Coat of arms
Motto: Girona m'enamora - Girona inspires me with love Coordinates: Coordinates: Country Spain Autonomous Community Catalonia Province Girona Comarca Gironès Founded 79 BC Government – Mayor Carles Puigdemont Area – Total 39.14 km2 (15.1 sq mi) Elevation(AMSL) 76 m (249 ft) Population (2010) – Total 96,236 Time zone CET (UTC+1) – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) 17001-17007 Area code(s) +34 (Spain) + 972 (Girona) Administrative Divisions 9 Website Official website
Girona (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒiˈɾonə]) is a city in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain at the confluence of the rivers Ter, Onyar, Galligants and Güell, with an official population of 96,236 in January 2009. It is the capital of the province of the same name and of the comarca of the Gironès. Lies 99 km (62 mi) on north-east from Barcelona.
The first historical inhabitants in the region were Iberians; Girona is the ancient Gerunda, a city of the Ausetani. Later, the Romans built a citadel there, which was given the name of Gerunda. The Visigoths ruled in Girona until it was conquered by the Moors. Finally, Charlemagne reconquered it in 785 and made it one of the fourteen original countships of Catalonia. Thus it was wrested temporarily from the Moors, who were driven out finally in 1015. Wilfred the Hairy incorporated Girona to the countship of Barcelona in 878. Alfonso I of Aragón declared Girona to be a city in the 11th century. The ancient countship later became a duchy (1351) when King Peter III of Aragon gave the title of Duke to his first-born son, John. In 1414, King Ferdinand I in turn gave the title of Prince of Girona to his first-born son, Alfonso. The title is currently carried by Prince Felipe, Prince of Asturias, the first since the 16th century to do so.
The 12th century saw a flourishing of the Jewish community of Girona, with one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in Europe. The Rabbi of Girona, Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi (better known as Nahmanides or Ramban) was appointed Great Rabbi of Catalonia. The history of the Jewish community of Girona ended in 1492, when the Catholic Kings expelled all the Jews from Catalonia. Today, the Jewish ghetto or Call is one of the best preserved in Europe and is a major tourist attraction. On the north side of the old city is the Montjuïc (or hill of the Jews in medieval Catalan), where an important religious cemetery was located.
Girona has undergone twenty-five sieges and been captured seven times. It was besieged by the French royal armies under Charles de Monchy d'Hocquincourt in 1653, under Bernardin Gigault de Bellefonds in 1684, and twice in 1694 under Anne Jules de Noailles. In May, 1809, it was besieged by 35,000 French Napoleonic troops under Vergier, Augereau and St. Cyr, and held out obstinately under the leadership of Alvarez until disease and famine compelled it to capitulate, 12 December. Finally, the French conquered the city in 1809, after 7 months of siege. Girona was center of the Ter department during the French rule, which lasted from 1809 to 1813. The defensive city walls were demolished at the end of the 19th century to allow for the expansion of the city. In recent years, the missing parts of the city walls on the eastern side of the city have been reconstructed. Called the Passeig de la Muralla it now forms a tourist route around the old city.
Girona has a mild climate. In winter temperatures can drop to below −5 °C (23 °F) sometimes due to winds coming from the Pyrenees. In the summer temperatures often soar to about 30–40 °C (86–104 °F) in the high season of July and August. Rain is common in winter and spring and thunderstorms often occur. Frost is common in winter, making temperatures seem colder than they actually are.
Climate data for Girona Airport Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) 12.8
20.2 Daily mean °C (°F) 6.9
14.3 Average low °C (°F) 1.0
8.4 Precipitation mm (inches) 65
Avg. precipitation days 5 5 6 7 7 6 4 5 6 6 5 5 67 Sunshine hours 147 152 172 182 218 233 288 260 195 165 146 132 2,290 Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología
Girona is a popular destination for tourists and Barcelona day-trippers - the train journey from Barcelona Sants to Girona takes less than two hours. The old town stands on the steep hill of the Capuchins to the west of the river, while the more modern section stands on the plains to the east.
The ancient cathedral, which stood on the site of the present one, was used by the Moors as a mosque, and after their final expulsion was either entirely remodelled or rebuilt. The present edifice is one of the most important monuments of the school of the Majorcan architect Jaume Fabre and an excellent example of Spanish Gothic architecture. It is approached by eighty-six steps. An aisle and chapels surround the choir, which opens by three arches into the nave, of which the pointed stone vault is the widest in Christendom (22 meters). Among its interior decorations is a retable which is the work of the Valencian silversmith Pere Bernec. It is divided into three tiers of statuettes and reliefs, framed in canopied niches of cast and hammered silver. A gold and silver altar-frontal was carried off by the French in 1809. The cathedral contains the tombs of Ramon Berenger and his wife.
The old fortifications are another popular sight. Historically, these have 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 century 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 thet start of the 16th century, the wall was absorbed in the city. The walled precinct lost its military value. Bit by bit, the wall was degrading, as parts were gradually altered from the inside and the outside. The walls and lookout towers that make up these fortifications are split in two - a small section in the north of the old town and a much larger section in the south. It is possible to walk the entire length of the walls and climb the towers, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Girona and the surrounding countryside.
The Collegiate Church of Sant Feliu is noteworthy from an architectural point of view. Its style is fourteenth-century Gothic, the façade dating from the eighteenth, and it is one of the few Spanish churches which possesses a genuine spire. It contains, besides the sepulchre of its patron and the tomb of the valiant Álvarez, a chapel dedicated to St. Narcissus, who according to tradition was one of the early bishops of the see.
Most traces of Girona's rich Jewish history were wiped out when the Jews were expelled from Spain (see Spanish expulsion), however some remain. On Carrer de Sant Llorenc, the doorway of an old building has a rectangular indentation which once held a mezuzah. Further along is the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta and the Catalan Jewish Museum. The Bonastruc ça Porta project started in the 1970s, when it became fashionable to renovate properties in the old town. Clearing away nearly 700 years of construction, Jose Tarres, a local restaurateur, discovered the remains of what turned out to be the medieval yeshiva founded by Nahmanides.
The city has a number of relevant Art Nouveau buildings including the Farinera Teixidor by Rafael Masó.
During the professional cycling season, various non-European pro cyclists have called Girona home, as illustrated in the book Inside the Postal Bus by Michael Barry, written during his time with the US Postal Service cycling team. Between races, cyclists do their training rides outside the city, which provides excellent training terrain.
In the Spring of 1997 Marty Jemison, Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie moved to Girona as teammates of the US Postal Service Professional Cycling Team. This was the first year that American cyclists started living in Girona and meeting for training rides at the Pont de Pedra. Later, other well-known professional cyclists such as Lance Armstrong came to live in the city.
Football is also widely popular. The local Football club is Girona FC, currently playing in the Spanish Segunda División after promotion in the 2007-08 season in the playoffs. Its stadium is Estadi Montilivi.
The city is the home of the Universitat de Girona.
The city has a comprehensive local bus service. There are also services to the other towns in the Girona province.
Girona is served at its railway station to the west of the Old Town, from Barcelona to Portbou and the French border. The journey time to Barcelona is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. A new station is being constructed for the AVE trains which will be in the same location as the current one, but underground.
- Main article: Girona-Costa Brava Airport
The town's airport, Girona-Costa Brava, is 10 km south of the town centre. It has grown tremendously in recent years principally as a result of Ryanair choosing it as one of their European hubs. Whilst the airport has been used since the early 1980s for charter flights, holidaymakers and other travellers now have a wider range of scheduled flights available from a number of destinations across Europe.
Girona Airport is a 15 minute bus ride from the bus terminal and train station in Girona city and an hour from Barcelona centre, 92 km to the south. Most low cost airlines mention "Barcelona" in their descriptions of Girona airport. The bus stops in the centre of Barcelona, at the Estació d'Autobusos Barcelona Nord, Barcelona's main bus terminal.
Twin towns — sister cities
Girona is twinned with:
- Official website
- History of the coat-of-arms of Girona
- Universitat de Girona
- Girona Airport website
- Real Estate in Girona
- Girona Map
- Hostelry association of Girona
Municipalities of GironèsAiguaviva · Bescanó · Bordils · Campllong · Canet d'Adri · Cassà de la Selva · Celrà · Cervià de Ter · Flaçà · Fornells de la Selva · Girona · Juià · Llagostera · Llambilles · Madremanya · Quart · Salt · Sant Andreu Salou · Sant Gregori · Sant Joan de Mollet · Sant Jordi Desvalls · Sant Julià de Ramis · Sant Martí Vell · Sant Martí de Llémena · Sarrià de Ter · Vilablareix · Viladasens Capitals of provinces of Spain
- A Coruña
- Castellón de la Plana
- Ciudad Real
- Donostia-San Sebastián
- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Santa Cruz
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