Old Gothic Cathedral of Lleida

Old Gothic Cathedral of Lleida
Old Gothic Cathedral of Lleida

Today we are going to talk about a whole Spanish Gothic cathedral, the one in the Catalan city of Lleida, which today is already it does not have that rank of cathedral. And in fact, it is a monumental building that can be visited in a state of absolute emptiness, since it has no use other than tourism.

History dates back to the beginning of the 13th century, specifically to the year 1203. On that date, construction began on the site where the Great Mosque of Lleida had previously stood during the years of Muslim occupation. Those works lasted several decades, as was usual at the time, and it took almost 80 years to be consecrated. And even so, the complex had not yet been completed, since in the following century the magnificent Gothic cloister would be opened. And already in the fifteenth century the bell tower was erected, which is still the emblem of the monument today.


Old Cathedral or Seu Vella de Lleida

It was at this time that a large, complete Gothic temple was completed. A temple that has seven different covers. Some really interesting ones like those of the Apostles or the Annunciation with good remains of sculptural decoration.

Just as inside the temple there were altarpieces, more sculptures, paintings and even mural paintings. While the cloister with its large pointed arches must have been splendid. In fact, it still is today, even though it is open to outer space and thedependencies it had around it have been lost.

The reason is very simple, and it is that during the 18th century, Catalonia went through a period of confrontation against the King of Spain. And so it was decided that to contain a possible revolt, the Gothic Cathedral of Lleida would become a barracks. This was because its location at the top of the city gave it a privileged position.

To do this, all the art and liturgical objects of the cathedral were moved to another church in the city, and even over time a new cathedral was built in the city center. Hence, the old temple is known today as the Seu Vella (Old Cathedral in Catalan).

The fact is that this transformation from a religious use to a military one lasted much longer than expected. Specifically, the place remained as an army barracks until 1948. A long time during which many modifications were evidently made to the construction. Especially when it comes to auxiliary units. Just as different defensive bastions were built on the plateau where the monument sits.

So today its charm that we can see the gothic architecture of the temple completely empty. Without furniture or accessories. In this way, the entire essence of Gothic art is discovered based on high pillars, pointed arches and ribbed vaults. Without forgetting the naked and poetic aspect that the cloister also has, of undoubted photogenicity.

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