions. The Rigaud Museum has works on show by Perpignan artist Hyacinthe Rigaud, as well as paintings by Dufy and Picasso and sculptures by Aristide Maillol.
Having soaked up as much culture as this, head for one of the local restaurants to enjoy some Catalan specialities with one of the locally-produced Côtes du Roussillon wines.