Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Girona, with its 80.000 inhabitants, is considered one of the
best 3 cities in Spain for quality of life. The city is separated by the Old
town and the New town. The centre of the Old Town, the “Casc Antic”,
is the historical centre of the city. The Town Hall is located on the imaginary
line that separates the old and the new part of the city .
Girona is north of Barcelona in the Ter river valley, between
the mountain of Las Gavarres and Las Guilleries. This made it an important stronghold
in times gone by. The 12C saw the construction of many outstanding Romanesque
buildings. During the Gothic period the city expanded and enlarged its city
walls. And through to the 16th and 17th centuries there was the continuing military
building of fortresses and barracks.
The walled area is preserved in almost its entirety, withstood
the sieges of 1808-09 from Napoleon's troops. Within the walls is the Cathedral,
built over many centuries. The cloisters and the Carlemany Tower contain fine
examples of Romanesque art. The Gothic nave and the main façade shows
Baroque influences. Chapter Museum inside the cathedral has on exhibition a
manuscript of the Apocalypse (10C) and the famous embroidery known as 'The Creation'
( 12C ).
Other buildings of interest include
- The former Episcopal Palace is now an Art Museum.This contains
some fine sculpture, gold and silverwork, paintings and sketches, as well
as special rooms given over to works of art from medieval times
- the Convent of Sant Doménec (14C-16C);
- the Church of Sant FéIiu, with a Gothic vault, and
contains the Chapel of Saint Narcís -the city's patron saint
- the 12C Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants, now the Archeological
Museum with an important collection of Jewish steles that came from the cemetery
of the ancient Hebrew community who lived in medieval Girona;
- the Romanesque Chapel of Sant Nicolau:
- the Convent of La Mercé - today the technical school.
- Fontana d'Or, a mansion dating from the Romanesque period
which has later Gothic additions.
- The 'old town' around the area of La Força in Los
Alemanys and Ciutadans streets, with a fine collection of aristocratic buildings
- The Jewish quarter, known as 'Call', runs parallel to La
Força street and occupies in a maze of small, narrow and steeply sloping
streets which still maintain their medieval atmosphere. It was begun in the
9C, and inhabited by the 1000 Jews until their expulsion in 1492.
- “Banys Arabs” (Arabic baths), a Romanesque building,
is an imitation of the Muslim medieval baths.
- “Rambla de la Llibertat”, for a coffee in one
of its terraces or shopping in its many shops.
- The Stone Bridge (“Puente de Piedra”), has also
has historical interest, and joins the old part of the city with the new part
- The new part of Girona, has impoerant buildings like the
building “la Farinera Teixidor”, or “la Punxa”, works
of the architect Rafael Masó.
- In May there is the traditional Flower exhibition, when the
whole “Casco Antiguo” is full of flowers
- At the end of October there is the “Fiestas de Sant
Narcis” (the patron saint of Girona)
in the area
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