The city of Lleida welcomed numerous peoples and civilizations, which directly bequeathed a rich and restless culture making it the modern city that it is today.
On the other hand, in the early 19th century, Lleida suffered the Napoleonic invasion. Once again, the city had to recover from the wreckages of war and from the second half of the 19th century a new stage begins. The railway reached the city in 1860. In 1864, the Elysian Fields gardens are opened and in 1865 architect Josep Fontseré developed the first modern urban plan of the city.
The turn of the century brought the reassertion of the Catalan State with the Mancomunitat de Catalunya. The Civil War (1936-1939) destroyed the city, and with 40,000 inhabitants in 1940, the city needed a joint effort from everyone to achieve urban, commercial and demographic growth.
Nowadays, the city of Lleida, with about 140,000 inhabitants, has adapted its infrastructure to accommodate the different neighborhoods linked to the city center, thanks to the construction of several bridges: Pont Nou l (1973), Pont Universitat (1993), Pont de Pardinyes (1995), la Pasarela de Blondel (1997), la Pasarela Avenida del Segre (2003), the Pasarela Maristas (2010) and the Pont de Príncep de Viana (2010).
In 1999 the old slaughterhouse became the Municipal Theatre Escorxador and in 2000 the restoration of the door of the dels Fillols of the Seu Vella (Old Cathedral) was completed. Urban expansion and the creation of new facilities marked the beginning of the century. These facilities included the opening of the Lleida Automobile Museum: Roda Roda, the new Central Market of Fruit and Vegetables, the AVE line and the Art Centre La Panera.
The Templar Castle of Gardeny, which houses the Centre of Interpretation of the Templar Knights, opened in May 2007, in addition to the Diocesan and Regional Museum of Lleida. In January 2010, the “La Llotja” Theatre-Congress Centre of Lleida opened, and in 2011 the restoration works of the “Castell del Rei” (King’s Castle) were finalized. In the near future, a Parador (a kind of luxurious rural hotel) will be built in the former convent of the Roser. As you can see, there are many projects to make your stay in Lleida as pleasant as possible.
There are also many commemorations pertaining to the history of Lleida itself, among which we find La Festa del Cargol (the Snail Festival), a festival held at the end of May where 12,000 people gather and consume about 12 tons of snails; The Festival “Els Fanalets de Sant Jaume”, a party of a more religious aspect where multiple “fanalets” (similar to Chinese lanterns) are lit up, which is celebrated on July 24th; and the Wine Festival of Lleida held on April 26-27th, featuring, “Costers del Segre”, wines of protected denomination of origin, where we find a wide variety of black, white and rosé wines. This province is one with many customs and cultures deeply rooted in Catalonia.