Llivia is what is known as an exclave, a piece of territory wholly surrounded by the territory of another state, in this case France. This curious state of affairs was brought about by the stipulations of the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees which ceded the counties of the Northern Pyrenees and Roussillon to the French crown. Llívia was excluded as the treaty stipulated that only villages were to be ceded to France, and Llívia was considered a city due to its status as the ancient capital of Cerdanya. In 1939 at the end of the Spanish Civil War, there was discussion on the idea of Llívia remaining a free territory of the defeated Republican government, but nothing ever came of the plan, and France gave Franco’s troops permission to occupy the town. Today a single road connects it to Catalonia.
Llivia is home to what is reputedly the oldest chemist in Europe, now a museum, possibly dating from the early 15th century. The small town is set in the beautiful Vall de la Cerdanya.
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Places to stay in Llivia
- The Hotel Esquirol boasts a truly unique location in the town of Llivia. It enjoys fantastic views of the Cerdanya Valley. More here
- The hotel is a converted old farmhouse located in the scenic and peaceful town of Llívia. More here
- Located in the centre of this charming town in the unique region of Cerdanya, the rustic-style apartments with use of the swimming pool. More here
- Official Llivia page
- The oldest pharmacy in Europe The pharmacy was founded in the early 15th century and still conserves a beautiful collection of Renaissance-style boxes decorated with pictures of saints and botanical drawings. The carefully labelled glazed jars and recipients held a curious variety of ingredients.
- La farmàcia més antiga d’Europa