Girona, Spain is a modern city with historical context. The Romans built a city wall here in the 1st century BC. The city has seen the influence of Visigoths, Moors and Charlemagne. One of the best preserved Jewish ghettos in Europe remains from the 12th to 15th centuries prior to the Jews being exiled from Spain in 1492. The city has suffered through 25 sieges and seven times been captured, mostly by French invaders.
The Travel Blog Exchange TBEX12 Europe conference was held in Girona in September 2012. The city of 100,000 residents is one of the major cities of Catalonia. The train from Barcelona is a 10 EUR ticket and about a 75 minute train ride.
Girona has an old quarter as the center of tourism in the city. I spent several hours walking around the old walls of Girona as part of a city tour and as a solo explorer.
Old Girona. I wonder about the purpose of a spiked door?
Many of the streets between buildings in the old quarter are too narrow for cars, yet cars still squeeze through some of the streets crowded with tourists.
Café life happens in the streets of Girona on warm summer days.
Shortly before the early dinner hours.
One of the features of the walled quarter of Girona is the ability to walk along the reconstructed wall top.
Much of the city walls were torn down in the 19th century. The reconstructed walls are now a major tourist attraction.
I assume this was a “stop and drop” toilet hole in the wall.
Stairways lead up and down the wall in various sections.
Girona Cathedral began construction in the 11th century in a Romanesque style and continued with a gothic style in the 13th century. The interior has the widest gothic nave in the world. The bell tower was completed in 1117.
This modern belltower of Girona Cathedral was completed in the 18th century.
Girona Cathedral façade.
Jewish Museum, Girona.
Jewish quarters in the towns of Catalonia were referred to as El Call. In the 13th to 15th centuries Barcelona had around 4,000 Jews, Perpignan about 1,000 and Girona around 800 Jews living in El Call.
The educated Jews of Spain were instrumental in providing a written translation of Arabic science and mathematics texts to European languages allowing spread of knowledge throughout Europe.
El Call Girona, the historic Jewish Quarter.
Old Quarter Girona.
Sant Nicolau is a 12th century Lombard Romanesque style church. Girona is a wooded landscape outside the city.
Cypress tree beside the tower.
Sant Feliu (11th-17th centuries) is dedicated to the Catalan-born Saint Feliu of Girona who was martyred in 304 in Girona. The cathedral has many architectural styles in its 1,000 years of construction. This is believed to be the site of the first Christian church in Girona.
Sant Feliu, Girona.
Hotel Carlemany, Girona
Hotel Carlemany is a modern 4-star business hotel in a central location about 10 minutes walk from the Girona train station and 10 minutes to the Old Quarter of Girona. I stayed here four nights. The conference rate was 80 EUR/night.
Hotel Carlemany – Standard bedroom King Bed
Hotel Carlemany, Girona
This room seemed upscale after three nights at a Best Western and Holiday Inn Express in Barcelona.