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6 Heritage Sites In Historic Perpignan, France


Perpignan, which is situated in the southern part of France, is a beautiful city. Historically, it can trace its roots back to Roman times, though the medieval town itself was founded around the 10th century.

It is an ideal place to visit for anyone who is interested in a holiday where learning and culture are a main focus. While planning your perpignan flights and accommodation, have a look at what you can do while you’re there.

Perpignan Cathedral

Perpignan Cathedral

Perpignan Cathedral

The construction of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was begun in the year 1324 by King Sancho of Majorca (Perpignan was, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca). It wasn’t finished until the following century, and was built in the popular Gothic style of the time. It is a perfect place to visit for anyone interested in learning how classic buildings are constructed.

The Vieille Ville

Perpignan Le Castillet

Perpignan Le Castillet

The current town of Perpignon is divided into three historical parts: the 13th century Citadelle, the 14th century Vieille Ville (old town), and the 19th century Ville Nueve (new town). Perpignan’s Old Town is grouped around the St Jean Cathedral. The Castillet was built in 1368 by King John of Aragon who needed somewhere from which to control the town as a whole. It is still intact as is it’s later fifteenth century constructed hexagonal watch tower.

The Rigaud Museum

Autoportrait au turban - Rigaud Museum

Autoportrait au turban - Rigaud Museum

A visit to the Castillet will also allow you to pay a call to the Rigaud Museum, which is situated on 16 rue de l’ange and is named after Perpignan’s own native Baroque artist Hyacinthe Rigaud. The exhibitions are housed in a beautiful eighteenth century mansion, which contains a selection of his work and many paintings by other selected Catalan artists of the medieval period. There are also works by Picasso, Maillol and Duffy, as well.

The Medieval Market

Perpignan Marche

Perpignan Market

For an enthralling day out suitable for holidaymakers of all ages, Perpignan’s own medieval market is well worth a day trip. It’s held in Campo Santo and reconstructs the town as it would have been all those centuries ago. It’s usually held at the end of September every year and is a colourful and lively event with a heavy focus on food and drink of the time, but there are also displays of working blacksmiths, basket weavers and potters.

The Museum of Natural History

Situated at 12 rue Fontaine Neuve, this wonderful place houses a permanent exhibition of rare animals and birds, some of which are now completely extinct. There is even a display of an Egyptian mummy complete with sarcophagus. The museum is completely free to visit and is open daily from 10.30am to 17.30pm.

The Lime Tree Villa

This villa was designed by the architect Dorph Viggo-Peterson and it houses a collection of coins and artefacts that are native to the region of Perpignan. For those with a serious interest in history and coin collecting, there is a specialised library of materials which can be viewed by appointment. It is a great place to visit for history students or those who take a keen interest in collecting.

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