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Perpignan City Monuments

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Among the Perpignan’s many monuments a must see is the Saint Jean Baptiste Cathedral.
It is a massive edifice built on the site of the oldest church of Perpignan from which only few elements are still standing.
The first church was built in the 11th century and was consecrated on the 16th of May 1025. According to the legend it was in the Saint Michel chapel of this church that Saint Dominique met Saint Francis d’Assisi in 1211.
The new church was built during the time when Perpignan was the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, more precisely its first stone was laid in 1324.
Due to political and social events that followed the construction continued slowly during in the 14th and the 15th centuries and the new church was consecrated only on the 16th of May(!!) 1509 and in 1601 the church is elevated to the status of cathedral.
The cathedral was enlarged and renovated many times throughout the centuries.
The entrance and the clock tower date from the 18th century and the stained glass windows from the 19th century.
The Castillet, now a Catalan art museum, was initially built as the main entrance in the fortified town that Perpignan was at the time, in 1368, right after the fall of the Kingdom of Majorca, under the King Pedro IV of Aragon. It is now a symbol of Perpignan.
The City Hall was initially built in the beginning of the 14th century when Perpignan was ruled by an administrative body of 5 consuls. One looking attentively at the front wall of the building will see... 3 arms extending just bellow the second level front windows. These 3 wall sculptures signify the division of the Perpignan population during the middle ages in "major arm", representing the rich inhabitants who had the right to elect 2 consuls, "average arm" representing what would be now considered the middle class, also represented by 2 consuls, and the "minor arm" representing the poorer citizens who were supposed to elect only one consul to represent them.

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