For just a short time in the medieval period Perpignan was a European powerhouse. The Roussillon city just in from the Mediterranean was the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, and during these years it was bestowed with its characteristic russet-coloured medieval monuments made with bricks.
The old quarter is scattered with vestiges from this chapter, like the Palace of the Kings of Majorca or the menacing Castillet, which controlled traffic into this nexus of maritime trade. Now, Perpignan has a Catalan personality; many people speak the language, and you can tell from the architecture, food and culture than you’re at the meeting point between historical nations.
Lets explore the best things to do in Perpignan:
1. Palais des Rois de Majorque
The Kingdom of Majorca didn’t control Perpigan for much more than 70 years, from 1276 to 1349, but you can still see the mark it made on the city.
The palace occupies a large elevated space to the south of Perpignan’s old centre, and was built to be the seat of power for the entire kingdom.
It was started at the end of the 1200s and fuses romanesque and later gothic architecture.
The Cour d’Honneur courtyard with two tiers of galleries is marvellous, as are the chapels and the Great Hall where the court was held.
Every August the spacious courtyards and gardens welcome an event that reveals Perpignan’s Iberian soul: The Guitares au Palais runs for three days and puts on live guitar performances by flamenco, classical, pop and jazz artists.