La Seu Vella cathedral in Lleida
La Seu Vella cathedral in Lleida
Flag of Lleida
Coat of arms of Lleida
Coat of arms
Lleida is located in Catalonia
Location of Lleida within Catalonia
Lleida is located in Spain
Location of Lleida within Spain
Coordinates: 41°37′00″N 00°38′00″E / 41.61667°N 0.63333°E / 41.61667; 0.63333Coordinates: 41°37′00″N 00°38′00″E / 41.61667°N 0.63333°E / 41.61667; 0.63333
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Catalonia
Province Lleida
Comarca Segrià
Founded 6th century BC
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Angel Ros i Domingo (PSC)
 • Municipality 211.7 km2 (81.7 sq mi)
Elevation 155 m (509 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Municipality 138.416 hab.
 • Metro 250,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 25001-25007
Dialing code 34 (Spain) + 973 (Lleida)
Official language(s) Catalan, Spanish
Website Official website

Lleida (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈʎɛjðə], locally: [ˈʎejðɛ] ; in Spanish, Lérida) is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain, capital city of the province of Lleida.

Geographically, it is located in the Catalan Central Depression. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants. It is also the capital city of the Segrià comarca, as well as the largest city in the province. It had 137,387 inhabitants as of 2010, including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs.

Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period. Until the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for an Iberian people, the Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus. It was reconquered in 1149, after being many centuries under the rule of the Moors, who had conquered the town in the 8th century. In 1297, the University of Lleida was founded, becoming the third oldest in the whole of Spain. During the following centuries, the town was damaged by several wars such as the Reapers' War in the 17th century and the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. Since then, the city has been in a constant urban, commercial and demographic growth.


It is a traditionally Catalan-speaking town and province, with a characteristic dialect (known as Western or, more specifically, North-Western Catalan, or colloquially lleidatà). Most of the population is actively bilingual in Spanish.


In ancient times the city, named Iltrida and Ilerda, was the chief city of the Ilergetes, an Iberian tribe. Indíbil, king of the Ilergetes, and Mandoni, king of the Ausetanes, defended it against the Carthaginian and Roman invasions.

Under the Romans, the city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, and was a place of considerable importance, historically as well as geographically. It stood upon an eminence, on the right (west) bank of the river Sicoris (the modern Segre), the principal tributary of the Ebre, and some distance above its confluence with the Cinga (modern Cinca); thus commanding the country between those rivers, as well as the great road from Tarraco (modern Tarragona), the provincial capital, to the northwest of Spain, which here crossed the Sicoris.[1]

Its situation[2] induced the legates of Pompey in Spain to make it the key of their defense against Caesar, in the first year of the Civil War (49 BCE). Afranius and Marcus Petreius threw themselves into the place with five legions; and their siege by Caesar himself (Battle of Ilerda), as narrated in his own words, forms one of the most interesting passages of military history. The resources exhibited by the great general, in a contest where the formation of the district and the very elements of nature seemed in league with his enemies, have been frequently extolled; but no epitome can do justice to the campaign. It ended by the capitulation of Afranius and Petreius, who were conquered as much by Caesar's generosity as by his strategy.[3] In consequence of the battle, the Latin phrase Ilerdam videas is said to have been used by people who wanted to cast bad luck on someone else.

Under the Roman empire, Ilerda was a very flourishing city, and a municipium. It minted its own coins. It had a fine stone bridge over the Sicoris, (the bridge was so sturdy that its foundations support a bridge to this day). In the time of Ausonius the city had fallen into decay; but it rose again into importance in the Middle Ages.[4]

It was part of Visigothic and Muslim Hispania until it was conquered from the Moors by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149.

It used to be the seat of a major university, the oldest in the Crown of Aragon, until 1717, when it was moved by Philip V to the nearby town of Cervera. The University of Lleida is nowadays active again.

During the Reapers' War, Lleida was occupied by the French and rebel forces. In 1644 the city was conquered by the Spanish under D. Felipe da Silva.

Lleida served as a key defense point for Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, and fell to the Insurgents, whose air forces bombed it extensively, in 1937 and 1938. The November 2, 1937 Legion Kondor attacks against Lleida became especially infamous since they were aimed to the school known as Liceu Escolar de Lleida. 48 children and several teachers died in it that day, 300 people were killed on the November 2 bombings altogether, and the town would be bombed and sieged again in 1938, when it was conquered by Franco's forces.[5]

After some decades without any kind of population growth, it met a massive migration of Andalusians who helped the town undergo a relative demographic growth. Nowadays it is home to immigrants of 146 different nationalities.[6]

During 2007 Lleida was the year's Capital of Catalan Culture.[7]


Lleida has semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with Mediterranean like precipitation patterns.[8] Winters are mild and foggy though cooler than places on the coast while summers are hot and dry. Frosts are common during winter although snowfall can occasionally fall, averaging 1 or 2 days. Precipitation is low, with an annual average of 369 millimetres (15 in) with a peak in April and May and another peak in September and October.

Climate data for Lleida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.3
Average low °C (°F) 1.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 26
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 4 3 4 5 6 4 2 3 4 4 4 4 46
 % humidity 81 70 61 58 58 54 51 56 63 71 79 83 66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 116 167 226 248 279 313 348 313 250 200 137 96 2,685
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia[9]

Districts and neighbourhoodsEdit

Lleida is divided in the following districts by the Observatori Socioeconòmic de Lleida:

  • Balàfia
  • Les Basses d'Alpicat
  • La Bordeta
  • Butsènit
  • Camp d'Esports
  • Cap Pont
  • Centre Històric
  • Ciutat Jardí
  • Humbert Torres
  • Instituts-Templers
  • Joc de la Bola
  • Llívia
  • Magraners
  • Mariola
  • Pardinyes
  • Príncep de Viana-Clot
  • Rambla Ferran-Estació
  • Secà de Sant Pere
  • Torres de Sanuí
  • Universitat

Communications and transportEdit

Lleida-Pirineus train station
Lleida-Alguaire airport


Lleida is served by the RENFE, Spanish state railway's Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line, serving Barcelona, Zaragoza, Calatayud, Guadalajara, and Madrid. Lleida has a new airport opened in January 2010, and a minor airfield located in Alfès. Also, the town is the western terminus of the Eix Transversal Lleida-Girona, and a railway covering the same distance (Eix Transversal Ferroviari) is currently under planning.

Lleida's only passenger railway station is Lleida Pirineus. It is served by both Renfe and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya train lines. In the future a Rodalies Lleida commuter network will connect the town with its adjacent area and the main towns of its province, improving the existing network with more train frequency and newly built infrastructure. A second railway station is Pla de la Vilanoveta in an industrial area, and only used by freight trains. A future railway museum will be located in its facilities.[10] Since 2008 the bulk of public transport of the Lleida's surrounding area, mainly buses operated by several companies, is managed by Autoritat Territorial de la Mobilitat de l'Àrea de Lleida.


The urban buses, coloured yellow with blue stripes and owned by Autobusos de Lleida, include the following lines:

  • L-1 Interior
  • L-2 Ronda
  • L-3 Pardinyes
  • L-4 Mariola – Parc cientific i tecnologic
  • L-5 Bordeta
  • L-6 Magraners
  • L-7 Secà
  • L-8 Balàfia-Gualda
  • L-9 Hospitals
  • L-10 Exterior
  • L-11 Llívia-Caparrella
  • L-11B Llívia-Caparrella-Butsenit
  • L-12 C.Històric-Universitat
  • L-13 Cappont
  • L-14 Agrònoms
  • L-P Polígons
  • L-17 Bordeta-Ciutat Jardí
  • L-18 Palau de Congressos- Rambla de la Mercé
  • L-19 Butsenit
  • L-N Wonder (Regular night service)
  • L-Bus Turístic (tourist bus)
  • L- Aeroport
  • L- Llotja

In addition to these, there's a tourist bus and a regular night service to nearby clubs.

Lleida-Pirineus airportEdit

Lleida has depended long time on nearby airports and had no local air transit. Lleida-Alguaire airport opened in 2010.

Future and planned servicesEdit

A tram-train system is pending approval. Using an existing but outdated passenger line, it would link Balaguer and Lleida, crossing both towns in a much-needed move towards better public transportation, both inner-city and between localities.[11][12][13]


Auditori Municipal Enric Granados

Theatre and music venuesEdit

Auditori Enric Granados is the town's concert hall and main music institution and conservatory. It is named after the composer Enric Granados, who was born there. Lleida's newest venue is La Llotja de Lleida, which opened with Verdi's Il trovatore. CaixaForum Lleida (formerly known as Centre Cultural de la Fundació La Caixa) includes a concert hall.

Teatre de l'Escorxador, located in a former slaughterhouse, is the town's main theatre. It includes a concert venue, Cafè del Teatre. Teatre Principal de Lleida is used for very different events. Antares is a jazz bar hosting regular live acts. La Boîte and Stones, two clubs, also offer concerts.

Music festivalsEdit

There are two important music festivals in Lleida; MÚSIQUES DISPERSES Folk Festival, taking place during the whole month of March[14] and the jazz festival JAZZ TARDOR in November. Concerts are also a regular fixture of the two local feasts, Sant Anastasi in May, and Sant Miquel in September.


CaixaForum Lleida is the usual venue for film-related events and screenings. A Latin-American cinema festival is held yearly in the town (Mostra de Cinema Llatinoamericà de Lleida), and an animation film festival called Animac also takes place there every May.

Art and museumsEdit

The Lleida Museum opened in 2008 and displays historical artefacts and works of art from various periods. The Institut d'Estudis Ilerdencs, a historically relevant building, exhibits both ancient and contemporary art. The Centre d'Art La Panera is a recently opened contemporary art institution. The Museu d'Art Jaume Morera displays a collection of art from the 20th and 21st centuries (as well as artwork by its namesake). Lleida has a number of small municipal galleries, such as Sala Municipal d'Exposicions de Sant Joan or Sala Manel Garcia Sarramona, and several institutions dedicated to local artists, such as Sala Leandre Cristòfol (containing artwork by the renowned sculptor and painter Leandre Cristòfol (1908–1998) or Sala Coma Estadella (dedicated to the renowned sculptor and painter, Albert Coma Estadella (1933–1991). There are, of course, a number of private art galleries, such as Espai Cavallers. The private foundation CaixaForum Lleida and the Public Library of Lleida also offer regular exhibits. The now defunct Petite Galerie was an innovative and influential gallery in the 1970s.

Higher education in the arts in Lleida is to be found at the EMBA (Escola Municipal de Belles Arts, i.e. Municipal School of Fine Arts).

Traditional cultureEdit

Traditional celebrations include Festa Major (the main, annual town festivity), L’Aplec del Caragol (escargot-eating festival, the biggest in the world of this sort, held at the Camps Elisis since 1980), and Fira de Sant Miquel.

The main traditional celebrations in Lleida are chaired by the twelve emblematic "Gegants de la Paeria" (Giants of the Town Hall), the two oldest made in 1840.

Lleida was the Capital of Catalan Culture in 2007.

The Giants of Lleida in front of the Paeria


Lleida's most popular[citation needed] bars and clubbing area is informally known as Els Vins. Els Vins Vells, as the oldest part of the quarter is called, has experienced serious decay during the 2000s (decade) and most venues in the area are currently closed, with buildings being demolished. Els Vins Nous, on the other hand, an architecturally newer and more upscale area, has largely replaced it. Most big clubs in Lleida, such as Wonder or Cotton, are located outside the town, and are not easily accessible without a car, even though on Saturdays night, there is a bus until Wonder. Also Larida (biggest discothèque in Catalonia) and Excess are big dancing clubs, and they are inside the city.

People from LleidaEdit

The following names are sorted by fields of endeavour and alphabetically.


  • Albert Coma Estadella (1933–1991) – artist and sculptor
  • Antoni Abad (Lleida, 1956) – artist (painting, photography, video-art)
  • Neus Buira Ferrer (Lleida, 1967), artist
  • Leandre Cristòfol (Os de Balaguer, 1908 – Lleida, 1998) – artist, pioneer of Surrealist sculpture in Catalonia
  • Enric Crous Vidal (Lleida, 1908 – Noyon, France, 1987) – artist, draftsman, typographer and graphic designer, part of the avant-garde from Western Catalonia
  • Miguel Ángel Gallardo – underground comic book artist, especially known for his controversial comic series Makoki, published in the Spanish magazine El Víbora.
  • Àngel Jové (Lleida, 1940), conceptual artist
  • Jaume Morera (1854–1927) – Artist
  • Ton Sirera (Barcelona, 1911 – Lleida, 1975), photographer (avant-garde, abstract, artistic photography), based in Lleida


  • Pere de Coma (?, Lleida – 1220) – 13th-century architect who worked on the Seu Vella
  • Adolf Florensa – architect, urban planner who worked for various governments during the 20th century directing the restoration of Ciutat Vella in Barcelona.


  • Francisco Palau y Quer (Aitona, Lleida 1811 - Tarragona 1872) - Padre Carmelita.
  • Àngel Carmona Ristol (Lleida 1924– Barcelona 1997) – Catalan writer, dramatist and theatre director.
  • Pep Coll (born 1949) – Catalan writer, novelist
  • Carles Hac Mor (Lleida, 1940) – Catalan poet, writer, conceptual artist.
  • Txema Martínez Inglés (Lleida, 1972), Catalan writer, poet, literary critic, journalist, translator and philologist.
  • Dolors Miquel (Lleida, 1960) – Catalan poet
  • Rosa Maria Molló (Lleida, 1963), Catalan journalist.
  • Imma Monsó (Lleida, 1959), Catalan writer, novelist
  • Manuel del Palacio (Lleida, 1831 – Madrid, 1906), – journalist and satiric poet
  • Josep Pernau – journalist, satirist (born 1930)
  • Alexandre Plana (Lleida, 1889 – Banyuls, 1940), literary critic and poet.
  • Aleix Renyé (Lleida, 1955) – Catalan journalist, actor and writer, as well as radio host. Working in Northern Catalonia
  • Màrius Torres – Catalan Symbolist poet (1910–1942)
  • Josep Vallverdú (born 1923) – writer
  • Salvador Vázquez de Parga – essayist, comic book historian (born 1934)
  • Celia Viñas (Lleida, 1915 – Almería, 1954), Catalan and Spanish writer, poet.

Cinema, Performing ArtsEdit

  • Txe Arana (Lleida, 1972) – actress and TV host, Catalan TV personality
  • Jaume Balagueró – film-maker (born 1960)
  • Javier Galitó-Cava[15] – actor, dancer born in Barcelona but raised in Lleida for most of his childhood years. He resides in the US since 1989.
  • Mari Pau Huguet – Catalan TV personality, TV3 host.
  • Mercè Mor – dancer.
  • Jaume Ulled – stage actor (born 1978)


  • Enrique Granados (Lleida, 1867 – English Channel, 1916) – Romantic composer
  • Lo Parrano (Enric Pubill Parrano), famous singer and composer of "garrotins", the typical gypsy / flamenco music from Lleida
  • Lorena, singer, winner of the 5th series of Spanish Fame Academy, Operación Triunfo.
  • Ricard Vinyes (Lleida, 1875 – Barcelona, 1943) – classical pianist and composer

Scientists, ScholarsEdit

  • Josep Lladonosa – historian (1907–1990)
  • Joan Oró – biochemist whose research has been of importance in understanding the origin of life, received several international honours for his work. (1923–2004)

Politicians, Public Figures, Revolutionaries, etcEdit

Religious Scholars, Religious LeadersEdit

  • Francesc Claverol – 18th century religious scholar, author of De ineffabile misae sacrificio y Libellum de Adventu Anti Christi.

Sportswomen, SportsmenEdit

  • Dani Andrada, One of the world's strongest climbers
  • Joan Capdevila – (born 1978) football player.
  • Albert Costa (Lleida, 1975) – tennis player, olympic contestant in 2000, winner of the 2002 French Open
  • Saúl Craviotto Rivero (Lleida, 1984) – canoeist, gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • Sergi Escobar (Lleida, 1974) – cyclist, World Champion Individual Pursuit in Melbourne (2004), two bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
  • Kílian Jornet Burgada (born 1987), ski mountaineer, long-distance runner, mountain biker and duathlete
  • Bojan Krkic – (born 1990) football player.
  • Carles Puyol – (born 1978) football player.
  • Araceli Segarra (Lleida, 1970) – mountaineer, mountain climber (as well as illustrator of children's books, occasional model, speleologist, etc.), has climbed Everest several times, among other peaks, received Royal Order of Sports Merit bronze medal granted in 1997, co-stars in the IMAX documentaries / expeditions "Everest" (1996) and "Everest: Conquering Thin Air" (2007, to be aired in 2016), among other films and documentaries.



Main sightsEdit

River Segre in Lleida
Príncep de Viana Bridge, by the Navarran engineer and bridge designer, Javier Manterola Armisén (Pamplona, 1936)
  • Seu Vella, a cathedral built in a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles over time, and made a military fortress in the 18th century. There is also an older, and mostly destroyed Palau de la Suda, built during Arab rule and later used as a royal residence by the Counts of Barcelona and Kings of Aragon. Both medieval buildings are situated over the so-called Turó de la Seu, a medium-sized hill that overlooks the town.
  • Seu Nova, the baroque cathedral, in use since Bourbon rule. It was burnt during the Spanish Civil War by the anarchists commanded by Durruti.
  • Institut d'Estudis Ilerdencs, used to be a hospital (Antic Hospital de Santa Maria) built in Gothic style, but today is a historical museum and research centre open to visitors, with historically significant artworks and artefacts from the Iberian, Roman, Arab, medieval and modern times, as well as an exhibit area usually showcasing contemporary local artists.
  • La Paeria, the city council and also a historical site with remains and artefacts from Roman times through to the Moorish rule, Mediaeval and Modern times, including old prison cells.
  • Gardeny is a hill hosting a fortress built between the 12th and 13th centuries. Used by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages after the area (a fifth of the town) had been granted to them by King Ramon Berenguer IV.
  • The gardens known as Camps Elisis, already used by the Romans. The Mermaid Fountain is a nice piece.
  • La Mitjana, a park at the edge of town with wilderness areas adjacent to an old dam on the river Segre.
  • Les Basses d'Alpicat, a park. It is currently closed, awaiting reforms.
  • Church of Sant Llorenç, a 12th-century Romanesque church with 15th-century Gothic additions. The interior is well preserved.
  • The Bishop of Lleida's Palace on Rambla d'Aragó, which also serves as an art museum displaying pieces spanning from Romanesque to Baroque times.
  • El Roser, a 13th-century convent built by the Dominican Order. It hosted a fine arts academy of the same name and has recently been controversially reformed and turned into a parador (a luxury hotel using a historical location).
  • Lleida Public Library, on Rambla d'Aragó, in the building previously known as La Maternitat, a mid-19th century orphanage.
  • Museum of Lleida, opened in 2008, and owned by the Diocese of Lleida focusing on the town's history. Some of the artefacts it contains, which come from areas historically belonging to the diocese but not currently part of the province of Lleida's territory and jurisdiction, have been the object of contention with the neighbouring dioceses and the government of the autonomous community of Aragon.
  • Sala Cristòfol, a museum devoted to the works of the avant-garde sculptor Leandre Cristòfol.
  • Sala Mercat del Pla, an art gallery.
  • Museu d'Art Jaume Morera, an art museum displaying art from the 20th and 21st centuries in a modernist building.
  • Centre d'Art de la Panera, a small contemporary art institution.
  • Museu de l'Aigua, in the Parc de l'aigua.
  • Auditori Enric Granados, Lleida's foremost concert hall. Next to its basement and on public display are some ancient ruins.
  • La Llotja de Lleida, a concert hall, theatre, opera and congress hall opened in 2010.
  • Parc de l'aigua, urban park in the southern neighborhoods.


Lleida has been always a city with great sport tradition. Probably the most famous sport at the present time is basketball, because the club of basketball of the city a few years ago ascended to the ACB, being the revelation team in the league, this caused a lot of boys and girls to become fond of this little well-known sport.

Sister citiesEdit

University of Lleida

Lleida has sister relationships with many places worldwide: [16] [17]

References in cultureEdit

The city is the subject of the Catalan folk song La Presó de Lleida, "The prison of Lleida", which was already attested in the 17th century and may be even older. It is a very popular tune, covered by many artists such as Joan Manuel Serrat.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Antonine Itinerary pp. 391, 452.
  2. ^ To quote Julius Caesar, "propter ipsius loci opportunitatem", Commentarii de Bello Civili i. 38.
  3. ^ Julius Caesar Commentarii de Bello Civili i. 38, et seq.; Florus iv. 12; Appian, B.C. ii. 42; Velleius Paterculus ii. 42; Suetonius Caes. 34; Lucan, Pharsal. iv. 11, 144.
  4. ^ Strabo iii. p. 161; Horat. Epist. i. 20. 13; coins, ap. Florez, Med. ii. pp. 451, 646, iii. p. 73; Théodore Edme Mionnet, vol. i. p. 44, Suppl. vol. i. p. 89; Sestini, pp. 161, 166; Eckhel, vol. i. p. 51.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Noves sl. primavera-estiu 2005. El repte dels plans pilots per a l'impuls del coneixement i l'us de la llengua catalana: del coneixement a l'ús social, per Dolors Solà". .gencat.net. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  7. ^ e-barcelona.org. "Lleida se estrena como capital de la cultura catalana durante 2007 :: e-barcelona.org :: Fòrum de Cultura, democratitzem la democràcia". e-barcelona.org. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Lleida
  9. ^ "Valores climatológicos normales: Lleida (Periodo: 1971-2000)" (in Spanish). Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ "El Museu del Ferrocarril de Lleida s'ubicarĂ a l'estaciĂł de la Vilanoveta". Bondia.cat. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  11. ^ http://www.transportpublic.org/images/pdf/20100118-balaguer1.pdf
  12. ^ "CCOO de les Terres de Lleida. – El tren-tram, transport de futur per a l'àrea de Lleida – www.ccoo.cat/lleida". Ccoo.cat. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  13. ^ "Responsables de Ferrocarrils de Cataluña visitan el TRAM para llevar el modelo a Lleida y Manresa". elperiodic.com. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  14. ^ musiquesdisperses.com
  15. ^ javiergalitocava.com
  16. ^ "Viles agermanades – Lleida – Perpignan la Catalane". mairie-perpignan.fr (in French). Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  17. ^ "INFO POINT EUROPA. Ajuntament de Lleida.La UE i Lleida". infopoint.paeria.es (in Catalan). Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  18. ^ "SegriЯ. "La presз de Lleida", romanу". Xtec.cat. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 

External linksEdit

Last modified on 6 April 2014, at 09:19