Llívia is a town of Cerdanya, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is an exclave of Spain and an enclave of France, within the French territory (Pyrénées-Orientales département). In 2008, the Municipality of Llívia had a total population of 1,517. The county is formed by Llívia, Gorguja, Cereja, Gorguja petit (Travis’ house) and Jonquer’s house. Llívia is surrounded by French land, this is why the land is spread until forests, lakes, Carlit summit pastures reaching, all in, a surface of 12,84 square kilometres. Llívia is separated from the rest of Spain by a corridor about 2 km wide, which includes the French Munipalities of Ur and Bourg-Madame.
Llívia was the site of an Iberian oppidum which commanded the region and was named Julia Libica by the Romans. It was the ancient capital of Cerdanya in antiquity, before being replaced by Hix (commune of Bourg-Madame, France) in the Middle Ages. During the Visigothic period, its citadel, the castrum Libiae, was held by the rebel Paul of Narbonne against king Wamba in 672.
In 1257 Jaume I, the Conqueror, allowed the population to build a town at the bottom of the hill, as long as they did not give up the houses of the top of the hill. The Castle was destroyed in 1479. Bernat the So tower was built in XVI century (1584-1585). At the second half of the c. XVI the ancient privileges were gathered in the Ferrat Book with some other texts from c. XVI and XVII. Finally, Charles V Emperor of Germany and I of Spain awarded Llívia as town in 1528.
In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees ceded the comarques of Roussillon, Conflent, Capcir, Vallespir, and northern Cerdanya ("Cerdagne") to the French crown. Llívia did not become part of the French kingdom as the treaty stipulated that only villages were to be ceded to France, and Llívia was considered a city and not a village due to its status as the ancient capital of Cerdanya.
Activities in Llivia
Llívia has a rural dimension and an important touristic attraction, and not only because its status of enclave. One of its most known cultural events is the Music Festival which is held since 1982. Llívia offers the best music evenings of la Cerdanya, in the wonderful place of the Church of Our Lady of the Angels.
The Pharmacy Museum is also an important attraction. The pharmacy is registered since 1594 and it is considered the most ancient pharmacy in Europe. At the beginning of the XVII century it was run by family Esteva, who run it during seven generations until 1926 when the last pharmacist closed it. In 1965 Diputació de Girona bought it as long as it kept from Llívia. In the Museum, now closed due to some reforms, you can find an important collection of archaeological material, that explain our history.
The castle gave to Llívia the most glorious times. It was located at the top of the hill. It was a superb enclosure formed by a rectangular tower with 4 circular turrets – one in every angle – and an inferior enclosure where the population lived. Remains are dated from IX to XV centuries when the castle was destroyed by Louis XI army.
Llívia was used to live thanks to the castle and its privileges and people did not want to lose them, specially the collecting right. That’s why Bernat the So tower was build in XVI century (1584-1585).
Tourists enjoy different activities: excursions, fishing, cycling, horsing, swimming pool, tennis, golf, ski, snowboard, flying, adventure. In winter 2008 a new Thermal and Bath Playful Centre, AQUALLIVIA, opened its doors.