"Medieval beauty" Top 5 Page for this destination Girona by bpwillet
Girona Travel Guide: 441 reviews and 1,245 photos
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.
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.
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: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
Catalonian cuisine, which has been subject to so many influences, is very good and filling. Fish and seafood are always... more travel advice
I was always amazed at what was around in Girona. The Barri Vell has so much just waiting to be discovered and explored.... more travel advice
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