While it might be the least known city in Catalunya, that doesn’t mean Lleida doesn’t have have a lot to offer. A charming city with beautiful architecture ranging from the time of the Romans through the Gothic era and up until Modernism’s appearance, Lleida is definitely a place for those of you who want to get to know true Catalunya. Seldom visited by tourists from outside of Spain, it’s a city that is considered a uniquely Catalan in its culture and in the ways of its people.
On a visit to Lleida, our first recommended stop is at the Cathedral known as Seu Vella (pictured at right), which sits atop of a hill in the middle of the city. This church features Roman details but before the time of the Romans was a mosque.
Another standout is the Ayuntament or City Hall, which is fine example of Medieval Catalan architecture. You might also want to visit the Enric Granados auditorium, not specifically for the architecture of the building but to have a look at the arqueological items that were unearthed when the auditorium was being built, now housed in a museum.
We also recommend the Municipal Theatre “Del Escorxador”, work of modernist
Francesc de Paula Morera i Gatell, which is perhaps the most exemplary Modernist building in the city. In 1984 the theatre was restored and has now returned to its former glory.
Lleida is also home to beautiful parks and nature within the city. A perfect example is the Camps Elisis Natural Park, located in the Cappont neighborhood on the eastern side of the Segre River. This lovely park is divided into sections which resemble French and English parks. You can also relax in the Parque de la Mitjana (pictured at left) which located at the entrance to the city. This park maintains an ecosystem representative of the lower Mediterranean forests.
For dining, we recommend La Pergola, located in a old estate home in the residential section of the city. The cuisine is Catalan “de autor”, made with the highest quality ingredients and the restaurant’s wine list is impressive. Expect to spend about 50 euros per person for dinner (Gran Passeig de Ronda 123, 97-323-8237).
More enticing “cocina de autor” can be found at Alari, which has great views of the Segre River and a delicious tasting menu (Avda. Tarradellas 45, 97-321-2340). For tapas, try Tapas Bus, a strange little restaurant designed to look like a London doubledecker bus. Don’t be put off by the decor and go ahead a reserve a table, because they specialize in traditional Catalan cuisine so what they’ve got on offer is good (Carrer Enric Farreny 36, 97-323-8560)