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LLIVIA - Spain in France ENCLAVES


Location - Western Europe; Capital - Madrid; Population - Llivia - 1,700; Spain - 46 million; Currency - Euro MORE ENCLAVES

It's a scenic four hour train journey from Toulouse to the French Pyrenean village of Latour-de-Carole. From there either take a train and bus via the Spanish (Catalan) town of Puigcerda or head direct to Llivia by taxi. In summer the Yellow Train is an alternative. Llivia, 1,224m above sea level in the Pyrenees, was my fifth and final western European enclave, separated from the rest of Spain by a 1.7km corridor - April 2014.

- Unlike other enclaves, Llivia is pretty much exclusively Spanish, with few dealings with surrounding France
- Economy and taxes are Spanish
- Phone dialling codes as well as postal codes are Spanish
- Legislation is also Spanish, as are the police, allowed access from mainland Spain through France via the 'neutral road' from Puigcerda
- Although Llivia is part of Spain it's fiercely Catalan; locals speak Catalan not Spanish, signs are in Catalan etc

Historical background: In 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrenees ceded various parts of Spain near the French border to France. However the treaty stated that only villages were to be transferred to France. Spain argued that, because Llivia was the ancient capital of Cerdanya, it was a city not a village. And so it was that the 12.84km² Catalan territory of Llivia, part of Cerdanya and the province of Girona, remained part of Spain.

 

euroThe Euro is the currency used in mainland Spain, Llivia as well as France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia67Climb up to the castle for a great view of Llivia and the surrounding peaks of the Pyrenees - Llivia

 

llivia84The spire belongs to the 15th century Esglesia Nostra Senyora dels Angels (Church of Our Lady of the Angels) - Llivia

 

llivia83The red and yellow colours of the Catalan flag flutter above the castle - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia75The 'neutral road' leading away from Llivia crosses into France a few hundred metres after the final buildings on the left, then back into Spanish territory at Puigcerda.
The distance between Llivia and mainland Spain is less than 2km.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia69llivia120The tiny hamlet of Gorguja is visible from the castle. Some of the land to the left of the main road is in France

 

llivia78The castle remains date to the 9th to 15th centuries - Llivia

 

llivia77You can also spot Cereja from the castle, a village 10 minutes walk from the enclave's centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia5Back in the centre of Llivia, the Bernat de So tower with the church behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia15Again we see the church, with the red walls of the Municipal Museum on the right - Llivia

 

llivia57In Roman times Llivia was known as Julia Lybica but this is all that remains, just behind the church

 

llivia46The old quarter - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia17The Municipal Museum contains the Esteve Pharmacy. It's also the Town Hall, which for Pasquetes 2014 hosted old guys playing dominoes and drinking wine - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia21Esteve Pharmacy was one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, founded at the beginning of the 15th century. It closed in 1942 and is now a museum - Llivia

 

llivia23Albarellos, the original ceramic storage jars at Esteve Pharmacy - Llivia

 

llivia2A mosaic of Lampegia, 'Princesa de la pau i de l'amor' (Princess of peace and love) - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia25The Llivia coat of arms adorned with the hilltop castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia27The coat of arms carved into a wall on Carrer del Raval - Llivia

 

llivia29Placa Major is the heart of Llivia, edged with bars and restaurants - Llivia

 

llivia32Me (second left) posing in Can Ventura with the very kind and welcoming Jordi and his wife, Sylvia and Montserrat. Jordi and his sister Montserrat run the Can Ventura restaurant with their father on Placa Major - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia33Montserrat and Sylvia with friends and party revellers at Bar el Jardi on Placa Major - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia34Luckily for me I visited Llivia during Easter celebrations for Pasquetes 2014, and this was the warm up in Bar el Jardi

 

llivia106Everyone then headed off to the local sports centre to celebrate Pasquetes

 

llivia107The sports centre hosted a live band and also set up a makeshift bar - Llivia

 

llivia37The following afternoon saw traditional dance and music on Placa Major - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia38All participants welcome, young and old - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia42Llivia's streets are pretty much deserted for the afternoon siesta

 

llivia50The narrow old streets around Hotel Bernat de So - Llivia

 

llivia52A Llivia road sign, with the coat of arms in the top left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia28The starred Estalada flag, supporting Catalan independence, flies outside an apartment in Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia59Carrer del Raval, the main shopping street - Llivia

 

 

llivia43Carrer del Raval below the Pyrenees - Llivia

 

llivia95El Segre river flows through Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia89It's strange that Llivia doesn't have many links with surrounding France - and that people don't really mix - even though the neighbouring territory is also Catalan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia93The Museu de la Pagesia (Peasantry Museum) is mix of agricultural and rural everyday life exhibits. Eclectic is a word that springs to mind... - Llivia

 

llivia90The Lybica brewery, home to Llivia's very own beer!

 

 

llivia97This was the only visible border sign I came across, at the French town of Estavar to the east of Llivia, a five minute walk from the brewery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia98France and Estavar on the left, Spain and Llivia on the right - Llivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia104Ermita de Sant Guillem in Segre Park - Llivia

 

 

llivia113llivia114

'A Unique Enclave in the Pyrenees'. Welcome signs on the road from Gorguja to Llivia

 

llivia118The Pyrenees from the walking trail to Gorguja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia126llivia127

The only border stones I came across were just off the Gorguja path. 'LL' for Llivia and an 'E' for Estavar, France? Llivia

 

 

llivia129Snow capped mountains of the Pyrenees, across the Cerdanya Valley from Cereja

 

llivia141Cereja is a village within the enclave that has many second homes of people from Barcelona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia132Indeed the village had a feel of no-one at home. Except for annoying barking guard dogs - Cereja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia149Picturesque countryside at the entrance to Llivia

 

 

llivia147Goodbye to Llivia as I take a walk to mainland Spain

 

 

llivia152The 'neutral road' is a continuation of Avenguda de Catalunya which runs through the centre of Llivia to Puigcerda. On googlemaps it's called Le Village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia155This is the slice of France that divides Llivia from the rest of Spain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

llivia159Walk across the El Raur river bridge and back into Spain at Puigcerda

 

llivia182I grabbed a taxi from Puigcerda to take me back to the French town of Latour-de-Carole, from where trains go direct to Toulouse and on to Paris and London

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2014 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llivia - Wikipedia entry

www.llivia.org - Welcome to Llivia

www.exclave.eu - Enclaves

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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