Perpignan pĕrpēnyäN´ [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.
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