Many people know Girona particularly from the airport. It is a commonly used starting point to explore the Costa Brava, the Pyrenees and of course Barcelona. This is understandable but also a missed opportunity, because Girona is wonderful…
In times past, Girona was founded by the Iberians. Later, the Romans came, followed by war violence of the Goths, the Moors, the Franks and ultimately the French led by Napoleon. Nowadays the city forms part of autonomous Catalonia, but the illustrious past is still clearly visible.
A good example is La Catedral de Girona in the city centre. Originally, an entirely different church building stood here, which was used as a mosque during Moorish times. When the Franks took over the city, the cathedral was rebuilt thoroughly. Led by architect Jaume Fabre, the building got its present Gothic appearance.
The rivers Ter and Onyar cross the city. Water plays an important role: in former times in the Arabic bath houses, later as a source of energy for the paper, cork and textile industry, and nowadays especially as an element of atmosphere. Still, the water must at times give way: at the pleasant Plaza de la Independencia the Onyar now runs underground for a small distance in order to enlarge the pedestrian zone. This has as an advantage that the city now has a beautiful square that invites for a snack and a drink.
The Catalans are lovers of good food. The earliest written recipes in Europe were in Catalan. Those who wish to sample real Catalan cuisine can successively choose: pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread), mar i montanya (a combination of shellfish, fish and poultry) and crema de Sant Josep (Saint Joseph’s cream). Enjoy your meal!
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