History

HISTORIC ROUTES

TERRE CATALANE / 22 SITES
From the man of Tautavel to Picasso
Tel 04 68 22 05 07

PREHISTORIC ROUTES
LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON
Tautavel, Esperaza…
Tel 04 67 22 81 00

VIA DOMITIA
LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON
Ancient roman road
Tel 04 67 22 81 00

ROMAN ART
LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON
roman and baroque art, retable art, paintings, frescos, statues…
Tel 04 67 22 81 00

CATHAR CASTLES
AUDE
Tel 04 68 11 66 00

BAROQUE ITINERARIES
ILLE-SUR-TET
Tel 04 68 84 83 96

CANAL DU MIDI
UNESCO WORLD PATRIMONY
Tel 04 67 22 81 00

RENDEZ-VOUS DU PATRIMOINE
ROUSSILLON
roman, gothic and baroque art …
Tel 04 68 96 22 96

SOME DATES

400 BC
This part of the mediterranean coast is occupied by ibero-celtic and celtic tribes, the Volques.
According to the Latin authors, the Volques lived in the upper part of the plain and the valleys whereas other celtic tribes, the Sardones, settled in the plain, more precisely around Chateau-Roussillon and Elne.

218 BC
Hannibal and his armies cross the Pyrenees with the agreement of the local population whose cities they respect in return.

120 BC
Ruscino becomes a roman colony. It is part of narbonnic Gaul with Narbonne as the capital. However, the Volques and the Sardones preserve their traditions, their costumes and their language.
The roman occupation continues until 409. Some cities flourish, especially Elne which is entirely rebuilt in place of the old town Illibéris, and which is renamed by Helen, Constantine’s mother. In those days, Elne was a coastal town whose ramparts were washed by the sea and who traded all over the Mediterranean (Mare Nostrum)

about 450
The region is occupied by successive waves of Barbarians (Vandals, Suèves …). In 475, the Visigoths chase the Barbarians. They keep the region with Toledo in Spain as their capital until 715.
In 675, the diocese Elne is the seat of a very important bishopric.

718
The Saracens, who are the masters of Spain, drive the Visigtohs back and take over the region. Narbonne becomes an important fortress and remains so even after the Battle of Poitiers in 732 when Charles-Martel beats the Saracens. In 759 Pepin the Short finally takes the fortress and expels the Saracens for good.

720-1100
After Charlemagne’s death, the Counts of Roussillon and Barcelona proclaim their independancy. Under their reign, which lasts for more than three centuries, the region suffers the horrors of foreign wars (Saracens, Norsemen) as well as a civil war. In 1098, the Church declares a truce of God, without much of a success.

1258
A treaty between Louis XI and Jacob I, brings the territory under the spanish rule. In 1262, Perpignan becomes capital of the Kingdom of Majorca on the continent. Agriculture and commerce flourish whereas insecurity is reduced to the country. Perpignan becomes an important literary center.

1260-1495
The rivalry between the spanish monarchs results in a series of wars in which the kings of France take part. This goes on until 1475, when Perpignan falls into the hands of Louis XI after a long siege. In 1495, Castillia and Aragon together form the kingdom of Spain and Ferdinand the Catholic and Isabella of Castillia make their entry in Perpignan, bringing with them the iron fist of the Spanish Inquisition.

1495-1659
Under the reign of Phillipe II of Spain, the Roussillon is the prey of misery, the Plague and religious persecution. The hatred against Spain grows and after a number of unsuccessful uprisings which are being crushed in blood by the spaniards and a very painful siege of Perpignan, Louis XIII takes the city in 1642. The Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 brings the Roussillon and thirty-three villages of Cerdagne under the french crown.
Until the french revolution, the Roussillon finally lives in peace, except for the odd army which is passing through.

1793-1795
Spain declares war on revolutionary France. The Roussillon lives two years of unceasing war until September 1794, when the french army takes away final victory.