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Discover the capital of the Costa Brava, was the motto of our day tour through Girona, a beautiful city in the northeast of Catalunya. We were accompanied by our knowledgeable and friendly guide Gloria Lomas.
The route goes along a Orienteering Circuits, which can be found at the 10 different points in the city. These are arranged in such a way that one obtains the best possible overview of the city. With each of these points a myth or a legend of the city is connected. Myths and legends there are many in Girona. Presumably, this is due to the medieval cityscape and the related medieval religion and belief. (See also The Countless Legends of Girona by Leyla Giray Alyanak)
The tour leads us to the
Arab Baths and castle
Girona lies approx. 90 km northeast of Barcelona and got presumably founded by the Iberians, a neolithic Celtic or also North African tribe which lived here in the 6 century BC. Later came the Celts, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and the Romans, who built a fort.
After the end of Roman Age it was ruled by the Visigoths and later by the Moors. When Charlemagne had incorporated the town into his empire, Hischam I, the Emir of Cordoba destroyed Girona. Only with Wilfred the Hairy, who had been appointed by the Carolingian, Girona was annexed to Catalonia.
On our arrival in Girona the weather is still a little cheerless so that we can enjoy the view of the bridges of the Onyar in the famous cityscape with its colorful facades only partially.
In former times Girona was decried as dirty city, which was partly due to the paper industry, as well as the fact that the houses on the river had external toilets. Only after the death of General Franco, under the new mayor, who was a historian, a sewage system was created and the toilets were installed inside the buildings. The facades were given new coats of fresh colors. Previously known as “Girona The Gray” the city now was nicknamed “Girona the Caramel”.
Immediately upon entering the city, we pass one of his most famous sculptures. “La Leona”, representing a lion climbing up on a pillar. One says that whoever kisses its rear comes back to the city.
To our amusement one of our fellow bloggers did it immediately. Another sculpture is supposed to represent a pair of lovers. At the entrance we see an obelisk on which the city’s history is carved.
Sant Pere de Galligant
We reach the former monastery Sant Pere de Galligants, a fine example of the Catalan Romanesque, which was built in 1130.
The tower was later converted into a fortified tower. In the streets we can inspect the old walls, which were built from marine deposits. Petrified molluscs and crustaceans are clearly visible.
The name of the Arab baths probably comes from a previous building, yet the Moorish style is unmistakably recognisable at the building. It was built around 1200.
Each of the water basins in the three rooms had a different temperature, similar to how it was already the case in the Roman baths. After a misappropriation it was restored again and was still 400 years in operation. Since 1931, the Arab baths are part of the historical heritage of Spain.
The way uphill takes us to the ruins of the castle which was built on the old Roman fort;
The different construction stages are still recognisable. A tower, which has been preserved is used as a viewing platform. From here you have a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the city walls.
Unique is the greening of the old walls, which promise a pleasant climate and a high recreational value.
Looking for a great place to eat after so much sightseeing! Check out the ultimate guide to the Girona restaurants, from a local who lives here.
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Disclosure : We were kindly invited by Girona Tourism. Many thanks for it! All impressions and opinions are our own and were not influenced by this!
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