We enjoy visiting the southwest of France and have found various Passes offered by the local tourist industry. Once when in the Perpignan area with our eldest daughter, we bought Cathar Passes featuring discounts on the many Cathar sites in Languedoc-Roussillon. We had lots of fun trying to visit all of the sites. We didn’t quite make it but had fun trying.
This past Spring we were staying in Canet and discovered the “Pass inter-sites Terre des Hommes 2010" offering discounts to Catalan sites (and many other attractions). We had a grand time trying to get as many of the discounts as possible. When purchasing tickets to the Château de Castelnou, the sales clerk laughed and announced, “Aha, professional tourists” Far from it but we don’t see any sense in paying more than we must.
Some of the sites covered by the Pass include: The Tautavel Museum of Prehistory, the Fort at Salses, the Abbeys of St. Martin du Canigou, St. Michel de Cuixà, St. Genis des Fontaines and Arles-sur-Tech, the Hospice at Ille-sur-Tet and the Orgues near Ille-sur-Tet, the Priory of Serrabona, the Ramparts and Fort Libéria in Villefranche-de-Conflent, Center of Sculpture of the Master of Cabestany, Palace of the Kings of Majorca, the Cloister at Elne, the Château of Castelnou, Château Royal of Collioure, the Fauvists Way in Collioure, the Museum of Modern Art in Cèret and several other places including wineries, olive oil mills and gardens. Virtually all the tourist sights are covered by this Pass and while the discounts are not large, they add up if you are spending a week or two in the area.
The Pass booklet has a map, a listing of all the entrance prices and the available discounts, phone numbers and web sites and a brief description of what you’ll find there. The booklet also lists facilities available to the handicapped and is in French, Catalan, English and German.
A little competition livens the idea. You have your Pass stamped at the places you visit and when you have either filled it (easy enough) or are leaving the area, put the stamped Pass in a container at the entrance to each of the sites. At the end of the season, there is a drawing and you can win prizes ranging from a holiday in the Pyrenees Orientales to games and souvenirs of the area.
The Pass is free for the asking but you don’t get your discount until the second site visit. 52 sites are covered on the Pass.
Réseau Culturel / Terre Catalane
10, rue du Théâtre
66 002 Perpignan Cedex, France
+33 (0)4 6864-9354
Fax: +33 (0)4 6873-9849
Fondest memory: Our fondest memory of Perpignan goes back 10 years. We were having lunch al fresco in the center of town across from the Hotel de Ville (city hall) and a wedding party appeared. In France civil marriages take place in the City Hall before any religious ceremony may occur. For many, the civil marriage is it although many proceed on to a church for a religious ceremony.
It was fun to eat our wonderful French lunch and watch the wedding party, the lovely clothes, the flowers, the excitement and the flash bulbs popping.
Perpignan is a pretty town and there is always something happening. Weekends downtown are particularly fun, often with Catalan dancing. Follow your ears.
Excellent service when I limped in with a rear tye soggy and full of emergency seal after a ride from the Franco-Spanish border.
Fondest memory: Even though they had plenty of work, they dropped everytihng to help a visitir out and soon had a new tyre fitted and ready to go in a short time.
1085, avenue d'Espagne
Tél : 04 68 85 17 25
Fax : 04 68 85 27 67
Le CLOÎTRE CIMETIERE SAINT-JEAN ou CAMPO SANTO
Cet édifice a été construit à l'initiative de l'abbé Guillaume Jorda entre 1300 et 1330. Le bâtiment actuel se compose de 4 galeries d'environ 54 mètres de long chacune, et abrite sur 3 côtés une série d'enfeus taillés dans le calcaire marbrier de Baixas. Les 4 galeries du cloître étaient primitivement couvertes d'un appentis de bois soutenu par des colonnes à chapiteaux sculptés. Chaque enfeu, aux formes gothiques épurées, est marqué d'écussons aux armes des riches familles de la noblesse et de la bourgeoisie perpignanaises. Un ossuaire central est creusé en 1321 pour l'inhumation des moins fortunés. Après la Révolution Française, l'édifice, dans un état sanitaire inquiétant, est désaffecté et récupéré par l'Armée pour servir d'entrepôt et d'écurie.
En 1825, on construit un nouvel édifice à l'intérieur de l'enclos de l'ancien cimetière pour la construction d'un grand séminaire diocésain. Cette nouvelle construction provoque la démolition de la galerie occidentale et le démontage des claires-voies, à l'exception de celle située au nord. En 1907, le séminaire est attribué au département, conséquence de la loi de 1905 sur la séparation des biens de l'Eglise et de l'Etat. On y installe les locaux de la gendarmerie qui évacuera les lieux en 1984 pour " une restauration et une mise en valeur du site ". En 1991, les travaux sont terminés avec le choix de la commission supérieure des Monuments Historiques de ne pas restituer les anciennes galeries du cloître cimetière médiéval.
The CLOISTER CEMETERY MIDSUMMER'S DAY or CAMPO SANTO
This building has been constructed on the initiative of abbot Guillaume Jorda between 1300 and 1330. The present building is composed of 4 galleries of about 54 - meter long each, and shelter on 3 sides a set of built enfeus in the chalky marbleworker of Baixas. The 4 galleries of the cloister were covered primitively with a sustained wood shed by columns in sculpted marquees. Every enfeu, to the purified Gothic shapes, is marked of escutcheons to the weapons of the rich families of the nobility and bourgeoisie perpignanaise. A central ossuary is dug in 1321 for the burial of least lucky. After the French Revolution, the building, in a sanitary state worrying, is closed and is recovered by the army to act as warehouse and stable.
In 1825, one constructs a new building inside the enclosure of the former cemetery for the construction of a big diocesan seminary. This new construction provokes the demolition of the western gallery and the disassembly of the claires-voies, with the exception of the one situated at the north. In 1907, the seminary is assigned to the department, consequence of the law of 1905 on the separation of goods of the church and the state. One installs the local of the state police that will evacuate the places in 1984 for " a restoration and an enhancement of the site " there. In 1991, works are finished with the choice of the superior commission of the Historic Monuments not to restore the former galleries of the cloister medieval cemetery.
L'église est fondée vers 1245, par ordre du roi Jacques Ier d'Aragon (1213†1276) au sommet du puig (colline) des lépreux, hors les murs. Par la suite, elle donne son nom à cette colline puis au quartier qui s'y développe. L'enceinte de la ville, capitale du royaume de Majorque, incorpore le quartier et l'église dans un nouveau dispositif de fortifications. L'église domine actuellement un imposant bastion de briques et pierres renforcé par Vauban. Ce lieu accueille le jardin de la Miranda duquel on a une vue admirable s'étendant de Château-Roussillon jusqu'aux montagnes des Corbières.
Une très importante découverte archéologique a été faite en l'an 2000, lors des travaux de restauration des toitures des chapelles latérales nord de l'église : il s'agit de la plus grande collection complète de poteries médiévales (XVe siècle) existant en France. Ces céramiques étaient employées comme matériau alliant solidité et moindre poids pour la construction des toitures.
The church is founded toward 1245, by order of king Jacques Ist of Aragon (1213†1276) to the summit of the puig (hill) of the lepers, out the walls. Thereafter, it gives its name then in this hill to the district that develops itself of it. The surrounding wall of the city, capital of kingdom of Majorca, incorporates the district and the church in a new device of fortifications. The church dominates an imposing bastion of bricks and stones reinforced by Vauban currently. This place welcomes the garden of the Miranda of which one has an admirable view spreading from Chateau-Roussillon until the mountains of the Corbières.
A very important archaeological discovery has been made in the year 2000, at the time of the works of restoration of the roofings of the north lateral chapels of the church : it is about the biggest complete collection of medieval potteries (XVth century) existing in France. These ceramics were used like material allying solidity and least weight for the construction of the roofings.
Le Canal du Midi, oeuvre de Pierre Paul Riquet, est classé par l' UNESCO Patrimoine Mondial de l'humanité.
The Canal du Midi, created by Pierre-Paul Riquet, is now nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sur le Canal de la Robine...
Mon Père a reçu ce Voyage sur le Canal de la Robine & Canal du Midi en cadeau, pour fêter ses quatre-vingt ans!!! Regardez le très fier Capitaine.
On the Canal de la Robine...
My father got this Trip on The Canal de la Robine & Canal du Midi in May 2001, as a present for his eightieth birthday !!!
Look at the very proud Captain.
Favorite thing: Perpignan is above all a resort city. It has hotels, inns, residences, chalets, all intended for lodging the influx of vacationers that come to enjoy the beaches. Because of this, there is a lot of activities intended for this type of crowd.Going there during the peek season is almost crazy, while you might think you found a ghost town during the off season.
If you're there in the summer months there are lots of festivals, notably 'les jeudis de Perpignan' which is live music at various locations around the city every Thursday night throughout July and August.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Perpignan is the University. I attended for one semester to learn French, and it is a great course for foreigners. I met loads of lovely people from all over the world (even though everyone still preferred to speak in English after the course! C'est la vie!)
It is at Salses, small village of the North of the Roussillon, where stand up the most beautiful example ot the military architecture of the transition, 'Le Chateau de Salses'.
At Thuir, a visit to the BYRRH cellars is mandatory.
This place houses 800 vats and casks, among them, the largest oak vat in the world, surrounded by a multi-vision show recounting the wine-producing activities.
The characteristic of this famous vat : a capacity of 1.000.200 liters and a weight of 100 tons when empty 1.100 tons when full.
Collioure, well-known for its belfry, its anchovies and for the Fauvism created by Matisse and Derain, fascinates with the mildness of its climate and the crystal-clear water of its beaches.
Banyuls, charming old fishing village, with quaint narrow streets and excellent beaches. Banyuls has a Marine Reserve, which covers 650 hectares between Banyuls and Cerbere, and makes Banyuls a great diving and snorkelling centre.
Fondest memory: I have to say that the South of France, and mainly this part, has a pure sense of authenticity.
The authenticity of people, very friendly and very generous. It is evident that they love their region and they want to share, with all of us, their love for their land.
The wine is delicious !!
The whole area is typified by a insouciant mixture of ancient and modern, from Roman temples and postmodern architecture in the cities to solar power and ancient abbeys in the mountains.
Le Castillet. I think is the best place to start your
visit to Perpignan. This big tower is the rest of the ancient walls around the city. Inside you have a tourist information office and a wonderful museum about catalan tips. Go upstairs and have a look to the
incredible view you have from all around: the Canigo,
the Mediterranean sea.....really wonderful!!!
The historical center, Perpignan is an old city with an important history. Walking along the river Têt in less than two hours you will discover all the charm of a city which was the capital of an ancient kingdom long time ago.
Fondest memory: If you want discover all the beauty of the city, go there
in autumm. Then, the colors will transmit you all the life
closed in such a bit part of France.
The big name places for beaching are Canet-Plage, Argelès-Plage, Ste-Marie-Plage and Port Barcarès.
Lots of accommodations, although not that many public beach accesses if you are just coming for a day from inland.
Favorite thing: One of my fondest memories of the south of France is visiting Collioure and the seaside towns during the day, watching the sun go down and then spending all night drinking wine by the pool. Sheer heaven!
Favorite thing: take a cofee in one of the city center 's bar.If you're lucky the sun 'll be present. But in Perpignan three's not a lot of things to do, just profit of the day.Nevertheless if you are interested on museums you can visit the Majorca kings palace, and the small casttle called'Castillet'.
Favorite thing: There was a tractor which used to run the entire length of the beach cleaning and raking the sand. The result was amazingly clean beach every day.