La Seu Vella

Top choice in Catalonia

Lleida’s ‘old cathedral’, enclosed within a later fortress complex, towers above the city from its commanding hilltop location. Work began on the cathedral in 1203, though today it is a masterpiece of bold Romanesque forms complemented by Gothic vaults and elaborate tracery. The octagonal 60m-high bell tower, crowned with Gothic flourishes, rises in the southwest corner of the beautiful 14th-century Gothic cloister, a forest of slender columns with expansive Lleida views. Climb the tower's 238 steps for the finest panoramas.

The old town once clustered around the cathedral, but Felipe V razed it in punishment for Lleida's opposition in the War of the Spanish Succession.

The main entrance to the grounds is from the west on Carrer Darrera de Sant Martí, but there's also a lift up from above Plaça de Sant Joan. It's free to enter the compound itself, which doesn't close.

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