Discover Historic Gerona

If you’re planning to rent one of our holiday villas in the Costa Brava then make sure you allow some time in your itinerary to explore the historic gem of Gerona.

The Catalonian city of Girona is in the far north eastern corner of the province, only 70 kilometres from the French border and 100 kilometres from Barcelona. It was founded in 79BC by the Romans and as a result has the typical feel of an ancient Mediterranean city, with architectural landmarks from many different epochs.

Gerona, Catalonia, Spain
Picturesque Gerona

Its location is at the confluence of several rivers, including the Ter and the Onyar, alongside which much of its older dwellings have been constructed. These riverside houses are now painted with a palette of natural colours, such as ochre, terracotta and umber as set out by Enric Ansesa, the Catalonian artist and James J Faixó.

As a tourist destination, it has plenty of historic buildings to explore, with the existing cathedral having been built on the original site of a mosque from the Moorish period of the town’s past. Apart from the cathedral there are also several other significant churches, including Sant Feliu, located on the banks of the river Onyar and dating from the 14th Century and the church of Sant Pere de Galligants which is Romanesque in style and has been built on the foundations of the monastery that was first constructed in 992.

Surrounding the perimeter of the old town are the ancient fortifications, which were begun when the city was founded by the Romans and which have been added to down the centuries, culminating in the city wall that was built under Peter III in the fourteenth century. After this time, the walls and castle battlements were incorporated into the city´s structure as it expanded beyond the walls that originally defined its limits.

Nowadays, Girona´s landmarks have merged seamlessly into the cityscape and can be found amongst the narrow streets and stone stairways connecting the various areas of the town as it straddles the steep hillside of Capuchins.

The old Jewish quarter is testament to the period of Girona´s history before the Alhambra Decree was introduced in 1492, leading the majority of Jewish residents to flee from Spain. Prior to this point in Spain´s history, many cities thrived upon a successful cultural mix of Muslims, Jews and Christians.

The climate varies from cool winters, when temperatures may drop as low as freezing, to summer highs of 30-40º C. It is described as a temperate humid climate, receiving the majority of its rainfall in autumn and spring, although thunderstorms are also common during the summer months.

Battle Of The Sunbeds Hots Up

Who are the biggest hoggers of sunbeds and loungers in Spain´s holiday resorts? Quiz your average Brit and the response is likely to be unequivocal, with the Germans widely regarded as the most avaricious space invaders when it comes to annexing additional lebensraum for their families by the pool side.

Summer Sun Lounger War
Summer Sun Lounger War

However now Germany´s leading tabloid newspaper Bild, has weighed into the fray, claiming that British tourists are in fact the main culprits!

The latest front in this annual ritual of the summer sunbed wars was opened by Bild in conjunction with the German tour operator, Urlaubstours. Who together monitored the towel reserving antics of various nationalities at a hotel in Lloret de Mar on Spain´s Costa Brava.

This highly scientific study examined the number of sun loungers reserved around the hotel pool by the traditional tactic of towel placement between the hours of 7.30am and 9.30am. According to Bild´s highly trained investigators, British holidaymakers were the worst culprits, far outnumbering the Germans! However in their defence British tourists when challenged refused to throw in the towel, claiming instead that they had no choice, as there simply weren´t enough sunbeds around the hotel pool to go round.

Much like The Sun newspaper in the UK, Bild delights in poking fun at their old enemies in Britain, offering resorting to war related themes and puns. The tabloid also recently suggesting that British tourists suffer from ´Prince Harry Syndrome´ – a ´condition´ that manifests itself in extreme and anti-social forms of behaviour such as nudity and drunkenness!

Indeed German tourists seem to be about as keen on the Brits as we are on them, with another recent survey there concluding that the bulk of UK holidaymakers are drunk, fat and covered in bad tattoos.
One way of course to avoid getting embroiled in this annual battle is to book your own villa with pool, so ensuring total privacy and obviating the need for such underhand tactics!