Le Perthus

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Le Perthus
View from the Fort de Bellegarde. To the right the Spanish village of Els Límits
View from the Fort de Bellegarde. To the right the Spanish village of Els Límits
Coat of arms of Le Perthus
Coat of arms
Le Perthus is located in France
Le Perthus
Le Perthus
Coordinates: 42°27′54″N 2°51′48″E / 42.465°N 2.8633°E / 42.465; 2.8633Coordinates: 42°27′54″N 2°51′48″E / 42.465°N 2.8633°E / 42.465; 2.8633
Country France
Region Languedoc-Roussillon
Department Pyrénées-Orientales
Arrondissement Céret
Canton Céret
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Albert Chiscano
Area1 4.27 km2 (1.65 sq mi)
Population (2011)2 578
 • Density 140/km2 (350/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 66137 / 66480
Elevation 196–647 m (643–2,123 ft)
(avg. 280 m or 920 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Le Perthus[1] (French pronunciation: ​[lə pɛʁtys], Catalan: El Pertús, IPA: [əɫ pərˈtus]) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Inhabitants are called Perthusiens and, as of 2011, there were 578 inhabitants.


See also: Els Límits

Le Perthus is situated in the canton of Céret (arrondissement of Céret), in the historical region of Vallespir, on the borders with Catalonia, Spain. Its contiguous Spanish twin town, Els Límits (a parish of the commune of La Jonquera, in the Province of Girona), is situated in the east and south side of the urban area. Also part of the main road, Avenue de France, is in both France and Spain; and its eastern side (in Els Limits) is named Avinguda de Catalunya.[2] Out of the main road, in which is situated the checkpoint (totally on the Spanish side), the other principal roads are Rue du Fort de Bellegarde (panoramic hill road to the fortress), Carrer del Dalt, Rue du Mas Rimbau, Calle del Correc (binational) and Rue de l'Eglise. It lies 6 km (4 mi) from La Jonquera, 14 km (9 mi) from Céret, 28 km (17 mi) from Figueres, 34 km (21 mi) from Perpignan, 64 km (40 mi) from Girona and 161 km (100 mi) from Barcelona.

Map of the twin villages 
Map of Le Perthus and its surrounding communes 


The name appears as Pertusium in 1306 and as Lo Pertus in 1343. Its origin is from the Latin pertusum meaning an opening in the mountain.[3]

The name in Catalan is El Pertús.[4]



Le Perthus is a border town, partly in Spain and partly in France, situated on the Route Nationale RN9. The frontier passes through part of the main street. The Spanish part is almost entirely devoted to the sale of alcohol, tobacco and other goods which are considerably cheaper than in France, resulting in the town being crowded with bargain hunters from France. In earlier times it was a convenient centre of contraband.

Places of interest[edit]

Fort de Bellegarde is located on a hilltop above Le Perthus.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ (French) INSEE commune file
  2. ^ (Spanish) Map, pictures and infos on "Fronterasblog"
  3. ^ (French) Jean Sagnes (dir.), Le pays catalan, t. 2, Pau, Société nouvelle d'éditions régionales, 1985, ISBN 2904610014
  4. ^ (French) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Université de Perpignan, Nomenclàtor toponímic de la Catalunya del Nord, Barcelone, 2007