Spanish  Lérida 

      city, capital of Lleida provincia (province) in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Catalonia, northeastern Spain. It lies on the Segre River near its confluence with the Cinca and Ebro rivers. Of Iberian origin, the town then called Ilerda was taken in 49 BC from Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) by Julius Caesar during the Roman Civil War. The site of a Visigothic council (546), it was captured in 713 by the Moors, who called it Lareda or Lerita. It was reconquered in 1149 by Ramón Berenguer IV of Aragón. A university, founded there in the 13th century, was transferred to Cervera (1717) after the War of the Spanish Succession, during which Lleida took the side of the Habsburg archduke Charles.

      La Seu d'Urgell, the old cathedral in Byzantine-Gothic style with a Moorish admixture, was begun in 1203 and consecrated in 1278 but has not been used since 1707; it has been restored and declared a national monument. Other notable buildings include the new cathedral (1761–81); the Church of San Lorenzo (14th century); the La Pahería Palace with its 13th-century facade, the meeting place of the municipal council; and La Alcazaba (castle). This castle, built in 1149, dominates the older quarter, a maze of narrow streets on the right bank of the Segre. On the left bank are the modern suburbs.

      The city's economy is based primarily on agriculture (food processing and preserving); Lleida is well known for its cattle, agricultural, and fruit shows. The city's industries include breweries, flour mills, feed factories, and metallurgical manufactures. Local commerce and services also contribute to the economy. Pop. (2006 est.) 119,711.

Spanish  Llérida 

      provincia (province) in the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Catalonia, northeastern Spain. It is bounded by France and Andorra to the north and by the provinces of Girona and Barcelona to the east, Tarragona to the south, and Zaragoza and Huesca to the west. It was formed in 1833. With Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona, Lleida became one of the four provinces of the newly created autonomous region of Catalonia in 1979.

      The northern half lies within the Mediterranean sector of the Pyrenees Mountains and contains some of the finest scenery in the whole Pyrenean chain, including the valleys of Arán and Cerdaña and large tracts of forest. It is irrigated by many rivers, the largest of which is the Segre, a left-bank tributary of the Ebro, with important hydroelectric power developments.

      The southern half, in contrast, is a rolling, well-irrigated plain stretching to the Ebro. Agriculture is well mechanized, and the province does a thriving trade in wine, wool, timber, and cattle, but the importance of the traditional mule and horse trade is diminishing.

      The olive oil produced in the town of Borjas Blancas is known for its purity. Fruits, especially pears and lemons, are exported. Industrial development is slight, centred on the provincial capital, Lleida city. Seo de Urgel, near the headwaters of the Segre, is an episcopal see with historical connections to Andorra. Tourism in the province has grown in importance. Area 4,700 square miles (12,172 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 414,015.

Vicente Rodriguez

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Universalium. 2010.

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