Sant Julià de Lòria

Sant Julià de Lória stands at a height of 909 m above sea level and was a for a fairly protracted length of time the real commercial metropolis of Andorra. At present it is an active industrial center and in the town are to be found the great factories of the Andorra tobacco manufacturers. It stands on the banks of the Gran Valira and is the sixth parish in the Principality. Sant Julià is an important tourist center.

The place-know to the ancients as Lauredia-can be proud of its history and vouched for by the finds of Iberian and Roman coins. Sant Julià de Lória also possesses a fine 12th-century Romanesque church (restored in 1941) in the interior oh which there is a notable 12th-century Image of the virgin of los Remedios and an 18th-century Christ.

To see in Sant Julià de Lòria

Tobacco Museum - Old Reig Factory

Tobacco Museum - Old Reig FactoryThe Museu del Tabac or Tobacco Museum was created to recover and disseminate the knowledge of the complex reality of tobacco in Andorra in the 20th century. For this reason, a very symbolic and emblematic building, the old Reig factory, known earlier as Cal Rafaeló, has been recovered and conditioned to house it. After opening in 1909, the Reig factory became the workplace of many of the men and women of Sant Julià. These people made by hand a diversity of loose tobaccos, cigars and cigarettes that were sold in Andorra and beyond its borders. The old Reig factory closed down in 1957, moving to a new larger and more modern facility.

The creation of the Tobacco Museum - Old Reig Factory has involved a task of documentation and a study of public and private archives to establish the rapid changes and deep transformations of Andorra’s tobacco industry, and to recover the collective memory. The voices of the people who made their living from tobacco have allowed us to become acquainted with, recover and interpret this old building, the work that was carried out here, the technologies that were used, and the human relationships and life that unfolded around the factory and the town. Memories, perceptions and experiences bear witness to the changing and unchanging features of the fields, factories and towns, offering a more human reading of this surprising and deeply rooted activity and of its social significance beyond its material and economic aspects.

The contents of the museum’s various spaces are described by two voices, a man’s and a woman’s. These voices are reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s, a time of convulsions, and they contribute to an understanding of both the logic behind the early tobacco factories and the technological and production-related development and modernization that they underwent, symbolizing in a certain way the approach of our modern age. Lastly the local discourse of the tobacco issue in Andorra blends with the history and culture of tobacco in the world at large.

The adaptation of the old Reig factory as a museum entailed the creation of a space for our country’s historical memory and a documentary and reference centre for people seeking an acquaintance with all aspects relating to tobacco in the fields, the curing barns, the factories and the “commerce”, within the context of Andorra’s recent history and culture. Likewise, it has been created with the aim to offer a meeting place and a cultural promotion centre for the town as well as a tourist amenity.

Permanent Exhibition

Tobacco MuseumOur aim is for the visitor to be able to understand what work was like at the old Reig tobacco factory, what processes and machinery were used, and what the organization of work was like in the period when this factory was in operation (about 1909 to 1957). The basic route followed here, however, is the production process from the period around the 1930s, when a certain mechanization implemented and the manufacturing activity was on a considerable scale. Bearing this objective in mind, it is proposed to offer various levels of reading conceived for the different publics likely to visit the museum: from a simple level for people who wish to make a general acquaintance with this activity, to more specialized levels. Visitors are guided through the various spaces by means of voice recordings. The narration is structured around two voices, one of a woman and the other of a man, who guide the visitor through the factory. The discourse unfolds from the present, by way of memory, thus simplifying the leeps made through time and the comparison with the present age.


The Tobacco Museum comprises four spaces that are distributed as follows:

  1. From the fields to the factory. Preparation of the leaves
  2. Conversion of the leaves. Administration and work at the factory
  3. Manufacture. Products
  4. The tobacco issue

Temporary exhibitions

The museum has two spaces reserved for the holding of activities and temporary exhibitions aimed to complete the message and to act as a dynamizing motor of the museum. Moreover, the possibility is considered of holding some of these temporary exhibitions outside the museum building.

We have a photographic report prepared by three professional photographers, which presents the performance of the main tasks of cultivation, manufacture and commercialization of tobacco from a social standpoint. It departs from the usual reports in which a more technological approach is customarily taken.

For example, it follows the activities of a country family who pick tobacco, from breakfast till the end of the day, or the way a worker spends her day in one of today’s factories.

This report is also appropriate for use as a travelling exhibition to be displayed in other museums or spaces.


Situated at a height of 1528 m above sea level, the sanctuary of Our Lady of Canólic is dedicated to the Patron Saint of San Julià de Lória. The Image of the virgin was found in 1223, and the satue occupies a place on the renaissance high altar. In Canólic a very popular pilgrimage takes place on the last Saturday of May.

La Rabassa

This is a magnificent wood located not far from Auvinyà. Winter sports will no doubt flourish because of La Rabassa-Can Ramonet ski-trail which is bound to attract waves of skiers. In Summer it is also an excursion center. Nearby is the charming village of Auvinya. This is situated next to the hermitage of Sant Romà; the church’s origins go far back in time-it apparently dates from the 10th century-but it was rebuilt not very long ago. The surrounding countryside is of great beauty. The nearness of Andorra’s border with Spain is a contributing factor in the intensification of the commercial activity in the area. This is true above all in the town of Sant Julià de Lória, the nearest to the border between Andorra and Spain.


Bixessarri is a picturesque village which still preserves its medieval airs in all their purity. All the houses, including those which are of the recent construction display the features of the typical Andorra architectural style. The town is located next to the river Aós. The whole of Bixessarri may be regarded as a highly attractive tourist monument.


Tobacco-growing goes back to the 18th-century. Until 1890 the only kind of tobacco grown in Andorra (call Tana) was sold loose. Snuff was the major product until the demise of snuff-taking, when half-pound pouches of cut tobacco were manufactured. New seeds were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, and brought about a change in the growing and treatment of tobacco. Later still, seeds were brought of the Hungary and Brazil. Today Andorra has modern high-technology processing for the growth and manufacture of Tobacco.

Where to sleep in Sant Julià de Lòria

Hotel Coma Bella
            Hotel Husa Imperial
            Hotel Sant Eloi

Sant Julià de Lòria on Flickr