Illibéris, the initial name of Elne, has been a land of unparalleled historical wealth since antiquity.
The XNUMXth century cathedral, a majestic vestige of the ancient episcopal city, is visible from the sea and dominates the plain. Its cloister brings together a succession of medieval and Gothic sculptures in a luxuriant flowering of original themes.
Fortified walls, towers, city gates and its fascinating historic district… Here, everything refers to the rich and unique past of the former capital of Roussillon!
A city full of history and legends…
The Illiberian city can be proud of a majestic heritage. Numerous archaeological excavations have delivered the secrets of men who lived there for nearly three millennia. Immerse yourself in its glorious past by discovering the must-see sites that are the pride of its inhabitants: The Romanesque cathedral and the fascinating cloister which sit enthroned on the "Upper Town", the Etienne Terrus Museum, as well as Swiss maternity, a place of life and hope between 1939 and 1944…
From the Balaguer gate, be sure to take your eyes on a journey while enjoying the magnificent panoramas of the surrounding mountains and the Canigou, sacred summit of the Catalans!
Want to dive into history, 27 centuries old?
Enjoy our guided tours which in season will make you discover the historical nuggets of the Upper Town. These are also superb architectural feats!
Do you prefer a self-guided tour? The treasure hunt " Elne, step by step: Between legends and truth! » on the app BALUDIK is made for you. Advance step by step, through the legends and historical truths that have marked this city with a glorious past.
Whatever formula you choose, enriching discoveries guaranteed!
The landscapes of Roussillon by Etienne Terrus…
Undisputed master of watercolour, the painter Etienne Terrus (1857-1922), born and died in Elne, counted among his friends many brilliant artists such as Maillol, Matisse and Derain.
Terrus did not belong to any school or tendency. However, the influence of the Fauves is very clear in his last paintings. He transcribed with art the landscapes and the luminosity of Roussillon.
The Museum, dedicated to this illustrious character, who unfortunately left too young, reflects the post-Impressionist and Fauvist influence of that time.
Focus on the Garden of Arts and Crafts
A small green setting in the very heart of the fortified city, invites you to stroll to discover artists from all walks of life who will fascinate you with their works and sublimate your taste buds!
On your way, wander through the maze of the old town to meet the glassblowers or the restorer of works of art.
Elne, the maritime!?
Often overlooked, Elne has its own beach just a few minutes from the heart of the city! Escape to the Mas Larrieu Nature Reserve, ecologically rich and diversified with the double influence of the Tech and the Sea. Different species of trees, plants and insects, in particular dragonflies, will dazzle you up to the mixed and wild beach of the Tech Jar. The fine sand over approximately 700 m welcomes textiles on one side and naturists on the southern part, near the beaches of Argelès-sur-Mer.
When the white butterfly announces spring...
Le "Butterfly Tropic" transports you into immersion in the natural environment with hundreds of butterflies in total freedom. Thus, in this biotope, the temperature, humidity and luminosity see hundreds of butterflies from Asia and Latin America hatching, as well as numerous species of plants. Outside, the bamboos filter the light giving an air of labyrinth. Benches, ponds and gazebos punctuate the course to relax and observe... it's fascinating!