In the southern extremities of France, just 31 mi from the Spanish border, close to the azure hues of the Mediterranean and with the Pyrenees offering protection at its doorstep, is the Catalan city of Perpignan.
Although the town prospered under the kings of Aragon, who set up court there, it did not come into French hands until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. However, rather than French or Spanish, Perpignan is above all Catalan.
The town asserts its identity through its language and cuisine, as well as celebrating many traditional festivals.
Although it is Catalonia's second city after Barcelona, Perpignan is nevertheless a dynamic, modern city, as shown by the recent opening of its high-speed TGV station and the town's Technosud hub. However, Perpignan is also a picturesque and very colourful town, praised passionately by Dali; it is full of signs of everyday life life, with its shops, pedestrian streets, markets selling herbs, spices and olive oil, gushing fountains and avenues shaded by plane trees and palms.
From their position in front of the town hall, Maillol's sculpted figures seem to invite you to enjoy the town's homely tranquillity.