La Seu Vella - Old Cathedral of Lleida

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The Cathedral of St. Mary of La Seu Vella is the former cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lleida, in Lleida, Catalonia, Spain, located on top of Lleida hill.
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  1. #ES48
  2. 25002 Lleida, Spain
  3. +34973230653
  6. Working hours*:
    Tuesday - Sunday:
    10:00 - 19:30
    Monday - closed
  7. Prices*:
    Seu Vella + Castle of the King combined admission €6
    Reduced admission € 5
  8. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
  9. 41.6180930, 0.6268730 Copy to clipboard Copy

In 1707, the Gothic cathedral was turned into a military citadel by decision of King Philip V of Spain. The new cathedral, known as the Seu Nova (New See) and located downhill at Carrer Major, was consecrated in 1781.

Nevertheless, the Seu Vella is the defining monument of Lleida, the symbol of the city, being visible from its hilltop site anywhere in the city.


The site was previously occupied by a Palaeo-Christian and Visigothic cathedral, which later, after the Islamic conquest of Spain, was rebuilt in 832 to be used as a mosque. In 1149, after the city's conquest by the Christian Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona and Ermengol VI of Urgell (1149), the structure was reconsecrated as "Santa Maria Antiqua", and entrusted to canons regular.

In 1193, however, the cathedral chapter ordered the construction of a new edifice, following the contemporary Romanesque architectural canons, to master Pere de Coma. The first stone was laid in 1203 by King Peter II of Aragon and count Ermengol VII of Urgell. Construction continued throughout the reign of James I of Aragon. It was consecrated to the Virgin Mary on 31 October 1278. The cloisters not were completed until the 14th century. The bell tower was begun in 14th century and finished in 1431. The portal Porta dels Apòstols begun in the 14th and completed in 15th century.

In 1707, the city was conquered by the troops of Philip V: the king ordered the destruction of the cathedral because it has taken a prominent part in the city's defense. Nevertheless, the order was never executed, and the cathedral was converted into barracks. The building was declared a national monument in 1918, and restoration works were started in 1950.

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