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Girona

A river city and the confluence of three religions

A river city and the confluence of three religions

A stroll through Girona allows you to see Arab baths, Gothic churches and one of Europe’s best preserved Jewish quarters.

A minor city with major attractions

Populated since the Iberian period and used in the 1st century BC to defend the entrance to the Via Augusta in Hispania, Girona is a city that has lived through various periods of splendour coinciding with the three religions that have configured its history and culture: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Now, Girona is home to one of Europe’s best preserved and largest Jewish quarters, Arab baths from the 12th century and small Christian churches hidden between sinuous medieval streets.

Girona, a little over an hour’s drive from Barcelona, is an unmissable destination for those who want to discover a city full of history and cultural activity. The streets of its Old Town, where visitors can take a trip back to the Middle Ages, lead to the river Onyar where the so-called ‘hanging houses’ constitute one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Girona is home to the world’s widest single-nave cathedral, an architectural prodigy with an immense stairway. The building, which has undergone numerous reconstructions in almost all architectural styles, has a Romanesque tower and cloister, a Gothic nave with nineteen side chapels and nine ambulatory chapels, and a Baroque bell tower and facade. The cathedral’s museum is home to the Tapestry of Creation, a Romanesque masterpiece.

The cathedral is right in the heart of the Old Town, where you can explore the Jewish quarter, one of Europe’s largest, discover Arab baths, see the 12th-century Benedictine Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants and trace the path of the city walls from the Carolingian (9th century) and medieval (14th to 15th centuries) periods.

The Museum of Jewish History is a point of special interest as it exhibits unique documents and objects that explain the history of the Jewish community in Catalonia, with special emphasis on the inhabitants of Girona’s Jewish quarter.

In a more modern area of the city you can see one of the symbols of Girona, the popular ‘Onyar houses’ or ‘hanging houses’. These 19th-century constructions painted in ochre tones are right on the edge of the river Onyar. The river, crossed by numerous bridges built in different periods and different styles; Devesa Park, the city’s green space; and Rambla de la Llibertat are some of its other points of interest.

 

Points of interest

  • The cathedral
  • The Jewish quarter
  • The Museum of Jewish History
  • The Arab baths
  • The Carolingian (9th century) and Late-Middle-Age (14th-15th centuries) city walls
  • The Cinema Museum