Since the 6th century, three ancient churches had been built on the same site as the current Cathedral of Santa Maria, which was constructed on the site of a previous Cathedral built by Bishop Ermengol.
Around 1110, with the old cathedral threatened with ruin, Bishop Ot of Urgell initiated the construction of a new one. This large undertaking, which he was never to see finished, was carried out by successive master builders, who determined the appearance of the Cathedral, connected primarily to the Romanesque aesthetic of Northern Italy, and the Rhineland.
Large blocks of granite, extracted from quarries close to the La Seu combined, in some areas of the building, with reddish sandstone ashlars, were used to construct a massive building that, on certain occasions, also served as a fortress.
In 1175 Ramon Lambard was hired as master builder with the mission to complete the works, close the vaults and finish the towers and bell towers. He was not Italian, as his name might have suggested, but was from Coll de Nargó.
In 1196, Count Ramon Roger of Foix sacked the cathedral and reduced it to the point that the works stopped and would not be restarted in the same Romanesque style.