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.
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.