Girona, located in the heart of Catalonia, Spain. Besides, it sits between Barcelona and Costa Brava and it is a magnificent place to visit. As well, it offers historical wealth with its medieval walls different fascinating museums, and impressive cathedrals to discover.
Here are our 9 best things to do in Girona.
1- Girona Cathedral:
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Girona Cathedral is certainly one of the most top attractions of the city. Besides, it is popular for having the broadest Gothic nave in the world positioning spectacularly at the top of a long flight of stone steps.
Building of this impressive basilica started in 1312 and took more than four centuries to complete. It is a mixture of different architectural styles containing Renaissance and Romanesque that have left their mark on.
Moreover, its façade and bell tower weren’t completed until the 18th century. The access charge covers entry to the cathedral and highlights the sumptuously carved fantastical beasts and biblical scenes in the cloister’s southern gallery. Besides, a 14th-century silver altarpiece, covered with gemstones exhibiting 16 scenes from the life of Christ. Also seek out the bishop’s throne and the museum, which holds the superb Romanesque Tapestry of the Creation (Tapís de la creació), dating from the 12th century.
2- the Arab Baths:
The Arab Baths in Girona dates back to 1194, these baths were public from the Romanesque period that followed Roman baths, Muslim baths and Jewish mikveh. The building is innovative by the typology of North African baths, but its architectural designs are clearly Romanesque style.
This is a magnificent space to visit, by discovering the room where bathers would have naked, known as the Apodyterium. This has as its centerpiece an octagonal pool around which stand eight beautiful columns, atop which is a dome through which the light pours.
3- The Archaeology Museum:
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The Girona Archaeology Museum occupying part of the old Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants. The Museum exhibits a collection and information that cover everything from prehistory up to the medieval times. It contains objects made by prehistoric man, artefacts from the Roman period tools, weapons, jewelry, pots, and urns, trace human activity in the region and Jewish tombstones.
4- Devesa Gardens:
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Devesa gardens are the largest urban park in Catalonia and one of Girona’s most imposing places. The gardens founded between the rivers Ter, Onyar and Güell, to the west of the historic city centre.
Furthermore, The Gardens comprised more than 2,500 plane trees that were planted in 1850. Today, the growth of the city has made its former sense of seclusion, and distance disappears, and instead contributed to the gardens integration into Girona. But it’s still a good place for walking and amusing activities such as the fairs at the Fira de Girona, the Barraques during the Festival of Sant Narcís and the market that takes place each Saturday.
5- Sant Fèlix Church:
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The Church of Sant Fèlix was the major Girona’s church and one of most attractive Gothic buildings before the cathedral was built. It constructed in honour of the Martyr Saint Felix, lasted from the 12th century until the 17th, and it still includes an ample part of the Romanesque building which was finished later on with Gothic naves, rooves, and a Baroque façade.
6- Cinema Museum:
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The Cinema Museum considered as an attractive place for cinephiles. Besides, it gives you a chance to discover the history of cinema from shadow theatre to the magic lantern, from photography to the cinematography of the Lumière brothers, from Mèliés to TV via Griffith and the unique Charlie Chaplin.
The museum opened in 1998 in the former Casa de les Aigües. it organizes a vast range of courses, activities and displays such as film screenings, specialized courses, workshops for children.
7- Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants:
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The monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants is one of the most impressive Catalan Romanesque monuments. It was constructed close to the northern wall of Girona, on the left bank of the Galligants River that flows through Girona, gives its name to Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants.
The church, occurring from refabricating in 1131, has layout of three naves the middle of which is enveloped with barrel vault and the other two with quadrant vaults and a transept finishing in four apses, which give the cathedral the design of a castle.
The simple façade of the cathedral contained few adornments, evokes the great Romanesque cathedrals. Only the rose window and the three-storey bell tower stand out. Whilst the tower is octagonal and rebuilt in the 1960s. Furthermore, it constructed by two friezes of double windows with Lombardy arches. Besides, the softness of its edges provides it a circular profile when seen from a distance.
The cloister is from the 17th century and one of the most attractive in the Romanesque art of Catalonia. Its capitals are engraved with a magnificent repertory of scenes from the New Testament and episodes from the infancy of Jesus, with floral and animal icons.
8- The Onyar River:
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Onyar River is one of Girona’s most picturesque scenes. Notable for its impressive bridges and the colorful houses along the riverside. Besides, The Onyar River pass through Girona and has over time become an essential part of the city.
The bright and multi- colored houses that line the Onyar River worth a look. There are various bridges which across it, especially Pont de Pedra and Pont de Feliu, look as if they have come from a children’s book. Different shapes of the houses with different colors as well as their images in the river gave them a whimsical quality.
9- Jewish History Museum:
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The Jewish Museum exhibits the history from the 9th to 15th centuries of the Jewish medieval communities in Catalonia and the old Kingdom of Aragon. Visitors can see a wide collection of the medieval Jewish gravestone.
Moreover, the Museum has eleven thematic areas: Community life, the life cycle Festivals and traditions, the Jewries, the Diaspora, the synagogue, the cemetery, daily bread, the cultural heritage, cultural co-existence, Jewish converts and the inquisition. The main purpose of the museum is to protect and spread the history of Jewish communities in Catalonia.