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21
February
2014

Girona - Places of Interest

This area has an immense wealth of history, from the prehistoric caves at Serinya, to the ancient Emuries Greek & Roman city, to the monasteries, churches and castles that litter the region.

This is also famous for being Dalí's homeland with Dali's museum Teatre Museu at Figueres, his castle at Pubol and his house, the Casa Museu Dalí, in Port Lligat, near Cadaqué.

In Barcelona, 100 km away, you can experience the architecture of Gaudi and the works of Picasso and Miro, who all made Barcelona their home for many years.

Besalú has an 11th century bridge into the town and 2 beautiful Romanesque churches rest amongst the arcaded streets and squares. There is also a restored mikveh, a ritual Jewish bath dating from the eleventh or twelfth century, as well as the remains of a medieval synagogue, located in the lower town near the river.

Banyoles is found in the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Nature Reserve and hosted the rowing events of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. International events return to Banyoles on a regular basis and now each year a triathlon Premium European Cup (or even a World Cup in 2012) is also hosted in Banyoles, the hometown of the Spanish 2011 Champion Carolina Routier.

In Banyoles visitors can find the 14th century church of  Santa María del Turers and the Neoclassical monastery of Sant Esteve. Vila Nova also offers an ancient square with many bars and cafes.

Girona itself has a wealth of architecture and historical sights, with its Cathedral, Romanesque churches, ancient bath house and museums.

The site of the ancient cathedral was originally used by the Moors as a mosque. After the Moors left, the mosque was altered and rebuilt in parts to make the cathedral of today. It is an excellent example of Catalan Gothic architecture and its Majorcan architect, Jaume Fabre.

Visitors can walk on top of the city walls of the old town which were originally built by the Romans in the 1st century BC for military reasons.

The Collegiate Church of Sant Feliu is 14th-century Gothic and has an 18th century façade. The church is one of the few Spanish churches which possesses a genuine spire.

The Benedictine church of Sant Pere de Galligants is in early Romanesque style.

The Plaça de la Independència takes its name from the War of Spanish Independence against Napoleon Bonaparte. It is located in Mercadal district of the city centre.

Most traces of Girona's rich Jewish history were wiped out when the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, but some still remain. The Museum of Jewish History tells the story of the community that lived in the cramped alleys of the Call for centuries.  

RESTAURANTS

Girona has two Michelin starred restaurants; El Celler de Can Roca (owned by the Roca brothers) has three and Massana has one. Can Roca was voted the Best Restaurant in the World 2013 but is expensive and extremely popular. Bookings are recommended well in advance of your visit.

Girona residents prefer Divinum whose owner learnt his trade under the Roca brothers. The lunch time tasting menu including wine is only 30 euros.

Mimolet can be found on the north side of the city. Lunch time menus from 15 euros. From here it is only a short walk to the Placa Independencia which is lined with bars and restaurants.

Casa Marieta is frequented by the local inhabitants, the menu full of local specialities.

Categories: All topics, Spain