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Elne

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Occitanie  /  Pyrenees-Orientales  /  Elne
Elne is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.It lies in the former province of Roussillon, of which it was the first capital, being later replaced by Perpignan. Its inhabitants are still called Illibériens in reference to the city's Iberian name, Illiberis, one that it shared with the Illiberis that became Granada, Spain.HistoryElne, from the heights of its fortified site, dominates the narrow plain of Roussillon between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. Numerous archeological researches have shown that the surrounding countryside has been occupied since Neolithic times. Elne was an Iberian oppidum or fortified town. Elne is the oldest town in Roussillon and since it is situated on the way towards the Iberian peninsula, successive civilisations have left their traces. The first mention of Illiberis occurs in the history of Livy (xxi.24): it was the Iberian city at which Hannibal pitched camp having crossed the Pyrenees in 218 BCE, where he negotiated with the assembled Gaulish chiefs his safe passage through their territories on the way to Italy. In the first century CE, however, it was no more than "a modest vestige of a hitherto great city" (Pliny).
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