The Palace of La Paeria is not only the most outstanding example of non-religious Romanesque architecture in Lleida, but also one of the best-known monuments in the whole of Catalonia.
The different stages of its construction can be observed in its external appearance.
The façade overlooking the river Segre belongs to the neo-classical style of architecture and when, in 1929, it was decided to restore it along neo-medieval lines, the end–product was a structure of perfectly-balanced harmony.
First constructed at the beginning of the 13th century, the palace is built on top of various “strata” representing the past history of the city, which teams from the municipal council and from the University of Lleida have been able to bring to light during successive archaeological digs.
During the 14th century (in 1383, to be precise) the Lords of Sanaüja, owners and founders of the building we know today, bequeathed the palace to the city so that it might house the municipal council. Known ever since to the townsfolk of Lleida as “La Paeria”, since it is the home of the chief “paer” (or mayor), it today houses numerous precious objects that illustrate the identity of the city. The expression “paer” derives from the Latin term “patiarii”, which means “man of peace”, and was adopted by the mayors of the city after this privilege had first been granted to the former consuls of Lleida by James I, king of Aragon and Catalonia, in 1264.