Perpignan, a city of S. France, capital of the department of Pyrenees-Orientales, on the right bank of the Tet, at its confluence with the Basse, 6 m. from the Mediterranean, 34 m. S. of Narbonne, and 425 m. S. by E. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 27,378. It commands the S. E. entrance to France from Spain by the Pyrenees, and is strongly fortified with a wall and fosse, and commanded by a citadel with a double line of defences. In character the city is Spanish. Its streets are narrow and dirty, and the houses are semi-Moresque, with wooden balconies and inner courts. Over the Basse there is a bridge of a single arch, and one of seven arches over the Tet. Most of the publio buildings date from the Spanish period, and are built of brick or rolled pebbles. In the building of the former university, an institution of the 14th century which was abolished by the revolution, is the public library, containing 18,000 volumes. The city has a fine cathedral, a theological seminary, a high school, a botanic garden, two hospitals, manufactories of woollen cloth, lace, leather, soap, and soda, and a considerable commerce in red wines, liqueurs, brandy, oil, silk, wool, iron, and cork. - Perpignan belonged with the province of Roussillon to the kingdom of Aragon, but was taken by the French in 1475, after being reduced by famine.
Restored to Spain, it Avas again conquered in 1642, and finally included in the cession to France of Roussillon in 1659. The Spaniards were defeated by the French under the walls of the city in 1794.