Perpignan 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.
In 2013 Perpignan had 118,238 inhabitants (Perpignanais, Perpinyanés) in the city proper. The metropolitan area had a total population of 305,837 in 2010.
Notable structures The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was begun in 1324 and finished in 1509.
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.
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.
Since 2004, the free three-day Guitares au Palais is held each year in the last weekend of August in the Palace of the Kings of Majorca. The festival has a broad mainstream focus with pop-related music as well as traditional acoustic guitar music and alternative music. The festival has attracted international guests like Caetano Veloso (2007), Rumberos Catalans, Pedro Soler, Bernardo Sandoval, Peter Finger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (2008). Perpignan has a close connection with the sculptor Aristide Maillol, who attended school there.
The famous "Sanch Procession" folklore, once forbidden by the Church, is still celebrated in Perpignan, Arles-sur-Tech and Collioure.
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. 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").
In 2008, Perpignan became Capital of Catalan Culture.
In Perpignan many street name signs are in both French and Catalan.
Villemolaque is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.