Guide to Girona

The city of Girona is situated 99 km northeast of Barcelona. It is a popular destination for day trips from Barcelona, and can be reached by train in forty minutes on a high speed train.

History

Girona traces its origins to ancient Gerunda, a city of the Iberian Ausetani people. It was later ruled by the Romans, Visigoths, and Moors.

Things to See and Do

Girona Cathedral

In the first century BC, the Romans built a fortress with a triangular shaped perimeter, known as Força Vella. Girona Cathedral is situated in its heart and was built over hundreds of years, between the 11th and 18th centuries.

The Cathedral has varous architectural styles, from its Romanesque cloister to its baroque façade and Gothic nave. Dating from the 15th-16th centuries, the nave has a width of 23 metres – the widest in the Gothic style and the second widest of all, behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

City Walls

One of the highlights of my visit to Girona was walking the Passeig de la Muralla. The original Roman walls were extended in the medieval ages, and you can walk a long stretch of it. Various towers dotted along the way are offer sweeping views of the city.

Parc de la Devesa

Parc de la Devesa

Parc de la Devesa is the green lung of the city. Spanning 40-hectares, it is home to more than 2,500 one hundred year old trees. Long rows of majestic plane trees, mostly planted in 1850, reach a towering height of around 55-60 metres.

Plaça de la Independència

Plaça de la Independència

Plaça de la Independència was designed by Martí Sureda i Deulovol. Its neoclassical buildings stand on the site of the old convent of Sant Agustí. The monument in the center by Antoni Parera commemorates the 1809 defenders of the city, during its siege by 35,000 French Napoleonic troops.

Banys Àrabs

The Girona Arab Baths (Banys Àrabs de Girona) were built in the late 12th century, before being partially destroyed and then rebuilt. There are four main rooms: the Apodyterium, (changing room), the Frigidarium (the cold room), the Tepidarium (warm room), and the Caldarium (hot room). The Girona Arab Baths were famously used in an episode of Game of Thrones.

Basilica of Sant Feliu

The Basilica of Sant Feliu was the main church of Girona before the construction of the Girona Cathedral. It was built between the 12th century and 17th centuries. The bell tower was built between the 14th-16th centuries, and the Romanesque chevet, Gothic naves and a baroque façade between the 13th-18th centuries. It contains eight pagan and early Christian sarcophagi (4th century) and the Recumbent Christ (14th century) by the sculptor Aloi de Montbrai.

Jewish Quarter

The well-preserved Jewish Quarter, known as “El Call”, is located within the Força Vella. It is made up of a labyrinth of narrow medieval streets, staircases, arches and patios. It was inhabited by the city’s Jewish community from the 12th to the 15th century. In 1492, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castille issued the Alhambra Decree, ordering that all Jews be expelled from the country.

Cases de l’Onyar

Cases de l'Onyar

Les Cases de l’Onyar are situated between La Rambla and Carrer Argenteria overlooking the river. The buildings renovated versions of houses that stood on the city’s medieval wall. A first rehabilitation project was done in 1982 by the architects Josep Fuses and Joan Maria Viader. The colors of the houses were carefully chosen by the artists Enric Ansesa and Jaume Faixó.

Sant Pere de Galligants

The Benedictine Abbey of Sant Pere de Galligants dates from the 12th century. From 1857, Sant Pere de Galligants was used as a museum of archaeology and fine arts. It is currently the headquarters of the Girona branch of the Museum of Archaeology of Catalonia.

Gallery

Travel Resources from my affiliate partners:

SafetyWing Travel Insurance Travel medical insurance. Covers people from all over the world, while outside their home country.

Hotels in Girona Get the best deals on hotels from Booking.com.

The Girona Pass Visit the Basilica of Sant Feliu, Girona Cathedral, and Girona Art Museum.

Game of Thrones Small Group Tour Discover the filming locations of season 6 of Game of Thrones walking through the narrow, cobbled streets of the medieval and Jewish quarter of Girona.

If you make a purchase from one of the links above I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.