Diocesan and Comarcal Museum of Lleida
Inaugurated on the 30th November 2007, the Diocesan and Comarcal Museum of Lleida displays a wide variety of exhibits from its valuable collections – artistic, archaeological, historical and religious – which makes up a broad synthesis of the cultural heritage of this region of Catalonia.
C/ Sant Crist, 1
From 1st October to 31st May: 10.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.00
From 1st June to 30th September: 10.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 19.00
Friday, Sunday and holidays: 10.00 to 14.00
Closed Monday (except holidays)
Tickets Basic (€4.00), Reduced (€2.50)
Telephone (+34) 973 28 30 75
Fax (+34) 973 26 15 82
The inauguration of the museum’s new home, in a building known as the Llar de Sant Josep (Home of Saint Joseph), an old Carmelite convent, was the culmination of a process which had been going on for a century and a half. Indeed, the forerunners of the museum go back as far as 1868, when the Museum of Antiquities was created, and to 1893, when the Archaeological Museum of the Diocesan Seminary of Lleida was founded.
This second museum in particular began to bring together pieces of sacred art which had their origins in the several parishes of the former diocese of Lleida. After the decrees of the Ecclesiastical Confiscations passed by the minister Juan Álvarez de Mendizábal in 1833, these works had been diffused into private collections and taken to other locations.
Following the upheaval of the Civil War (1936-1939), the Diocesan Museum was re-established in 1943 in its original home of the Seminary. However, in 1969 the Church put the building up for sale, and the museum’s holdings were shared out between the Episcopal Palace and the Romanesque Church of Saint Martin. Thirty years later, in 1997, an agreement was signed to create what became the Diocesan and Comarcal Museum of Lleida, which opened its doors ten years later with the unified collections of the former Diocesan Museum and the archaeological collection of the Institute for Lleida Studies (itself the successor of the old Museum of Antiquities).
The Museum of Lleida is responsible for an artistic heritage of singular importance from this area of Catalonia and the former diocese of Lleida. The diocese, in its day, also covered parts of Aragon, in the province of Huesca, near the border with Catalonia. The museum has almost 7,000m2 of floor space dedicated to permanent and temporary exhibitions, public spaces, museum services, a storehouse and depository for works.
Visitors to the museum have the chance to see extraordinarily diverse collections, varying from prehistoric and protohistoric archaeological material to Roman, Paleochristian, Visigoth and Islamic art; from sacred Romanesque and Gothic art (including altar frontals, carvings and sculptures, capitals, retables and painted tables) to Renaissance art (such as paintings by Pere Nunyes, sculptures by Damià Forment and Gabriel Joly, sixteenth-century Flemish tapestries) and Baroque art (paintings by Antoni Viladomat, for example).