A definitive and comprehensive article about the south of France’s Languedoc Roussillon region will not be complete without talking about an unusual piece of trivia. The region’s Perpignan train station was once declared to be the ‘center of the universe’ by the infamous surrealist painter Salvador Dali in the 1960’s.
This outrageous claim actually goes some way towards describing the character of the region. This region has served as a sanctuary for countless artists who have found inspiration, illumination and epiphany in the different cities of the area which is situated in the somewhere in the middle of Spain’s northern border, France’s Southern France, The Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.
So there you have it, the philosophical and textbook locations of Languedoc Roussillon in a nutshell. However, it’s not always that simple. The relative truth is that Languedoc Roussillon is many things to many people depending on where they’re from, what they do, who they are and what they believe.
For wine connoisseurs, Languedoc Roussillon is the place to celebrate with samplings of famous full bodied red wine. For art lovers, poets, painters and musicians, Languedoc Roussillon is a nurturing cradle of inspiration. For tourists, place of never- ending awe and wonder. And let’s not forget about the retirees who discovered a long time ago this ‘the other South of France’ that is Languedoc Roussillon where you can have a taste of paradise a la Cote d’Azure but none of the astronomical expense.
But before all these happened, Languedoc Roussillon was in ancient times a place of conflict or domination depending on which Majorcan king you owed allegiance to. The faithful and religious folk have had their time as well, as evidenced in the almost ubiquitously famous old churches, castles, monasteries or what have you. If you are into histories, you will surely appreciate the rich pasts and blended stories preserve in the folk songs and poems celebrated in festivities from time to time. It has been said that it is quite a difficult task which civilization really had the most influence in the place because of the various blends of Spanish – Catalan and French influences whose vestiges of cultures can be found and felt even to the present. The Catalan influence can be felt strongest in the Pyrenees Orientales department and it is pretty common for Spanish students to come and rent apartments for sale near Perpignan for their summer vacation.
Looking for and finding Languedoc is therefore a relative adventure. Meaning the next time you hear somebody say they’re going to the south of France, it means experiencing so many things at the same time being a student of history of sorts. But more importantly, if you humor me a bit for waxing philosophical but in looking for Languedoc Roussillon, chances are that you will find yourself.