Girona, situated north of Barcelona, is a spectacular city with a rich historic past, an admirable monumental assembly and an arts centre that one cannot miss visiting. The city of Girona has been called the city of the three rivers as it is located in the valley of the Ter between the rivers Güell, Galligants and Onyar. To the left of the Onyar, we find the modern Girona, with important buildings of the modernist and noucentista time periods, which had great influence during these times.
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Parts of the city boast the great urban park of the Dehesa, with some 40 hectares, and more than 2,500 banana trees that are over 50 meters tall evoking the image of a Gothic ship of an infinite cathedral. The core centre of the old city is marked by the layout of the old neighborhood. In this zone the old Benedictine monastery Sant Pere of Galligants is found, the walk of the Wall, the church of Sant Feliu and the Arabian Baths, which date back to the 12th century. Beyond the street of The Força, the Call, the Jewish quarter of Girona can be found.
Girona is an amazing life experience, so anytime during the year is a good time to visit, but especially in the month of May when Girona is continuously lit with festivals . The city offers, amongst other activities, the Festival of Religious Music, the Fair of Sant Narcís and the Procession of the Manaies the Good Friday.
Here is a list of other activities and things to do whilst on your visit:
- Walk along the ancient walls for excellent views of the city.
- Enjoy the numerous cafes which are especially atmospheric at night.
- The ancient narrow streets of the old Jewish section.
- Check out Girona’s lively club scene.
- Play Golf on all the fantastic courses in the surroundings.
- Luxury yachts in Spain – Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Girona. Operating from nine offices worldwide.
The Monastery of Sant Pere of Galligants and Chapel of Sant Nicolau is a beautiful example of Lombard-style Romanesque buildings dating from the 12th century AD. The monastery itself was occupied by the Benedictine order. This site will captivate you by its imposing scale, and its remarkable cloister that stores a collection of important Jewish ornaments dating from when the old Hebrew community lived in medieval Girona. Today, you will find Girona’s Museum of Archaeology inside the monastery, as well as a fine representation of Catalan Romanesque architecture.
Dating from the 12th century, the Colegiata of Sant Feliu is traditional site in Girona. The building incorporates different architectural styles. The interior construction is built in Roman style, whilst the ship is in Gothic style, and the east facade is in Baroque style. Inside there are early Christian tombs from Italy and a masterpiece Catalan Gothic sculpture called el Cristo Yacente from 1350 AD. This historical site is just one of the many that the city holds.
The Arabian Baths found in Girona were houses that were used for public bathing. Although the name may suggest otherwise, this building is in fact Romanesque in design and architecture, taking inspiration from the old Roman baths. There are however some influences of Muslim architecture inside. Inside you will find 3 rooms: the frigidarium (cold pool), caldarium (hot pool), and tepidarium (warm pool). Of these 3 rooms, the frigidarium stands out the most for its striking design and layout.
Casas de l’Onyar – The Houses of the Onyar City were built in the middle Ages. They are built in brightly coloured stone, and offer spectacular views of plazas with pillars and columns, surrounded by steep alleys. These houses really are one of the most spectacular sights in Girona and definitely a must-see on your visit here.
Girona has kept intact numerous modern and medieval spaces, with strong influences of its Roman, Arab and Jewish past obvious in the architecture and design around the plazas, uneven alleys, narrow winding streets, and buildings of extraordinary beauty. The town appears to remain untouched, as if time has stood still.
Whilst your stay in Barcelona, a day trip to Girona can be reached by a single bus ride or even by train from Barcelona’s city centre station. Although viewing this magnificent city will cost you nothing, there are many guided tours that you can purchase, which explain Girona’s historic sites in further detail.
Address: Girona, Spain.
Transport: Train – from Barcelona Estació de Sants/Passeig de Gràcia/Aragó and Clot | Bus – from Estació d’Autobusos Barcelona Nord.
Schedules: Open all year round