Perpignan [ pɛʀpiɲɑ ] (in Catalan Perpinyà [ pərpiɲa ] ) is the capital of the southern French département of Pyrénées- Orientales in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and has 118 238 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011). The city lies on the Gulf of Lion, a part of the Mediterranean, on the river Tet off the Autoroute A9 (E15 ), about 70 km south of Narbonne and 30 km north of the border with Spain. Northeast of the city is the Perpignan-Rivesaltes airport, which transports 700,000 passengers per year. In terms of tourism Perpignan is one of the most popular cities in France, which is due to the Mediterranean climate, the city's old town and the bar district in the southeast of the old town.

The university town of Perpignan has many historic buildings, mainly in Gothic architecture. It is a trade center for wine and agricultural products.


Located near the border town belonged since 1172 to the Crown of Aragon, from 1659 through the Treaty of the Pyrenees to France. From 1276 to 1344 Perpinyà / Perpignan was the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, which today still bears witness to the located within a formidable fortress palace of the kings of Mallorca.

The region around Perpignan is also called Roussillon ( Rosselló in Catalan ) or Northern Catalonia (Catalan Catalunya del Nord). This area is spoken today again more catalan. Approximately 100,000 inhabitants of Roussillon speak this language that is taught in all schools.

Mayor of Perpignan since 2009, Jean -Marc Pujol of the UMP.


  • Medieval city fortification; of her remained only the tower El Castellet (Le Castillet )
  • Palace of the Kings of Majorca / Palau dels Reis de Mallorca ( Palace of the Kings of Mallorca ) from the 13th century
  • City Hall / Casa Consolar from the 14th and 17th centuries
  • Cathedral of Sant Joan Baptista / Catedral Sant Joan Baptista ( Cathédrale Saint -Jean -Baptiste ), built from 1324 to 1509, and the associated cloister cemetery historic carillon ( Amedee Bollee ); in the bell tower is a historic carillon

Good Friday Procession 2007

Station of Perpignan

The Castillet

Historical view of the Castillet of 1907

The Canigou seen from Perpignan


  • Film Institute Jean Vigo: The Film Institute Vigo in Perpignan has made particularly in the field of national and international film research on France's borders a name. The establishment of the Film Institute in 1980, which was named after the French avant-garde film Jean Vigo, goes back to the Marcel Oms 1962 launched ciné -club traditionnel de Perpignan. With the support of former Culture Minister Jack Lang, who stood up next to the quotation of French and European film productions for a general decentralization of cultural institutions in France, was the L' institut Jean Vigo next to the Centre National du Cinema (CNC) in Paris, the second most important film-cultural setting of the country.


Cities partnerships with

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Georges Bousquet (1818-1854), composer, conductor and music critic
  • Simon Fourcade ( born 1984 ), biathlete
  • Jacques François Gallay (1795-1864), horn player
  • John I (1350-1396), King of Aragon
  • Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743), portrait painter
  • Carlo Schmid (1896-1979), German politician
  • Antoine Taudou (1846-1925), music teacher, composer and violinist


The painter Salvador Dalí explained jokingly that in the formation of the Pyrenees, the Perpignan train station the fulcrum, which was, " center of the world " to which the Iberian peninsula was shooting, so there was the word " Centre du monde " to see. Since the full commissioning of the high-speed railway route to Spain of 2013, the city today is by train faster with the former capital Madrid to reach than with today's ( Paris).


On November 27, 2008, an aircraft of type A320 crashed with seven people on board ( no survivors ) into the Mediterranean. The plane crashed in front of Saint- Cyprien near Perpignan; it was started by the Airbus maintenance facility at Perpignan airport for a test flight.