COMA, Pere de

Chronological framework

Documented between 1180 and 1220

Geographical Framework

Catalonia (Lleida)



Profile and historiographical debate

[Petrus Decumba, Pere ça Coma]

Pere de Coma was the first architect of the work of the Seu Vella de Lleida, and he was responsible for the project and the management of the construction works. His name is known thanks to the contract that he signed in 1193 with the Chapter of the Seu Vella, and by which Pere de Coma offers his services to the bishop and to the promoter of the work of the cathedral, Gombald de Camporrells. At the same time, the master builder gave to the Chapter all his belongings to become a canon. It consisted on 6 census salaries that he received from a honour located in the place of Grealó and from his house which was located in the parish church of Sant Joan. After that he is admitted into the Chapter. From this moment he will receive, as the other canons, his canonical proportion and 50 annual salaries for dress. Unlike other master builders, as in the case of Ramon Lambard in La Seu d'Urgell, Pere de Coma released himself, in person and property, to the work of the Cathedral of Lleida. Moreover, his name appears on the memorial monument of the laying of the foundation stone of the cathedral (22th July 1203), located on the north wall of the presbytery. According to this inscription, in August 1203 and in presence of Gombald de Camporrells, King Pedro I, Berenguer d'Obició canon builder manager and Pere de Coma (magister et fabricator) was placed the first stone of the building. The works were begun on the side of the head, between the left arm of the transept and the main apse. Died about 1220, it is possible that de Coma was succeeded by masters of their own lineage, Berenguer and Mateu de Coma (ALONSO 1976). At that time the transept was finished or about to be finished and the chapels of the north side had already been built.

From the formal features of the work of the Seu Vella de Lleida, it has been proposed the Lombard origin of Pere de Coma (BERGÓS, ROCA; LACOSTE). Even some authors pointed out him as native of Como (RÀFOLS 1951). However, Lladonosa defended that he could be native of Solsona on the basis of certain similarities between Solsona’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Lleida. Along the same lines, it is necessary to mention that some authors have documented Pere de Coma in Cardona (BACH 1996), whose family appears signing documents with some members of the lineage of the Camporrells about 1173. Even if he was born in Solsona or not, it seems, however, that Pere de Coma was already established in Lleida in 1180. At this time he buys a house in Costa de Sant Joan Street, -the same one that he offered later to the canonical of Santa Maria when he donated himself in person to the church of Lleida (MACIÀ-RIBES 2003). It has also been claimed that Pere de Coma was the son of another master named Pere (ALONSO 1976), and that in 1175 he already lived in la Cigarra Street, where many other builders, workers and canonical servers lived.


Cathedral of Santa Maria de Lleida, la Seu Vella (original project and design)


Gombald de Camporrells, bishop of Lleida between 1191 and 1205

Epigraphic Sources

Epigraphic commemoration of the official start of the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Lleida. North wall of the presbytery, Seu Vella.


K(a)L(endas) AUGUS/TI\ SUB DO(m)INO IN(n)O


BALDO HUIC EC(c)LE(siae) P(rae)SID(en)TE I (n)CLI






[te](n)TE PE/TR\US D(e) CU(m)BA {.} M(agister) <et>


The year of the Lord 1203, on July 22, with Pope Innocent III and presiding this church the venerable Gombaldo. The illustrious King Peter II and Count of Urgel, Ermengol, laid the first stone of this building, being present the man in charge of the work, Berenguer d'Obició. Pere de Coma, master and architect.

Documentary Sources

June 1193 - Contract between Pere de Coma and the bishop and the Chapter of the Seu Vella de Lleida for the beginning of the works of the Cathedral of Santa Maria. Copy of mid-fourteenth century: ACL, LLibre Verd, f. 148v i 149r. (Edit: LLADONOSA, 1970, p. 127).

Text: Carles Sánchez


VILLANUEVA 1821-1851: 82-83; PLEYAN 1873: 212; ROCA I FLOREJACHS 1911: 12; PUIG I CADAFALCH- FALGUERA- GODAY 1918: 48; BERGÓS 1928: 20; RÀFOLS I 1951: 277; LLADONOSA 1962: 25-26; LLADONOSA 1965: 86-87; LLADONOSA 1970: 116-119; ALONSO GARCÍA 1976: 17-18; LACOSTE 1975: 276-277; TARRAGONA 1982: 254; DALMASES-PITARCH 1986: 108-110; ARGILES 1991: 33; BANGO 1991: 31-32; FITÉ 1991: 14; TARRAGONA 1991: 93; BENET 1992: 133; BANGO 1996: 23; BACH 1996: 104-107; MACIÀ 1997a: 145; MACIÀ 1997b: 108; FITÉ 1999: 224-225; GONZÁLEZ-TARRAGONA-BUSQUETA 2002; FITÉ 2003: 52; MACIÀ-RIBES 2003: 84.