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.
The city streets were incredibly narrow and winding and I couldn’t believe cars were allowed on some of them.
I came on a construction site where bucket loads of concrete were being poured at street level and then …
… taken up by crane and rotated away out of sight over the rooftops to a work site.
Obviously the tourist business is important to the city because the whole older area is very well maintained.
View from the river.
I saw these trees from the city wall and thought I’d take an afternoon stroll in the wooded park …
… but like so much of europe – its just a copse of trees planted in rows.
The roman baths (confusingly named the arab baths).
I really enjoyed the way these visually light metal elements were used to navigate around the historic stone work.
And I just loved this stair regardless of context.
The former monastery turned archaeology museum was quite lovely.
This is the original frame for the rose windows.
Aren’t these stair nosings great. I’m not sure the stair is origninal though because its so reletively un-worn
Again, loved the modern giftshop inserted into the original structure
I caught site of this roofline from the city wall and had to go down and check it out.
It turned out to be the Universitat de Girona.
As a campus it is pretty great.
Actually , as anything. this courtyard is the administration building
The modern interventions on the original building are very striking.
This is the underside of that eye-catching roof.
The theme of framing doorways continues.
I can’t get over how much I like the exposed concrete/limestone block combination.
I really like how they painted the beams here but I’m not sure why.
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!