I visited charming Girona during my summer holiday last month. Girona has a well-preserved old town which clearly shows traces of rulers of the city.
Remains of the Romans
One of the first folks who came to Girona was the Romans. The Iberians (ancestors of the Spanish) were there first but it was he Romans who built one citadel which is called Gerunda. Today the most visited remains of the Romans in Girona are The Wall (La Muralla) and the north gate. This wall was built in 1st century BC and has been renovated and restored 5 years ago.
In its 2000 years history Girona had been besieged 25 times. The city survived 18 attacks due to protection of this immense wall.
Beneath is a restaurant preparing a party. With this view I would also like to throw a party there.
First mention of Jewish settlement dated in 890. 25 Jewish families lived in Carrer de Força (Força street) along the Cathedral of Girona. This settlement expanded and The Call (Jewish quarter) as we know now, was established. At that time Jews participated actively in the city life as money lenders, merchants, craftsmen, bookbinders and businessmen. During the 12th – 13th Girona was the center of Kaballah studies in Europe. No wonder with this history that The Call is the best preserved Jewish quarter in the world.
It is interesting to wander around the call. Direction boards are clearly shown so that tourists won’t get lost. Some narrow alleys block the hot sun in the heat of the day. For the ladies and those with weak foot; wear comfy shoes as some alleys are quite steep and they are made of cobble stones.
More to explore
Girona’s old town is not only about The Call & La Muralla. It offers some landmarks to explore.
The priest’s house
Arabian bath house
University of Girona
Walking around the old town you see signs of people living there, cars and garbage containers.
My husband and I dined at this restaurant in the last evening of our stay. It was a memorable dinner under the stars.
Girona’s old town is unique. It was quite impressive to be there especially at night. As a history nerd I tried to imagine what life must have been like in the 11th century, how warriors defended the city during the military sieges and how scared the Gironians were during the civil war in the 1930es.
I have visited this city three times and luckily never experienced mass tourism. So I highly recommend this part of the world.