Your time #llivia


Length (°): 1,981336

Latitude (°): 42,465511


To 1,224 ms s. n. In the foothills of the highest peaks of the eastern Pyrenees, following the course of the Segre river, which is the natural part of the mountain range, we find Llívia, the old capital of the Cerdanya region.


Llívia is a municipality formed by the town and several aggregates: Cereja, Gorguja, Gorguja Petita (Mas Travis) and Mas Jonquer.


Following the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) and the subsequent territorialization of the enclave with that of Baiona (1866-68), with its surface area of 12.9 km², which includes the territory we have in forests, lakes and Carlit's pastures are surrounded by French territory.


Cerdanya is the only natural route through the interior that allowed, along the River Segre and the Tet -the well-known Strata Ceretana- to cross the Pyrenean mountain range with ease and ease with armies as well as merchandise, and Llívia and its hill were a key point of control of the road and throughout the territory. The control of these Pyrenean steps was always essential forever.


Like the old ways, Rome also took advantage of the influence of the ancient capital of Cerretania, whose remains were found at the foot of the hill, to make its domain in the Pyrenees effective. The archaeological evidence, from the second half of the 1st century BC, of this Roman civitas, Iulia Lybica, has been many and quite curious as the burial of a monk dressed in military, from the 5th century AD, with its anvil, at the site of the Colomines, the public part of this civitas.


The first occupation of Llívia we have to locate it, in a corner, at the Puig del Castell, where, next to possible structures of a populated type, final bronze materials appeared from 1200 BC.


In spite of its importance in Roman times, Iulia Lybica will lose its managerial functions and will become a first-order fortress of the Visigothic northern border, as far as Wamba, the Toledo king, 672 goes back to El Segre in person and with his Army to control Castrum Libyae, one of the fortifications that had joined the secessionist revolt of Hilderic, Duke of Narbona, and General Paulus. From Llívia, Medinet El-Bab -Ciutat de la Porta-, the Berber leader, Menussa, also rebelled against the hegemony of Arab clans in Al-Andalus in 731. And from Llívia, still climbing up castle, is beginning to forge Catalonia. It is the capital of the county of Cerdanya and the residence of some of its counts, such as Sunifred I, father of Guifré el Pelós.


With the death of the last Count Cerda, Bernat Guillem, in 1117, he went to the sovereignty of the Casal de Barcelona. Soon Puigcerdà will be founded and this again loses the administrative importance but not the strategic one. For this reason, Jaume I gives the royal approval to the people of Llivia to go down again and live at the foot of the hill with the condition of never leaving the fortress. It is during this thirteenth century that the new castle is built that during the 14th and 15th centuries will be the scene of demolished confrontations and a sting to control for the defense of the counties and of the Principality as well as for the reunification of the Crown of Aragon or after the Catalan Civil War, in which John II had mortgaged the counties with Louis XI of France in the treaties of Salvatierra and Baiona (1462), in order to free himself from the French yoke, because Llívia castle was devastated in 1479 by this king after fourteen months of siege.


With the destruction of the castle, Llívia becomes a simple royal city. In spite of everything, it is a moment of some prosperity: in 1584-85 the tower of Son Bernat is built and in 1617 the construction of the parochial church is finished.

Architecturally, the towers that flank the main door of the church show us the desire to fortify Llivia again. Apart from the defense of the population - for example in 1654, of the French troops -, one of the reasons was to preserve the right of collection that was before the Castle of Llívia, to which the majority of populations of the Alta Cerdanya belonged .

The main entrance, of Renaissance style, opens with a beautiful gate of medieval crafts with wrought iron works. Inside, we have a Baroque altarpiece, with the central image of Our Lady of the Angels, a baptismal font that should belong to the old church of the castle of Santa Maria del Puig and, on the ground of the central corridor of the nave, as well as the outer stairs, a set of burial slabs belonging to the old families of the town dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. In the sacristy there is also a magnificent polychrome carving of a transition-style Christ from the Romanesque to the Gothic.

Outside, the complex is completed with the Toret cross, a 16th century cross that belonged to the Toret family, which rests on a probable Roman mill.

  • Keep informed


  • Arriving


Your time #llivia




View all issues