Must-see places in Girona
On the eastern side of the Iberian Peninsula, and just a few kilometres away from the French border you will find Girona, which is quite possibly one of the most beautiful and lesser-known cities in Spain. It boasts an interesting combination of exuberant nature, bucolic old town, and a rich history worth discovering.
If you take a walk by the Barri Vell of Girona, it will feel like a ground-shaking journey through time. Tiny streets, ancient buildings, indelible imprints of a rich past and the characteristic tranquillity only such small and historic towns possess. If you’re aiming for a fairy-tale holiday, booking a cheap hotel in Girona will undoubtedly make for the perfect place where you will find a great number of must-see places to enjoy.
A Mediterranean city with a past full of history
The city was founded by the Romans around year 77 b.C. and baptised as Gerunda. It carries the stories of a variety of peoples, including the Roman Empire, the Muslim after their conquest of the peninsula, and the Carolingian Empire, all of which left precious imprints that are still remembered in some of its places. However, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the city began to grow, leaving behind this facet of an almost-rural town, eternally eclipsed by other cities of the old Spain. Today it offers tons of must-see places you can visit and discover, without spending too much money by booking a cheap hotel in Girona with Sidorme.
The Onyar River is the main river, dividing the city in two. More than eleven different bridges connect these two sides of the city, the most famous one being the Eiffel Bridge, built in 1876. Evidently, it owes its name to the very same Gustave Eiffel who, over a decade later, would build the distinguished Eiffel Tower of Paris.
The Sant Feliu Bridge is the most modern one, and it connects the wider area with the old town. Here you will find a great number of must-see places to visit as well. To name a few: The Cathedral of Santa María, built between the 11th and 18th centuries, combining three different styles: the Baroque, the Gothic and the Romanic ones; the remains of its ancient walls, built during the Middle Ages to protect the cathedral from foreign siege; important civil constructions, namely Casa de l’Ardiaca and the Episcopal Palace; or religious buildings of incalculable value, like the Romanic Monastery of San Pedro de Galligans, the chapel of San Nicolás, or the Basilica of San Félix. At the Cathedral square you will also find La Casa Pastors, a Renaissance building, which serves as the Palace of Justice in the present day; and La Pia Almoina.
The houses of Onyar and the judeo-medieval neighbourhood in Girona
Booking a cheap hotel in Girona and discovering this stunning Catalan city means a mandatory visit to one of its most famous photographs: the houses of Onyar. These buildings follow an interesting chromatic pattern, designed by Enric Ansesa, Jaume Faixó, and the architects Josep Fuses and Joan M. Viader. They were built during the past century, and give this the Mediterranean city a bucolic and charismatic image.
Another must-see place in Girona is the Jewish quarter, considered to be one of the better-preserved judeo-medieval city centres of all Europe. Nowadays it’s home to the Bonastruc Ça Porta Centre, which is said to be an old synagogue, turned into a study centre and a Jewish History Museum. This Jewish quarter used to confine an important Jewish community until the 15th century. If we continue our walk through Barri Vell, we will find the Julia and Cornelia Towers, as well as the Arabic baths, which, in spite of their name, are a purely Christian construction in the Romanic style.
To round off our impressive list of must-see places in Girona, we would like to mention the Rambla de la Libertad, built during the 19th century; the Independence square in the historic neighbourhood of Mercadal, the post office building, or the hospital of Santa Caterina, one of the architectural jewels of the city built in the 17th century.
Girona is a city with a rich historic past offering its visitors a rich historical heritage worth admiring and enjoying.