Girona is one of the most ancient and noble cities in Spain.
The history of the city dates back to the founding by the Romans of the military fortress of Gerund on the banks of the Onyar River.
The fortress was designed to defend a strategic object – the Iberian Via Via Augusti, stretching from Rome to Seville. The massive wall of the military fortress has been preserved to this day. The atmosphere of antiquity of Girona is balanced by the energy of youth and enthusiasm of this university city: more than 15,000 students live and study here, i.e. 20% of the total population.
Later, from 890 to 1492, it was the center of the city where the Jewish community lived. Over the centuries, the importance of the street de la Forca has grown, and the entire quarter has gradually turned into an area of nobility and riches.
The Jewish quarter of Girona is one of the most carefully preserved Jewish quarters in Europe, and its condition is carefully maintained. Girona’s gardens, hidden from view, appear before the audience only once a year, during the famous Temps de flors flower show. During these days, the winding streets of the ancient city turn into a real greenhouse: flowers adorn the facades of houses, are full of temples, arches and cozy courtyards.
The historic center of Girona is located in the eastern part of the city. The landmark is the Onyar River, dividing Girona into modern quarters and the medieval Old Town. It also offers one of the most picturesque views of the city. The colorful houses decorating the embankment are a 17th century heritage and a visiting card of the city. They were rebuilt several times, but still retain their original appearance.
Another local attraction is connected with the river – Plaça Catalunya, located near the Pont de Pedra . This square is interesting for its unusual shape – it is a very wide bridge connecting two shores. It is from here that most of the excursions in the old part of Girona start. And near the Stone Bridge, a flea mini market is regularly opened on weekends, where you can find handmade jewelry and interesting souvenirs.
The main Girona masterpiece is the Cathedral. Many styles mixed in its architecture: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and others.
Piazza Sant Feliu, on which the church of the same name is located, is known for its sculpture in the form of a lion climbing a column. The stone statue is a symbol of the city, according to signs, if you kiss it, you can return to Girona again. The lion is located at such a height that you can reach it.
There are a few museums in the city, but the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Cinema are definitely highpointers. The city also offers an Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the History of the City with the mummies of Capuchin monks and the Museum of the History of Jews of Girona. It is worth finding the Cathedral Museum with the tapestry «Creation of the World.»
In the Old Town of Girona, cafes, restaurants, pastry shops and bars are literally at every step. Most have traditional Catalan cuisine. Girona restaurants serve both Catalan and Basque cuisine, and the traditional local menu is a mix of both.