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The Castillet

The Castillet
The Castillet
The Castillet illuminated
The Castillet illuminated
The Castillet seen from Quai Vauban
The Castillet seen from Quai Vauban
The Castillet or "Little Castle" was built between 1368 and 1370 in order to reinforce the defences of the town and to provide a stricter control of the access of the Notre Dame gateway. It became a state prison for those opposed to the treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) and from 1870 used as a home for soldiers. Latter it housed the local archives before finally becoming the museum of the history of northern Catalonia. It has remained unchanged since then, despite subsequent modifications and the destruction of the ramparts together with the adjoining bastion. With the colour of the baked bricks and the original form of the machicolations. It is the proud emblem of Perpignan La Catalane.

For Many years a rumour abounded that Louis XVI, the son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, had died in the Castillet. During the renovations a cell was found behind a heavy door and had been walled over to conceal it. When opened the builder found the remains of a child, that unfortunately turned to dust once contact was made with the air. It was naturally assumed that they were infact the remains of the young prince. This story goes back to 1946 and was only officially denied in the year 2000 following a DNA test. As to the identity of the body found in the Castillet, the mystery still remains.
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