Girona, Spain

Capital of the province of Girona in Catalonia, Spain, the city is known as a fantastic starting point for tours of Catalonia, but it is also a lovely place to stay awhile. Its famous, historic Jewish community is a well-preserved site as well as their ancient cemetery, located on a hill in the north of town. Visitors will find the Office of Tourism on the right side of the river near Old Town beside the Municipal de Girona building. The neighboring area by the river has many restaurants, museums and other sites of interest. Girona has the old walled city and the new side, and the sprawling city is a favorite getaway only an hour’s drive from the beach.

Girona is several thousands of years old and its first inhabitants were Iberians. The Romans constructed a bastion that was called Gerunda. The Visigoths settled in the area and then the Moors. In 785, Charlemagne reclaimed and captured the region. Then, in the 1000s, Alfonzo I. of Aragon officially made the metropolis a city.

Next, Jews began to set up the Girona community in the 1000s. They established a significantly prestigious Kabbalistic school. Then, in 1492, the horrific Spanish Expulsion took place when the country was cleared of all Jewish people. 1492 was same year that Columbus made the famous voyage for Spain to the Americas. Many hundreds of years later the Jews came back to settle in their former community. Then from the 1600s on to the 1800s, the city lay under siege twenty-five times and different kingdoms occupied the area.

In modern times, the damaged parts of the wall of the ancient city have been restored and the district is visited by many thousands of people every year who want to see this enduring old city. The wall and the Old Town inside is a favorite attraction. The narrow streets in and around this historic district are set aside for pedestrians and bicyclists. The castle is a must-see site, as is the Eglesia de Sant Feliu, the second church ever built in Girona.

Additionally, people enjoy the traditional Arab baths and the many walking tours available. Those who desire can even walk right on top of the old city wall. Guided tours are available and friendly, knowlegeable guides from the local area take individuals and groups on tours of anything in and around the city. Booking a guide is one of the best ways to get to know the city and the region, and the guide can enhance the visit by helping visitors find the excellent cafes open all night and businesses most frequented by locals.

Girona is a lovely city for extended stays and relocation. Citizens of this urban center are well satisfied with their city and are glad to live in Girona. Several golf courses surround the area. The climate is mild and enjoys all four seasons. Still in August, much of the city goes to the beach every afternoon if possible because of the heat.


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