Lleida (lyāˈħə) [key] or Lérida lāˈrēħä, city (1990 pop. 111,825), capital of Lleida prov., NE Spain, in Catalonia, on the Segre River. Lleida is the center of a fertile farm area and has a limited variety of manufactures. The ancient Ilerda, it was taken (49 B.C.) by Julius Caesar, who defeated Pompey's generals there. Lleida fell to the Moors in A.D. 714 and was liberated (1149) by Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona. The university founded there (c.1300) by James II of Aragón was discontinued in 1717. Traditionally a strategic, fortified city, Lleida was a key defense point for Barcelona in the Spanish civil war; it fell (Apr., 1938) after a nine-month battle. The old section of the city is dominated by the castle, whose ramparts enclose a Romanesque cathedral.
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