Perpignan has been an important town for many years, despite being set back from the coast. Over the centuries it has been the home of the Counts of Roussillon followed by the Kings of Aragon, and later it became the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca. The fortifications were built in successive stages. First, a medieval palace and walls were built around Perpignan. In 1540, Charles V built an irregular bastioned trace around the palace, forming a citadel, and reinforced the medieval walls of the town. The town's defences were again improved in 1590, when Philip II of Spain had a hexagonal trace of arrow headed bastions built around Charles V's earlier citadel and built a bastioned trace round the town. The final stage came in 1700 when Vauban added a covered way and six demi-lunes to the citadel and farther strengthened the town's defences.
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