Perpignan (pĕrpēnyäNˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 108,049), capital of Pyrénées-Orientales dept., S France, near the Spanish border and the Mediterranean. It is a farm trade center, handling wine, fruits, and vegetables. It has distilleries, canneries, and factories making chocolate, clothing, paper, and toys. Tourism is also important; there is a nearby international airport, and the city is a thoroughfare for motorists going to Spain. Founded c.10th cent., Perpignan was the fortified capital of the Spanish kingdom of Roussillon. Its architecture shows much Spanish influence. Among its notable buildings are the Loge (14th cent.), built to house the merchants' exchange; the Gothic Cathedral of St. Jean (14th–15th cent.); and the castle of the kings of Majorca (13th–15th cent.), which forms part of the old citadel dominating the city.
More on Perpignan from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography