Perpignan is a town truly like no other, with a mixture of
cultural influences which include Catalan, Romany and North African, and is the
last city in Languedoc you?ll meet before coming to the Spanish border. Easy to
reach with its own airport, the town is recommended by locals and visitors
alike as one of the best places in the region to sample local foods and wines,
lined with palm-lined squares and interesting architecture.
Formerly a capital of the Kings of Majorca and the Counts of
Roussillon, Perpignan wasn?t recognised as French territory until 1659, and by
then had developed to become a prominent cloth-making centre. Recently, the
city has become home to several Moroccans and Algerians, who have fled their
homelands to escape repression, adding another cultural flavour to the mix.
From royal buildings to local delicacies, there?s plenty to
experience in Perpignan. Below are just five suggestions:
Palais des Rois de Majorque: Perpignan?s most famous
landmark, this palace was originally the residence of the king between the
twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Today, the gardens and the courtyard of this
imposing citadel are still equally as impressive, and are a must-visit while in
Cathédrale Saint-Jean has served Perpignan as the town?s cathedral since 1602,
and is renowned for its interesting architecture. If you look at the
cathedral?s exterior walls, you?ll notice that layers of stones from the local
riverbed have been laid in between the brick.
The Saint-Jean Quarter is possibly the most eye-catching area of town, with
each narrow lane lined with splendid and extravagant mansions and stately
Jardin de Sant-Vicens:
These pretty gardens found on Rue Sant-Vicens are full of colourful and exotic
orange trees and oleanders, and are also a great place to browse for
locally-made ceramic pots and textiles.
Roussillon snail shop: Trying snails, or escargot, is something you definitely
need to tick off your checklist while visiting France, with this store in the
Place de la Republique perhaps the best-known store in the city. Here you can
buy your fresh snails and herbs all in one place to rustle up the quintessential
If you?re looking for somewhere to retreat to after a day of
exploring Perpignan, visit our website to book a luxury Languedoc villa today.
Image: Jorge Franganillo,
available under Creative Commons
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