"Medieval beauty" Top 5 Page for this destination Girona by bpwillet

Girona Travel Guide: 445 reviews and 1,290 photos

Charmed life

Spanning the River Onyar, Girona is almost like two cities in one. The medieval city and the cosmopolitan. The historic walkways and buildings draw many people here each year. It was on my list to see as an afterthought. I am so glad that I took the time to see much of it. I arrived to Spain on Ryanair and that allowed me to spend some time in Girona before heading back to London. It can easily be seen in a day but you will want to take your time walking allong the cobblestone streets and pedestrian walks or the ancient city walls. There are plenty of cafes within the historic center and all have their own charm. The city has at least a dozen museums to look into as well as some very interesting artifacts inside the main cathedral, for example, or down a historic alleyway. Whatever your reasons, Girona is a definite stop over. If you are heading south to Barcelona or coming in from France. It sits just outside of the Pyrenees Mountains and is in close proximity to the beaches of the Costa Brava. It truly is a beautiful part of Catalunya that should be on everyone's itinerary.

Oppidum Gerunda to Napoleon

Girona was a central hub to the Romans during their occupation of the Iberian Penninsula. Before them, however, were the Iberians and the Celts who settled here. It was situated along the Via Agusta, a Roman road linking most of Spain with Rome. The Visigoths were the next group to gain contol over the are before the Moors made their way through the territory. The Moors remained in control of the area until the late 700's. Charlemange helped to reconquer the region in 785 and brought hte region together with Barcelona a century later. This was the time when the city of Girona saw a flourishing Jewish community between much of the 9th to 15th centuries. It wasn't until the Diaspora in 1492, which forced the conversion or expulsion of all Jews and Muslims, that this community began to decline. The area became a duchy in 1351 under the son of King Peter III. The title Prince of Girona wasn't used until Ferdinand I gave it to his first son. The city later suffered French siezes during the 17th and 18th century and eventually fell to Napoleon in 1809.

Catalan tradition

During the rule of Franco, the use of the Cataln language was prohibited. But the first language of almost everyone is Catalan, a Romance language stemming from Latin like Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian. It looks and sounds like a cross between Spanish and French. It's of a similar age as other Romance languages, emerging in the centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The language has a long literary history, and the first book printed on a printing press on the Iberian peninsula was in Catalan. It is the official language in Catalunya and is also spoken in Valencia, Andorra, the Balearic Islands, in the Roussilon region of France and in parts of Sardinia. The region fiercely resisted influence from Madrid, a conflict that continues to this day. Today's residents still consider themselves Catalans first, with their own language, culture and cuisine. All signs are in Catalan as well as Spanish, and the Catalan flag is displayed throughout the city.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Everywhere you look, the history of Girona is not hard to find
  • Cons:Opening times may not always be adhered to.
  • In a nutshell:Quaint city with a lot of medieval charm
  • Last visit to Girona: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated Feb 12, 2004
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Reviews (32)

Comments (11)

  • Apr 3, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    I liked your picture. I would love to visit Spain. Is it safe to walk on?

  • Nathalygiro's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2005 at 2:43 PM

    Glad you give the correct information in the "Catalan traditon" part... not everybody can understand it! Nat.

  • Maillekeukeul's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2005 at 12:47 AM

    You have no idea of how much I love this small city... Thanks for sharing !!!

  • andrewwhite's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2005 at 2:24 PM

    23 Must See Activities & 1 Restaurant tip - you on a diet or something? Very impressive pages, just right for my luxury break with R*****r in April. Terrific information, well done Brad

  • escuain's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2004 at 3:14 PM

    Your page on my hometown city is just awsome, I couldn't do it better. Congratulations!

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2004 at 6:39 AM

    I'm really impressed by your pages. So packed full of great pictures and information!

  • Flamegirl's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2004 at 9:33 AM

    fabulous page - my cousin lives in Girona but I''ve yet to visit him. After seeing some of these photos I'm seriously considering it!

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2004 at 9:21 AM

    Great page! I would love to live in thos flats along the river. They're close enough that you can fish right from the window! I would need to eat a lot of grits for breakfast to climb all those stairs.

  • prunila's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2004 at 1:08 PM

    Eiii! Your page is great, you are meticolous!!! I found only one mistake in catalan: palau Agullana. You are a great VT commentarist! Congratulations!!!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2004 at 10:36 AM

    Another wonderful page with fabulous photos. It looks like you had nice weather, even though it was winter time ... :o)

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