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Port-Vendres

(4.5/5 based on 420+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: parks, wineries, museums
Port-Vendres is a commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.A typical Mediterranean fishing port, situated near the Spanish border on the Côte Vermeille in south west France, Port-Vendres is renowned for its numerous fish and sea food restaurants.HistoryPort-Vendres has been in existence since Iron Age times, when it was used as a harbour connected with the Iberian settlement of Illiberis (modern Elne). It was later developed by the Romans, who called it Portus Veneris after the goddess Venus; there was probably a temple of Venus nearby for the good fortune of mariners. During the Middle Ages, Port-Vendres was expanded by the rulers of the Kingdom of Majorca and served as a key point of connection between the mainland and the Balearic Islands. It passed to France along with the rest of Roussillon in 1659, as a result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. Vauban carried out work to fortify the port between 1673 and 1700, building three redoubts and fortresses.Under Louis XVI, a major expansion of the port was carried out under the supervision of Count Joseph Augustin De Mailly d'Haucourt, the lieutenant general for Roussillon and commander in chief of the province. He was the driving force behind the modernisation of Port-Vendres as a port, and followed plans originally conceived by Vauban to open up and enlarge the existing facilities. From 1776–78, land was dug out and quays were created. A fourth fortress, the Redoute Mailly, was also built at this time to guard the harbour.
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