The medieval center of Perpignan stands out for the importance and interest of its monuments. We will take a quiet walk through its streets, to discover those essential places that you cannot miss if you visit this French city. Can you come with us?
The Castillet, one of the jewels of the medieval center of Perpignan
It is one of the most important monuments that you can visit in the medieval center of Perpignan. It was built in the fourteenth century commissioned by Juan I de Aragón. It has two parts: the large and the small Castillet.The Castillet
Raised in reddish brick, It represents a type of military architecture unique in its kind.It stands out especially for the battlements, the canecillos and the "torratxa", with its Moorish decoration. A curiosity: in some points its walls are 3.5 meters wide.
On the other hand, the castillet It served in ancient times as a city gate and as a state prison. Here the common law criminals and the detained soldiers were collected. Today it houses the Catalan Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions.
Palace of the Kings of MallorcaPalace of the Kings of Mallorca
It is important to know that Perpignan was capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca for some years, specifically between 1276 and 1344. This is the reason that another of its treasures is this beautiful royal palace.
It is a fortress palace of medieval origin and Gothic style. It is organized around three courtyards and during the visit you can visit some of its dependencies, admire its overlapping chapels and climb the tribute tower. By the way, from it you will enjoy magnificent views of the city.
Perpignan CathedralPerpignan Cathedral - Jorge Franganillo / Flickr.com
The cathedral of San Juan Bautista de Perpignan was built between 1324 and 1509. It shows a Gothic style, with only one ship. Inside you have to admire the altarpiece of the main altar, the neo-Gothic stained glass windows or the Holy Christ of the 14th century.
The cathedral has a magnificent organ. It has more than 5000 tubes, which makes it the largest in France.
The temple hides another treasure, the royal sepulcher. There is the tomb of Sancho I of Mallorca, king of Mallorca, count of Roussillon and Cerdanya and promoter of this cathedral. The sepulcher, with a reclining sculpture, is the work of the Spanish sculptor Frederic Marès.
Church of San Juan el Viejo and Camposanto
Next to the cathedral is the building of the church of San Juan el Viejo. It was the first parish of Perpignan. The temple is Romanesque and, although today it is closed, we can delight our view with the Romanesque sculptures of the portico.
And right next to it is the Cemetery. Built in the 14th century, Its importance lies in the fact that it is the only cloister-cemetery in all of France. It has four galleries and several Gothic porches.
Lonja de Perpignan and town hallFish market of Perpignan
Follow the models of the fish markets of Palma de Mallorca or Valencia, that is, we talk about a construction of the Mediterranean civil Gothic. It is another example of the ancient splendor of this beautiful French city.
It was built in the 14th century and performed the functions of consulate of the sea and stock market. It was later transformed into a theater and, already in 1842, the coffee from France was installed there.
The fish market of Perpignan is located in the Plaza de la República, as well as other buildings of great interest, such as the Hotel de Ville. The town hall was built between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries and it is another beautiful example example of the roussillon architecture. It is worth admiring your Wedding Hall.
Other places of interest in the medieval center of Perpignan
The city has many other attractions, it is the case of the old palace of the Diputación, from the XV century. A century later the Xanxo House would rise, in which you can see a beautiful frieze in which the seven capital sins and hell are represented.
It is also worth seeingr the Municipal Theater, an old Jesuit college. And finally, we mention the Pams Hotel, a 19th century mansion with sumptuous interior decoration.