Perpignan

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Perpignan
Perpinyà

Flag

Coat of arms
Perpignan is located in France
Perpignan
Coordinates: 42°41′55″N 2°53′44″E / 42.6986°N 2.8956°E / 42.6986; 2.8956Coordinates: 42°41′55″N 2°53′44″E / 42.6986°N 2.8956°E / 42.6986; 2.8956
CountryFrance
RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon
DepartmentPyrénées-Orientales
ArrondissementPerpignan
IntercommunalityTêt Méditerranée
Government
 • Mayor (2009–2014)Jean-Marc Pujol (UMP) (Radical-UMP)
Area
 • Land168.07 km2 (26.28 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2120,100
 • Population2 Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code66136 / 66000
Elevation8–95 m (26–312 ft)
(avg. 30 m or 98 ft)
Website

www.mairie-perpignan.fr (French)

www.ajuntament-perpinya.cat (Catalan)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
 
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Perpignan
Perpinyà

Flag

Coat of arms
Perpignan is located in France
Perpignan
Coordinates: 42°41′55″N 2°53′44″E / 42.6986°N 2.8956°E / 42.6986; 2.8956Coordinates: 42°41′55″N 2°53′44″E / 42.6986°N 2.8956°E / 42.6986; 2.8956
CountryFrance
RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon
DepartmentPyrénées-Orientales
ArrondissementPerpignan
IntercommunalityTêt Méditerranée
Government
 • Mayor (2009–2014)Jean-Marc Pujol (UMP) (Radical-UMP)
Area
 • Land168.07 km2 (26.28 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Population2120,100
 • Population2 Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code66136 / 66000
Elevation8–95 m (26–312 ft)
(avg. 30 m or 98 ft)
Website

www.mairie-perpignan.fr (French)

www.ajuntament-perpinya.cat (Catalan)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Perpignan (French pronunciation: ​[pɛʁ.piˈɲɑ̃], Catalan: Perpinyà [pərpiˈɲa]) is a city, a commune and the capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and county of Roussillon (Rosselló in Catalan) and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries.

As of 2009, Perpignan had 120,100 inhabitants (Perpignanais, Perpinyanés) in the city proper. The metropolitan area has a total population of 300,221 as of 2009.

History[edit]

Though settlement in the area goes back to Roman times, the medieval town of Perpignan seems to have been founded around the beginning of the 10th century (first mentioned in a document as villa Perpiniarum in 927). Soon Perpignan became the capital of the counts of Roussillon. In 1172 Count Girard II bequeathed his lands to the Counts of Barcelona. Perpignan acquired the institutions of a partly self-governing commune in 1197. French feudal rights over Roussillon were given up by Louis IX in the Treaty of Corbeil (1258).

Location within the Pyrénées-Orientales département.

When James I, the Conqueror, king of Aragon and count of Barcelona, founded the Kingdom of Majorca in 1276, Perpignan became the capital of the mainland territories of the new state. The succeeding decades are considered the golden age in the history of the city. It prospered as a centre of cloth manufacture, leather work, goldsmiths' work, and other luxury crafts. King Philip III of France died there in 1285, as he was returning from his unsuccessful crusade against the Aragonese Crown.

In 1344 Peter IV of Aragon annexed the Kingdom of Majorca and Perpignan once more became part of the County of Barcelona. A few years later it lost approximately half of its population to the Black Death. It was attacked and occupied by Louis XI of France in 1463; a violent uprising against French rule in 1473 was harshly put down after a long siege, but in 1493 Charles VIII of France, wishing to conciliate Castile in order to free himself to invade Italy, restored it to Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Again besieged and captured by the French during the Thirty Years' War in September 1642, Perpignan was formally ceded by Spain 17 years later in the Treaty of the Pyrenees, and from then on remained a French possession.

Notable structures[edit]

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was begun in 1324 and finished in 1509.[1]

The 13th century Palace of the Kings of Majorca sits on the high citadel, surrounded by ramparts, reinforced for Louis XI and Charles V, which were updated in the 17th century by Louis XIV's military engineer Vauban.

The walls surrounding the town, which had been designed by Vauban, were razed in 1904 to accommodate urban development.

Place de la République and theatre
Sadi Carnot and Vauban walkways and the river Bassa

Economy[edit]

Traditional commerce was in wine and olive oil, corks (the cork oak Quercus suber grows in Perpignan's mild climate), wool and leather, and iron. In May 1907 it was a seat of agitation by southern producers for government enforcement of wine quality following a collapse in prices. JOB rolling papers are currently manufactured in Perpignan.

Transport[edit]

Perpignan is served by the Gare de Perpignan railway station, which offers connections to Paris, Barcelona, Toulouse and several regional destinations. The motorway A9 connects Perpignan with Barcelona and Montpellier. The nearest airport is Perpignan – Rivesaltes Airport.

Plane crash[edit]

On 27 November 2008 an Air New Zealand Airbus A320 leased to XL Airways Germany with seven people on board crashed into the sea 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Perpignan during a test flight.

Climate[edit]

Perpignan experiences a warm Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), similar to much of southern France.

Climate data for Perpignan 1981-2010
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)22.8
(73)
27.1
(80.8)
28.0
(82.4)
32.4
(90.3)
34.6
(94.3)
36.8
(98.2)
40.5
(104.9)
39.2
(102.6)
36.8
(98.2)
34.2
(93.6)
28.1
(82.6)
26.7
(80.1)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F)12.4
(54.3)
13.2
(55.8)
16.0
(60.8)
18.2
(64.8)
21.8
(71.2)
26.2
(79.2)
29.2
(84.6)
28.9
(84)
25.4
(77.7)
21.0
(69.8)
15.9
(60.6)
13.1
(55.6)
20.1
(68.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)8.3
(46.9)
9.0
(48.2)
11.5
(52.7)
13.7
(56.7)
17.0
(62.6)
21.4
(70.5)
24.1
(75.4)
23.9
(75)
20.5
(68.9)
16.7
(62.1)
12.0
(53.6)
9.1
(48.4)
15.6
(60.1)
Average low °C (°F)4.4
(39.9)
4.9
(40.8)
7.4
(45.3)
9.4
(48.9)
12.9
(55.2)
16.8
(62.2)
19.4
(66.9)
19.3
(66.7)
16.0
(60.8)
12.6
(54.7)
8.1
(46.6)
5.1
(41.2)
11.4
(52.5)
Record low °C (°F)−8.2
(17.2)
−11.0
(12.2)
−5.9
(21.4)
0.2
(32.4)
2.4
(36.3)
7.4
(45.3)
11.2
(52.2)
10.4
(50.7)
5.0
(41)
−1.2
(29.8)
−5.7
(21.7)
−6.3
(20.7)
−11.0
(12.2)
Precipitation mm (inches)66.2
(2.606)
50.5
(1.988)
42.6
(1.677)
58.9
(2.319)
51.2
(2.016)
24.9
(0.98)
12.8
(0.504)
25.9
(1.02)
41.3
(1.626)
75.0
(2.953)
61.1
(2.406)
59.5
(2.343)
569.9
(22.437)
Avg. rainy days5.24.74.55.95.54.13.03.94.25.15.15.356.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours147.5153.2206.2214.2240.1270.6313.9270.7217.7182.3147.7141.92,506
Source: Météo France[2]

Sport[edit]

Perpignan is a rugby stronghold: their rugby union side, USA Perpignan, is a regular competitor in the Heineken Cup and seven times champion of the Top 14 (most recently in 2009), while their rugby league side plays in the Stobart Super League under the name Catalans Dragons. The Dragons missed out on a victory as the first ever French club to make it to a Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 2007, losing 30-8 against St. Helens in front of 84,000 people.

Culture[edit]

Since 2004, every year in the last weekend of August in the Palace of the Kings of Majorca the free 3 day Guitares au Palais takes place. The festival has a broad main stream focus with pop related music as well as traditional acoustic guitar music and alternative music with international guests like Caetano Veloso (2007), Rumberos Catalans, Pedro Soler, Bernardo Sandoval, Peter Finger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (2008).

The famous "Sanch Procession" folklore, once forbidden by the Church, is still celebrated in Perpignan, Arles-sur-Tech and Collioure.

Perpignan has a close connection with the sculptor Aristide Maillol, who attended school there.

Following a visit in 1963, the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí declared the city's railway station the centre of the Universe, saying that he always got his best ideas sitting in the waiting room. He followed that up some years later by declaring that the Iberian Peninsula rotated precisely at Perpignan station 132 million years ago – an event the artist invoked in his 1983 painting Topological Abduction of Europe – Homage to René Thom.[3] Above the station is a monument in Dali's honour, and across the surface of one of the main platforms is painted, in big letters, «perpignan centre du monde» (French for "perpignan centre of the world").[4]

Perpignan street name sign in French and Catalan.

In 2008, Perpignan became Capital of Catalan Culture.[5]

In Perpignan many street name signs are in both French and Catalan.

Notable people born in Perpignan[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Perpignan is twinned with:

Partner towns[edit]

  • Spain Girona, Catalonia, Spain, since 1988
  • Spain Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, since 1994
  • Spain Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, since 1996
Perpignan train station

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cathédrale St Jean-Baptiste" [Cathedral of St. John the Baptist]. Histoire du Roussillon. Retrieved 15 November 2011.  (French)
  2. ^ "Perpignan" (in French). Météo France. Retrieved 16 January 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Elliott King in Dawn Ades (ed.), Dalí, Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004, p. 448
  4. ^ "Picture Gallery – Directory: /pix/fr/electric/emu/TGV/Duplex/misc". Railfaneurope.net. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Perpinyà, Capital de la Cultura Catalana
  6. ^ "Hanover – Twin Towns" (in German). 2007–2009 HANNOVER.de – Offizielles Portal der Landeshauptstadt und der Region Hannover in Zusammenarbeit mit hier.de. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Sarasota Sister Cities Association, Sarasota Florida". Sarasotasistercities.org. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 

External links[edit]