Girona, Catalonia, Spain

Girona is an incredibly picturesque Catalonian city on a hill with tangled city streets, several fascinating museums, charming shops and cafes on every corner and a long and storied history. I’d intended only to spend an afternoon and morning there on my way from Barcelona on to France but a slight travel hitch resulted in my spending about 36 hours in the city and I thoroughly enjoyed them. As I learned from the really well curated city history museum, the city dates back to Roman times when it was built as a guard post on the road which connected Hispania with the Roman empire. Counter to normal Roman city planning it was built into a hill because of the location of the road. The hill didn’t cause the roman city planners to alter their grid format, though – they just ran all the east west roads straight up the hill as stair ways. They even built their forum on two levels with a massive stairway in the middle. The current cathedral occupies the former temple location.

I was totally transfixed by the old city walls, now a sort of park walkway.  Judging by the style of the brick and metal work I’d guess that the city undertook its restoration in the 80’s or 90’s and they reinforced and added to the wall all along its length putting in access stairs and bridging gaps as needed.  It affords a stunning view into and out of the city and is a beautiful combination of ancient and novel.  Enjoy:

And the photocollection of the day is doorways and archways, of which the city has many!

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2 responses to “Girona, Catalonia, Spain

  1. Are these gorgeous city centers ringed with modern suburbia? How have they handled growth and sprawl tendencies?

    • Well, yes, of course they are. I have just, for the most part avoided those parts of town because they are not nearly as beautiful. And not all outlying areas are created equal – Girona’s seemed quite nice if rather bland. Avila, too, had a ring of neat and tidy apartment buildings and shops on streets almost as winding and labyrinthine as the downtown’s. In Barcelona, I would have had to work pretty hard to get well outside the urban zone but I showed several neighborhoods worth of different eras of development.

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