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Travel; Girona, Spain, Sept 8/2017


Continuation of the trip from Barcelona (here)



Friday - Sept 8th/2017

Place : Touring Girona


If you are a “Game of Thrones” fan, Girona will captivate your imagination.

Many of the filming sites here, were used with very little computer generated imagery, so these places appear almost like they do in the TV serial


In comparison to Barcelona, Girona lacks in size and in architectural grenadier, but though smaller, it compensates in charm, authenticity, and its best advantage is the absence of tourist floods.


Girona -Historical Center




This small but enchanting and colorful Northern Catalonia “City of the Four Rivers” encompasses, Roman remains, medieval walls and structures, Gothic churches and monasteries, Arab Bath- Chamam, narrow steep allies, cobbled lanes and a glorious Jewish past, combined with modern museums, galleries, and food establishments .





The Roman town of Gerunda lay on the famous Vía Augusta, the highway from Cádiz all the way to the Pyrenees.

Taken from the Muslims by the Franks in the late 8th century, Girona became the capital of one of Catalonia’s most important counties, falling under the sway of Barcelona in the late 9th century.

Girona has undergone 150 rivers floods, and twenty-five sieges, yet has strive again and again.


Best way to get to know the historic center

Girona Tourist Information Office offers 2 hours Walking Tours in English, with a very enthusiastic tourist guide named Christina. which we enjoyed tremendously,


Tourist information Office , info@gironana 34 674 95 58 05


Passeig de la Muralla -

For the Best Views, Walk on the Medieval Walls from 14th c

From the top of the walls, the views over the city are spectacular. Towers periodically interrupt the walls for even better views.




Old fortifications

The old fortifications played a vital role in protecting Girona from invaders for hundreds of years. The city wall of the old town was an important military construction built in Roman times in the 1st c BC. It was thoroughly rebuilt under the reign of Peter III the Ceremonious in the second half of the 14th century. The Roman wall was used as a foundation. At the start of the 16th century, the wall was absorbed in the city. The walled precinct lost its military value.


Cases de l'Onyar - The Hanging Houses




The colorful picturesque houses characteristic of Girona are overlooking the river Onyar.  The facades are painted according to a palette created by Enric Ansesa, James J. Faixó and the architects Fuses and J. Viader. (more)



Pont de les Peixateries Velles -Walk Across Eiffel Bridge



Gustav Eiffel designed and constructed a bridge in Girona in 1876, just before the Eiffel Tower was built. 



Saint Mary of Girona

Walk up the Steps of the Girona Cathedral 14thc




The ancient Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church,  a scenic spot and a popular gathering point for visitors to the city, one of the most important examples of Spanish Gothic architecture. Perched on top of a hill, where a Roman Temple was once situated, it dominates the skyline of Girona and the only way into the cathedral is to climb the long staircase to the entrance.

It was used by the Moors as a mosque, and after their final expulsion was either entirely remodeled .

This cathedral was used in the filming of Season 6 Game of Thrones.



The Jewish Connection

Jewish community flourished in Girona from 982 until their expulsion in 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs expelled all the Jews from Catalonia.

One of the best preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe situated around Cirona’s Carrer de la Força street.



The area where they lived, a joy to explore, is a maze of narrow, winding, cobble stoned lanes, still intact and very much like they were over 500 years ago.


In the 12th century the Jewish community the at the height of the flourishing, the community run one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in Europe.

The Rabbi of Girona, Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi (Nahmanides or Ramban) was appointed Great Rabbi of Catalonia. 

On the north side of the old city is the Montjuic (or hill of the Jews in medieval Catalan), where an important religious cemetery was located.



Farther along  the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta is the Catalan Jewish Museum next to where once a Synagogue was situated, and were a Mikva is preserved, is a worth whileThe Bonastruc ça Porta project started in the 1970s, when it became fashionable to renovate properties in the old town.


Plaça Independencia

A charming square located on the West bank of the Onyar River. A good location to have a coffee or wine or ice-cream break




FOOD

For fantastic Ice-cream just of this square opened by one of the three Roca Chef brothers known for their  Michelin star restaurant. 


RocaMbolesc  - Gelateria Santa Clara 50  34972 416 667


Mercadillo de girona - Girona Food Market


A small but great variety of food products for much more reasonable prices.


Cafe le Bistrot - A popular place for coffee but not food

Pujada de Sant Domènec, 4,




We had a great diner at a local Sea Food place in Girona old center

Arrows I PEIX  972 426 300



El Celler de Can Roca. - another recommended amazing restaurant - opened in 1986 by the Roca brothers,





Catalonia’s Referendum Exist -

Catalonia to hold independence vote despite anger in Madrid. (Referandum)


The town was full with Catalan demonstrators who were endorsing passionately a separation from Spain which they detest.

The Spanish government has accused the Catalan parliament of committing a “constitutional and democratic atrocity” by approving legislation to allow next month’s bitterly disputed independence referendum to go ahead.

The legislation passed by 72 votes after 52 opposition MPs walked out of the chamber in Barcelona in protest at the end of an ill-tempered, 11-hour session

Catalan separatists insist the wealthy north-eastern region has a political, economic and cultural right to self-determination.

But Madrid is opposed to independence, arguing that it is a violation of the constitution, and has refused to offer a Scottish-style referendum on the matter.



To be Continued...