Beautiful, Colorful, Romantic Girona

Posted on 22. Feb, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Press Trips, Spain

Very little people actually know much about Catalonia, except for Barcelona. Independence? Costa Brava? Wineries? What? I was one of these people. And after spending 5 days in the region, I am somewhat ashamed of the very little knowledge I had before, and kind of sad that I didn’t visit before… because in case you didn’t know, Catalonia is awesome!

One of the city I discovered during my trip is Girona, Northern Catalonia’s capital.

Our group was taken on a fun guided tour that showed us what to do in Girona, and we learned more about the sights and history. I particularly loved the story about locals kissing the lion statue’s ass to get in the city after the doors were closed in Roman times… I didn’t dare to, but needless to say it’s a very popular attraction!

My favorite part, however, was standing on the bridge near Sant Feliu’s Church and admire the typical Girona houses, called cases penjades, along the Onyar River, in every possible shade of pink, yellow and orange. It seems like they are piling on top of each other in a chaoticm yet beautiful way. A municipal rule actually stated that whenever someone wants to repaint a facade in Girona, it has to be one of the 700 pre-selected colors, in order to maintain a coherent color theme throughout the city. Pretty smart!

Girona’s Old Jewish Quarter

Girona actually has a pretty important Jewish heritage, and the Old Jewish quarter is one of the prettiest, with dozens of narrow, dark alleys. Up until their expulsion of Catalonia in 1492, Jews flourished in the area and developed an intricate network of patios, which they used to meet up, away from the Christian eyes. These patios are now part of the famous Temps de Flors festival and host amazing flower displays every year.

Cathedral Saint Mary of Girona

Another important attraction is the Girona Cathedral, well known for its quirky architectural details, including the widest Gothic nave in the world. Its construction, which started in the 11th century and ended in the 18th, was spread over so many years that it’s actually changed styles! There are touches of Roman, Gothic and Baroque architecture, making it totally unique.

After this thorough visit of Girona, I have to admit that I am somewhat ashamed of myself for not visiting sooner because of my lack of knowledge. It’s a beautiful city, filled with romantic alleys, colorful houses and a rich history, and a great introduction to the rest of Catalonia. And not to speak of Girona restaurants…

Disclaimer: I was offered a complimentary blog trip by Charming Villas Catalonia. As always, all opinions are my own.

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27 Responses to “Beautiful, Colorful, Romantic Girona”

  1. Andrea

    23. Feb, 2012

    Such a colourful riverfront! Looks like a really interesting place to visit

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      I was quite surprised by the colors actually, it kind of reminded me of Italy!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Erin

    23. Feb, 2012

    Great overview of Girona - absolutely loved it there!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gorgeous! I was browsing Barcelona day trips since I too, know nothing of Catalunya and Girona came up! We’ll have to go then!

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      You MUST! Girona is easily accessible and definitely enjoyable.

      Reply to this comment
  4. It sounds like just wandering through the beautiful streets would be enjoyable. :)

    Reply to this comment
  5. Madaboutravel

    24. Feb, 2012

    Loved your post! I live quite near Girona and I try to visit as often as I can. It is a unique and very beautiful city (and not too crowded!)

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      Yeah I think the most fun part is that it’s a city, but not too crowded or overwhelming.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Laurel

    26. Feb, 2012

    I didn’t much about Girona either until I visited, but thought it was amazing as well, such a beautiful, historic city!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Jade - OurOyster.com

    27. Feb, 2012

    Wow it looks really pretty! I love the riverside house photo! Spain always enchants me… I can’t wait to go back to Europe

    Reply to this comment
  8. Richard in Spain

    28. Feb, 2012

    Nice photos, I too realy enjoyed visiting Girona. I think that Girona and other towns like Tarragona and Zaragoza often get overlooked because of their proximity to Barcelona.

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      Yes, Barcelona definitely overshadows the rest of the region, sadly. But I’m so glad I chose to exclude it from this trip!

      Reply to this comment
  9. Iain Montgomery

    28. Feb, 2012

    One of the most overlooked cities in the Europe. I loved Girona and only discovered it with a spare day waiting for a Ryanair flight home!

    Some incredible architecture and passionate people.

    Reply to this comment
  10. lara dunston

    01. Mar, 2012

    Beautiful pics. It’s always been one of my favourite parts of Spain. My husband and I did a two week driving trip through the region many years ago and spent Christmas in the Spanish Pyrenees - was magical. Until I got ill. But still lovely! Loved Girona.

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      Yes, spending the holidays there must be quite magical indeed. I’m really glad I discovered Catalonia outside of its capital.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Kurt

    01. Mar, 2012

    Some good photos. I would have to say that when I visit Spain the southern and northern parts are what interest me most.

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      Me too! I absolutely love Andalusia and Catalonia - I could never choose!

      Reply to this comment
  12. cheryl

    13. Mar, 2012

    I too loved Girona and agree, it’s very romantic! You should have kissed the butt of the lioness to ensure you will come back. ;)

    Reply to this comment
    • admin

      14. Mar, 2012

      Yeah I should have but we were a bit rushed in time :( And I didn’t trust my coordinating abilities to get me up there haha

      Reply to this comment
  13. Beautiful photos! I love the Jewish Quarter passage ways.

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