Founded in the 10th century, Perpignan's varied roles have included serving as the capital for the Dukes of Rousillon and the capital for the medieval Kingdom of Majorca. Although it has been part of France ever since about 1659, its proximity to Spain has resulted in Perpignan's citizens at times being under Spanish rule, then French, then Spanish . . . and the blending of these cultures can be seen throughout the city. Salvador Dalí felt that he got his best ideas while thinking in the city's railway's sitting room. And while few visitors might agree with his declaration that Perpignan's railway station is the centre of the universe, the city is beautiful indeed, even on a brisk and chilly day in May.