SEP 20,2016 - SEP 20,2016 (1 DAYS)
Tip 1: from Girona railway station to Girona Cathedral.
Tip 2: from Basilica de Sant Feliu back to Girona railway station.
Tip 3: walking over Girona Walls (approx. 3 km.).
Tip 1 Main Attractions: Pont de Pedra, Rambla de la Llibertat, Pont de les Peixateries Velles, Pont de Sant Agustí, Plaça de la Independència, Pont d'en Gomes (Pont de la Princesa), Culo de la Lleona, Carrer de les Mosques, Pujada del Rei Martí, Plaça de la Catedral, Girona Cathedral.
Start and End: Girona railway station. Weather: Bright days only. Distance: approx. 11 km. Duration: 1 day.
Practical Hints: You need to wear good walking shoes as there are many steps and cobble stones in the old quarters and around the walls.
Never walk on the walls in: very hot day, rainy / windy or stormy day.
Girona Itinerary: From Girona railway station walk east, cross Plaça Espanya from west to east, turn left onto Carrer Barcelona, 180 m. Look, on your right the decorated houses. In the end of Carrer Barcelona you take the RIGHT (east) leg of the narrow and pedestrian road of Carrer Nou (crossing cross-lights and following the signs of "Barri i/Vel". WE continue eastward along Carrer Nou - crossing Carrer de Santa Clara on our left and right. We cross the Riu (river) Onyar on the pedestrians-only bridge Pont de Pedra. Your (almost) first sight of Girona - is no less than spectacular. The river Onyar and the bridges that connect the Barri Vell with the neighbourhood of Mercadal are just marvelous. If you cross these bridges, you can enjoy the sight of the colored houses that overlook the river. Their colours change, during the day, and, especially, as the sun sets. The Pont de Pedra, is made of Girona stone, and is supported on three lowered arches that rest on two pillars. An inscription in the centre notes that it was inaugurated in 1856. YOU MUST move from side to side of the bridge, making stunning photographs of the multi-colored houses built on both sides of the Onyar river, painted in bright colors. Completing the wonderful sights are the towers of the Cathedral and the Collegiate Church of San Felix - icons and attractions of the city. The current stone bridge was part of the road from Madrid to France. It is called, also, Pont d'Isabel II (Bridge of Isabel II, during whose reign it was built), but more popularly known as Pont de Pedra (Bridge of Stone). It replaced a previous bridge of the fourteenth century, which was also of stone and was known as San Francisco.
In the eastern end of the bridge - you see the local Tourist Information office with plenty of maps and aids for your daily excursion in this wonderful city:
We turn left (north) onto Rambla de la Llibertat. On your right (east) the ancient walls of Old Girona. This magnificent long stretch along the River Onyar was developed in the 13th century to hold the market and is characterized by its low-ceilinged arcades and unequal arches. Today, the Rambla de la Llibertat continues to be a popular place for locals to walk and meet. It is lined by a number of buildings of cultural interest, such as the Casa Norat, Rambla Llibertat, 25 with its Modernista façade (1912). Created in the 18th century to host a market, its name comes from l'Arbre de la Llibertat (The Tree of Freedom), which was planted in 1869 during the Sexenio Democrático, a period of Spanish history that followed the success of a revolution in September 1868 and lasted until the restoration of the Bourbons in 1874:
You walk 250 m. northward along Rambla de la Llibertat until you arrive (on your left) to another bridge on the Onyar river: Pont de les Peixateries Velles (also known as Pont de les Pescateries Vella) with its red cage ironwork on both sides and above. It affords great views of the Cathedral and the river side houses. Great place to cross into the Old town shopping areas. Plenty of shops and places to eat right on the other side of the bridge in both directions. Unbelievable scenery from the whole stretch of this bridge. Does this bridge reminds you of Eiffel Tower ? Does it look like an horizontal Tour Eiffel ? Right ! it was designed by Gustav Eiffel. It was built before he started the tower in Paris. This is our 2nd bridge along the Onyar river and there are, actually, 11 of them ! There are four foot bridges over the Onyar river into the old town area (as well as a couple of road bridges). From this particular bridge you have the most striking view of the Onyar river and the colourful houses and apartments that line it.
More distant, more northward, along the river - Girona Cathedral:
Return to Rambla de la Llibertat and continue 200 m. further north onto Carrer de l'Argenteria. On your left (taking the stairs) our 3d bridge on the Onyar river - the Pont de Sant Agustí. This bridge, which connects Carrer de l'Argenteria with Placa de la Independencia, owes its name to the old convent of San Agustín that was in this Independence Square from 1608 until the French occupation in the beginning of the nineteenth century. The convent was abandoned in 1815 and probably destroyed.
In the same place, over time, three bridges have been built: a wooden lever, an iron bridge and, finally, the current reinforced concrete walkway:
In the western end of this bridge is the Plaça de la Independència. The name refers to the War of Spanish Independence against Napoleon Bonaparte. It is surrounded by nice neoclassical buildings with porches on all sides displaying some interesting architecture. Great food and people watching. Great for breakfast, good for lunch and drinks anytime but really comes to life at night. Another walk through to the Jewish Quarter.
In the square's center stands, since 1894, the monument "Girona" dedicated to the 1808-9 defenders (of Napoleon siege) of the city and the work of the sculptor Antoni Parera:
From Plaça de la Independència ontinue 200 m. further north along the Onyar river (now along its western bank) until you arrive to the 4th bridge of Pont d'en Gomes or Pont de la Princesa. It joins Passeig Canalejas with C/Ballesteries. Reinforced concrete bridg, pedestrian bridge (footbridge) completed in 1916 by the company "Construcciones y Pavimentos". If you stand right in the middle of the bridge and jump up and down, you'll feel the bridge move slightly...:
Return to the eastern bank of the river along Pont d'en Gómez. Take the stairs, 30 m. Turn left onto Carrer dels Calderers and walk northward, 130 m (the stairs to Sant Feliu or St. Felix Church / basilica are on your right)
until you arrive to Plaça de Sant Feliu. This square is located just at the foot of the tower of the Cathedral of Sant Feliu , and limits one of its bands with the spectacular stairway leading down the west side. In the summer of 1986, a team of archaeologists found here very well preserved medieval houses , with complex overlays of walls, pavements, and a very important collection of utensils of everyday use, especially ceramics. Further below, there were found remains of Roman monumental tombs and burial tombs. These findings helped in the identification of the northern necropolis of the city, which had a very long use - in this square. Another Roman necropolis, with about twenty tombs of all kinds was located in 1890 in Plaça del Mercadal , in front of the church of Santa Susanna of Girona. Culo de la Lleona is a stone sculpture that we find in Calderers street, at the foot of the staircase of the Church of Sant Feliu , in the old part of the city. The figure is voluminous in relief, and has a part of the face and tail deteriorated. It consists of long and large claws and has the head turned to the side. It is one of the tourist icons of Girona:
Our fifth bridge (on river Onyar) is 70 m. west to Plaça de Sant Feliu: Pont de Sant Felieu. The newest bridge in Girona, which was built in 1995-Designed by the architects Antoni Blazquez, Lluís Guanter and Pere Solà. Connects the Paseo de Canalejas with Placa Sant Feliu , Carrer de Calderers and carrer de la Barca , crossing the Onyar. The bridge main span is 58.4 m. The structural system is a weathering steel frame with only one span, embedded on both ends into the concrete abutments:
From Pont de Sant Feliu - we head east on Pont de Sant Feliu toward Plaça de Sant Feliu and pass through Plaça de Sant Feliu to continue onto Carrer de la Barca, 45 m. Turn right onto Carrer de les Mosques (Flies Street). Says the legend that the French army entered Catalunya and started burning and destroying whatever they find on their way. But in Girona, the whole town was waiting for them locked inside the walls, ready to fight for their piece of land. The Army started occupying the neighbourhoods that were outside the city walls, including the Church of Sant Feliu, where laid the tomb of Sant Narcís. Trying to discourage the citizens, the French opened the tomb of the Saint and started spreading its remains over the streets. A carpenter who saw what happened, picked all the remains and put them into a wooden tomb that he himself made. That same day, thousands of flies came out from that wooden tomb and went straight to the French campsite, attacking soldiers and horses, causing their departure from the surroundings of Girona. The Army of Sant Narcís saved the city ! Relating to this legend we can also find another idiom ” Les mosques, per Sant Narcís, a cada picada en maten sis“, (the flies for Sant Narcís, for each sting they kill six):
In the most eastern end of Carrer de les Mosques, through hole in the walls, we turn LEFT (Carrer del Pou Rodó on our right) and, then, RIGHT onto Carrer del Portal de la Barca. Then, we turn RIGHT to the narrow, cobbled-stone Pujada del Rei Martí - a VERY ATMOSPHERIC and MARVELOUS ROAD with mighty walls on both sides:
Walking southward along Pujada del Rei Martí ends in the Plaça de la Catedral. It is a small space, rectangular, delimited from north to south by the Portal de Sobreportes and Carrer de la Força , and from east to west on the stairs of the Cathedral of Girona and the Palace of Justice. The pavement is made up of cobblestones. All the buildings that surround the square have historical background. The Cathedral Square was a long road that allowed traffic of people from the mountains around Girona to the Augusta road in the time of the Romans. In the 5th century, a chapel, called Sant Genís, was at the west side of the stairway in front of the house where today is the Arc bar. The chapel was in a possession of the monastery of Sant Pere de Roda according to a bull from Pope Benedict VI. In 1604 he was demolished and his tiles were taken for the construction of the Cathedral. However, there was another chapel built during the Romanesque period. It was the temple of Santa Maria de les Puelles, mentioned in a document of the year 1083 and that was placed on the other side of the square, in the old Palace of Justice of Girona or Casa Pastors , near the wall of the Ballesteries. In the year 1245 the chapel was established as a brotherhood. In 1401 the existence of two altars is known, one dedicated to Santa Maria and the other to Sant Martí. Its demolition took place in 1724:
Girona cathedral sits a top a hill surrounded by buildings, foot bridges, lane ways, buttresses and gardens left over from medieval times. It is very impressive If you come in at the bottom of the square and look up to the Cathedral:
REMEMBER - YOU HAVE TO PAY €10 (concessions - €8) to go inside. you get audio guide included. It is a TRIPLE TICKET: to the Cathedral, to the Museu d'Art and to the Colegiata de Sant Feliu. The ticket is valid for 48 hours for all the three sites. The audio guide takes you on a tour of the cathedral, cloisters and treasury. There is a toilet in the bottom floor , in the cloisters. Opening hours: July & august: 10.00 - 19.30, November to March: 10.00 - 17.30, Rest of the year: 10.00 - 18.30. Prices: ticket includes the Nave, Treasury and cloister, as well as the Basilica of Sant Feliu. Adult: 7 € (includes audio guide), Concessions: 5 € pensioners and students with ID (includes audio guide), FREE entrance: children under 7. To enter the Cathedral - you must climb its grandiose flight of 89 stairs. Fitness enthusiasts race up and down the steps in the early morning. Remember the magic scene from "Games of Throne" with the horse striding, slowly along the stairs to the Girona mighty Cathedral main entrance ? Parts of series 6 of "Games of Throne" had been filmed around this cathedral. Quite a demanding climb through these non-ending stairs. Standing atop the steep hill gives great views to get your breath back, Lovely looking around the outside:
The Cathedral Main Entrance:
Note: the Girona Cathedral and the Sant Feliu Church are two distinct, adjacent buildings. The Sat Felieu is a nice small church. Most of the time it is neglected by the visitors to Girona. It is just on the way to the Cathedral and most of the time people by it without visiting this nice small church.
The Girona Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona (in Catalan: Catedral de Santa Maria de Girona). Its construction was begun in the 11th century in the Romanesque architectural style, and continued in the 13th century in the Gothic style. Of the original Romanesque edifice only the 12th-century cloister and a bell tower remain.
Above all looms high the bell tower (14th-16th centuries). Actually, the church has two bell towers. The oldest one, named after Charlemagne, is the surviving one of the two originally flanking the first Romanesque church (the other ceased to exist in the 14th century). Begun in the early 11th century, it has a square plan with six levels separated by friezes with Lombard bands and double windows. The new bell tower, begun in 1590 and completed (with a modified design) in the 18th century, has an octagonal plan. It houses six bells, the oldest one dating to 1574.
The Basilica Sant Feliu from the Cathedral:
The castle-like appearance Cathedral is equipped with Gothic naves and a Baroque façade (13th-18th centuries) begun in 1606, with the upper part finished in 1961. The sculptures decorating the three orders of the façade were executed by local sculptors in the 1960s. Other exterior features include the Gothic portal of St. Michael, on the northern façade, and the southern portico of the Apostles, from the 14th century. The latter originally featured sculptures of the Twelve Apostles, executed by Antoni Claperós in the 1460s, which have mostly been lost, aside from two depicting St. Peter and St. Paul, now in the church's chapter house:
The interior's single nave is surmounted by cross vaults, supported by Gothic buttresses. It is the widest Gothic nave in the world, with a width of 22 metres, and the second widest of any church after that of Rome St. Peter's Basilica (for comparison, the width of the nave of Reims Cathedral is 14.65 m, Saint-Étienne de Sens, 15.25 m and 12 m, in Notre Dame de Paris):
Spectacular architecture inside the Cathedral and you can see the wealth of the church reflected in the building and its decorations and artefacts. It houses also the Christ recumbent (1958), by Domènec Fita i Molat, and Tapestry of the Resurrection (1560):
More sights of the Girona Cathedral Interiors:
The high altar, in white marble, dates to the 11th century:
DO NOT MISS the Sean Scully stained-glass MODERN window:
and older stained-glass windows:
The Cathedral's Romanesque cloister is notable, featuring a series of columns with sculpted capitals: they depict fantastic figures and animals, and vegetable motifs. The cloister's galleries are home to numerous tombs of rich members of the monastery, dating to the 14th-18th centuries, one also by Master Bartomeu (1273). The frieze has scenes from the New Testament:
DO NOT MISS the Cathedral Treasury and Museum - the main highlight of the Girona Cathedral. Most of the cathedral’s extensive art collection is displayed in its treasury.
The most famous artefact is the Tapestry of the Creation, a Romanesque panel of needlework from the 11th century that depicts humans and animals in the Garden of Eden along with portraits of Girona citizens, including members of the city’s prominent Jewish population:
Sant Felip Neri sculpture:
Thomas Aquinas Sculpture:
Tabernacle of the Altar:
Scenes of the Altarpiece:
Tapestry of the Pentecost:
The Blessed Virgin with the Child:
Altarpiece of St. Helen:
Lamentation over the Christ:
Chapel of Hope - a spectacular chapel with magnificent tapestries and exit / entrance to the Cloister:
From the Cathedral we shall continue to the Basilca de Sant Feliu and Carrer de la Forca - skip to Tip 2:
Girona - Tip 2: from Basilica de Sant Feliu back to Girona railway station.
Tip 2 Main Attractions: Basílica de Sant Feliu, Calle de la Força, El Call, Museum of Jewish History,
From the Cathedral of Girona - we head (200 m. walk) to the Basílica de Sant Feliu. From the Plaça de la Catedral we turn right onto Carrer de la Força, 55 m. Continue BACK (see Tip 1) onto Pujada del Rei Martí, 70 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Portal de la Barca, 30 m. Turn left onto Carrer Trasfigueres, 25 m. and the Basílica de Sant Feliu will be on your left. Formally called also The Collegiate Church of St. Felix (Collegiata de Sant Fèlix (Feliu)). COMBINED TICKET WITH THE CATHEDRAL. Opening hours: everyday, MON - SAT:10.00 - 17.30, SUN and holidays: 13.00 - 17.30.
The view of the Basilica is, especially, impressive from Pont de Sant Felieu and the Onyar river (west to the Basilica):
The Basilica is dedicated to St. Felix and dating from the early days of Christianity. Its construction, in honor of Felix of Girona (Sant Feliu), occurred from the 12th century until the 17th century. It retains much of the Romanesque construction. This was once the main church of Girona before the rise of the nearby Cathedral. It stands majestically above the town and can be seen from many different spots around the city. From the outside the Basilica de Sant Feliu is a little like a fortress because its original position was outside the City walls so it had to be able to defend itself. The church was built facing over the banks of the River Onyar. The walls were built thick, and the windows were placed high so that they wouldn’t become fatal points of weakness in the event of attack. During the Moorish occupation it served as a cathedral for the city's Christian population, who were displaced when the Moors commandeered Santa Maria as their mosque.
The Sant Feliu Basilica nave is majestic with Gothic ribbed vaulting:
The church houses some remarkable works of art. It is notable for its eight Roman and early Christian sarcophagi and wall tombs of the 3rd and 4th centuries - some of them are pagan and some are Christian:
The Basilica also houses the Gothic tomb of Narcissus of Girona, who, according to tradition, was one of the early bishops of the see:
Altarpiece, Chapel of Saint Narcissus:
Reclining Christ figure in the Chapel of the Angels:
More pictures of the Basilica Interiors:
We descend BACK to calle de la Força from Basilica de Sant Feliu. Here, in the intersection of Pujada Sant Feliu and Calle de la Força, on the foot of the Cathedral stairs - we can see the Girona Touristic Train "covering" all Girona main attractions in 9 languages. The train's route:
Pont de Pedra, Carrer Santa Clara, Plaça Catalunya, Plaça del Vi, Carrer Ciutadans, Plaça de l'Oli, Cort Reial, Quatre Cantons, Carrer Ballesteries, Pujada Sant Feliu, Portal Sobreportes, Plaça de la Catedral, Pujada de la Catedral, Plaça Lledoners, Carrer Bellmirall, Carrer Alemanys, Plaça de Sant Domènec, Plaça Josep Ferrater i Mora, Passeig del General Peralta, Passeig Fora Muralla, Pujada de les Pedreres, Carrer del Carme, Plaça Catalunya, Rambla Llibertat i Pont de Pedra:
We continue descending down SOUTHWARD along Calle de la Força:
The Via Augusta was built in the second century by the Roman Empire to join Rome with Cádiz. In Girona, it is preserved on the street with the most history of the city, the current street of Força. We are in the Jewish Quarter (El Call), that is, the area where Jewish families lived until they were expelled in 1492. There we find extraordinary palaces and unique buildings that transport us to other times. A must see is the Museum of the History of the Jews, the old cabalistic school of the philosopher Bonastruc Ça Porta. Next door, the famous Sant Llorenç street and the City History Museum.
We, first, pass the Plaça de la Catedral on our left (and right) before hitting the at Calle de la Força and the adjoining Jewish Centre in house # 27. The permanent exhibition displays the history of Girona:
Foundation of the City, Medieval Girona, the Napoleonic Wars, 19th Century, Art Nouveau and Noucentisme, Dictatorship (La Ribra) and 2nd Republic, Civil War and Dictatorship (Generalismo Franco), Bombs over Girona, Modern Girona. Opening hours: TUE - SAT: 10.30 - 18.30, SUN: 10.30 - 13.30. Mondays - closed:
A bit further, on our left (est) is Calle d'en Manuel Cundaro - a typical road in the Jewish Quarter (Call Jueu) of Girona:
Try to sample a drink in the bar of El Pati del Rabí, Calle de la Força 20 ("Rabbi's courtyard"). Not cheap, but the bar resides in a chic, charming setting and has a pretty terrace:
In C/ de la Força, 18 (Girona) we find the Torrons Vicens - a family owned shop (in a series of Catalan shops) holding a long Nougat (torrons) tradition. Based on Urgell’s village of Agramunt (Lleida), known as the origin of the “Torro” (Nougat) and the “Xocolata a la Pedra” (Stone chocolate). Here you can buy traditional Catalan nougats and other sweet specialties.
We are in the heart of El Call - the Jewish Quarter of Girona. It was the Jewish quarter until the Jews were expelled at the end of the 15th century. A labyrinth of narrow streets and patios that have maintained their medieval atmosphere. Very well preserved buildings. It is one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in the world and clear evidence of the importance of the Jewish culture in Girona. The neighborhood takes you back to other centuries. The area is fascinating with narrow cobbled paths and alleyways many of which are steep and intriguing. The first families settled in the city as early as the 9th century, forming a community with its own life and identity. Towards the 10th century, another colony of Jews settled in Girona. From 1160 are the first indication of the Call. In the 13th century (First half), the Kabbalah reached its maximum seffect. In 1276 the clergy of Girona went against the Jews. In 1278, the Call is almost totally destroyed. In 1330 the Jurats of Girona protected the Jews. In 1391 there is the slaughter of the Jews. In 1414 there is widespread poverty in the Call. In 1415 the synagogue was closed, and was reopened in 1416. In 1432 it was ordered that the Call be closed. In 1442 it is prohibited that Jewish houses be opened to Christian streets. In 1449 the Call was reopened. Finally, in 1492 Jews were expelled.
Here, Calle de la Força meets the sloping down Pujada de la Catedral:
Opposite, Portal de la Collcesionista - souvenirs shop: a paradise of pottery products - colorful and reasonable prices:
On your left, a bit further down C. de la Força, is the narrow Carrer de Sant Llorenç. It is an winding alley of Jewish origin, which gains a strong slope between the streets of C. de la Força and Dr. Oliva i Prat. It is the center of the Jewish Quarter of Girona . The impressive house no. 12 could be a synagogue. The alley was closed until the end of the 70's.
The last synagogue that remained open in Girona now houses the Museu d’Història dels Jueus and the Institut d’Estudis Nahmànides. To enter, one must walk through the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta, where we see a star of David on the courtyard floor. The building, coincidentally, is situated in the space in the Call that was occupied by the synagogue. A wide range of specialised bibliographies, gifts and souvenirs can be found at the Sefarad shop:
Here resides also the Museum of Jewish History (Museu d'Història dels Jueus), Calle de la Força 8 - The Museum's eleven galleries thus form an itinerary allowing visitors to learn about aspects of the everyday life, culture and history of the Jewish communities of Catalonia and of Girona during medieval times. Opening hours: July and August: MON - SAT: 10.00 - 20.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 14.00. September to June: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 18.00, SUN, MON and bank holidays: 10.00 - 14.00. Closed on January 1st and 6th, and December 25th and 26th. Prices: adult - 4 €, concessions - 2 €, Audio-guide - 2 €, FREE - children under 14:
We took our lunch in the restaurant La Força Vella at Calle de la Força 4. A touristic place but NOT a trap. Budget prices, delicious food, wide selection and polite (even, rather, a bit slow) service. The main pleasure is sitting in this atmospheric, ancient road, under the trees, in a "siesta" hour without masses of tourists around. Most of the diners, here, would be Russian or Far Easterners:
Calle de la Força meets, in its most southern end, the Placa del Correu Vell. The lower (more southern) part of the street of La Força has a pleasant square with terraces under the trees and where a small commercial area begins with colorful shops of very original items, including specific features of the city and different parts of the city. This place is the first extension (year 1448) of the Jewish Call beyond its more northern, narrow, cobbled-stones streets. Here, also the first post office was established in Girona. Head south on Carrer de la Força toward Carrer Bonaventura Carreras I Peralta, 25 m. Turn right onto Carrer Bonaventura Carreras I Peralta, 30 m. Continue onto Carrer de l'Argenteria and you'll find, here, a charming graffiti:
Now, we head to our walk around the Girona Walls. We'll walk from Carrer de l'Argenteria to the monastery of Sant Pere, which houses the Archeology Museum - where, nearby, we can find stairs leading up to the walls. Part of this 650 m. section we've already explored in our Tip 2 paer. From Carrer de l'Argenteria head north toward Pont de Sant Agustí, 60 m. Continue onto Carrer Bonaventura Carreras I Peralta, 30 m. Turn left BACK onto Carrer de la Força, 260 m. Continue onto Pujada del Rei Martí, 140 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Bellaire, 55 m. Opposite us - the ancient walls:
Turn right onto Plaça de Sant Pere, 15 m. You may find stairs leading up to the walls - already here. Otherwise, turn right onto Carrer del Riu Galligants, 75 m. Keep right to continue on Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 35 m. Near the Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants, Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 8 - you should find stairs up to the walls.
The stairs to the walls near the Archeology Museum:
Go to Tip 3 below.
Tip 3 - walking over Girona Walls:
Distance: 3 km. Duration: 2-3 hours.
The extension of the Roman walls during the medieval ages and modern times - enables visitors to stroll along a walkway following some sections of the longest Carolingian walls in Europe (9th century). Parts of the old city walls are walkable and provide great views over the city and the surrounding countryside. There are several towers along the walls and a walk will give you a taste of what it was like to be a defender of the city in the old days. The various towers are excellent vantage points offering views over the city and the surrounding areas. Interesting parks, landscapes and photo opportunities are dotted along the way over the walls. The path along the walls is narrow, so it might be hard to walk along if you're in a big group. The pathway created by the Roman walls is known as ‘Passeig de la Muralla’, and experts believe that some sections of the wall date as far back as the 1st century. However, many portions of the wall are actually much newer and were restored following intentional destruction, which enabled the city of Girona to expand. There are a number of entry and exit points along the path, but taking in the entire 3-kilometer wall is recommended.
How to arrive to the walls from our last point of visit in Girona (tip 2): Walk to Plaça de Sant Pere, then continue along the road going towards Pedret and away from Girona. If you turn round, on the left you will see clearly the wall extending off to your left and some steps up. This is where you're headed and the França Gate used to span over the middle of what is now the road, more or less where the zebra crossing is. It was one of the main entrances to the city in the middle ages. Once up on the wall, the views are magnificent, extending to the distance mountains.
In the first section - you see, downstairs, the Sant Pere Galligants Romanesque church on the Sant Daniel Valley road and the John Lennon Gardens (you can wander around here and rejoin the wall to continue). Later, you see the Jardins de l'Angel (you can go down and wander around them). You can take a break - you are in spitting distance of a couple of cafes.
Cross the river from the church and follow the 'Archeological Walk', where you will almost certainly be tempted down other paths. However, to complete the medieval wall circuit, things get complicated.This photo shows an unrecognisable fortified Sant Pere Galligants church, made into part of the defensive wall. After a break then, i suggest starting at Sobreportes Gate, on the outside looking in as it were, to the Cathedral square, and following the wall to your left (away from Sant Feliu/Felix Church). This is originally roman but has the reinforced medieval wall and towers on top. Follow then the Passeig Archeologic to its' end, hopefully arriving at Plaça Catalunya. You might have to start from Plaça Catalunya to do this part of the wall because it has been known for the gate at the highest point of the wall (near Torre Gironella), to be locked, so everyone has to traipse back down again in single file! It's a bit of true local experience however!
We started our walk of the walls with the stairs near the Archeology Museum in Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants, Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 8 (see end of Tip 2):
Before you climb to the walls - you can stroll around and visit the (150 m. more to the north-east) walls opposite John Lennon Gardens (Val St. Daniel):
Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants (the Archeology Museum) and, in the background, Basilica de Sant Feliu from Girona Walls:
The Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligant which houses the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia is considered one of the most remarkable examples of Catalan Romanesque architecture. It was originally built in 992 and construction continued through the 12th century. Opening hours: From 1 May to 30 September - TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 19.00, SUN and holidays: 10.00 - 14.00. From 1 October to 30 April: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 18.00, SUN and holidays: 10.00 - 14.00. Closed on Mondays. Prices: adult - 4,50 €, concessions - (people 65 years or more, people under 25, pensioners, families of 2 adults and one child or more, and persons with disability certificate) - 3,50 €:
One of the most prominent sights from the walls is the Girona cathedral and in the distance you can see the snow capped peaks of the Pyrenees:
Girona Cathedral from Girona Walls:
Opposite - Girona hillside houses:
Girona Cathedral and the Basilica de Sant Felieu from Girona Walls:
The Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligant and, In the background, Girona Cathedral:
Another flight of stairs climbing to the walls (not far from the Cathedral):
Girona skyline from the City walls - not far from the St. Mary Cathedral:
Convent de Sant Domènec, Plaça Ferrater i Mora 1 from the city walls. Was founded in 1253 by Berenguer de Castellbisbal of the Dominican Order (Bishop of Girona) and Fra Arnau de Segarra. It was founded outside the walled enclosure that protected the city. Later, when that wall was expanded, the convent was included in the city:
Girona City walls opposite Torre de Sant Domènec. Here, end the staraight section of the walls and they slope down to Sant Domènec campus of Girona University (see below). This is one of the highest vantage points with the best view of the city. It is worth to stay a while and look at the view. Lookout tower that lets you see Girona and recognize places, where you have been, today. Highly recommended:
View from Torre de Sant Domènec of the Muralla Medieval to the east:
View from Torre de Sant Domènec of the Muralla Medieval to the west:
As we descend down - here, starts a section of the walls with metal benches:
From here we descend down and walk to Plaça Josep Ferrater i Móra near the Facultat de Lletres (University of Girona). Using the stairs - we head more westward to Plaça de Sant Domènec (the Rectorat):
In this square resides the Edifici Les Àligues (building of the Eagles) with a tombstone with the eagles of Austria, from where the name of the building is derived, and the shield of Girona, supported by two angels. It was constructed in 1570 by Onofre Enric:
We walk NORTHWARD along the alongated Plaça de Sant Domènec and turn LEFT (west) to Carrer dels Alemanys, and, then, RIGHT (north) to the Plaça dels Lledoners. The square, located on the southern side of the Cathedral. You can see several decorated reliefs on the walls around: A stamp of the Chapter of the Cathedral of Girona ; Further down a shield that shows a peacock in the field; In the middle of a Gothic inscription it mentions that the fountain was erected with the donations of the Seventy clergy in 1450. To the right, a horse's head sculpture indicates the bee trough. The pavement of the square is formed by regular and well-adjusted cobblestones, in the middle of which two rows of lime trees grow:
We continue west ward via Carreró de la Torre del Socors to the Pujada de la Catedral and look backward to the Cathedral:
We walk back to the railway station and make, again, already explored sections of our daily trip. Head southwest on Pujada de la Catedral toward Carrer de la Força, 40 m. Turn left onto Carrer de la Força, 110 m. Turn right onto Carrer Bonaventura Carreras I Peralta, 30 m. Continue onto Carrer de l'Argenteria, 120 m. Turn right onto Pont de les Peixateries Velles (Onyar river), take the stairs, 45 m. From the bridge it is a further 1 km. to the train station. From Pont de les Peixateries Velles head west toward Carrer de Santa Clara. Take the stairs, 30 m. Turn left onto Carrer de Santa Clara, 90 m. Turn right onto Carrer de l'Obra, 60 m. Continue onto Carrer de la Sèquia, 250 m. Turn left onto Gran Via de Jaume I, 60 m. Turn right onto Plaça del Marquès de Camps, 70 m. Turn left to stay on Plaça del Marquès de Camps, 100 m. Continue onto Carrer Barcelona, 180 m. Turn right onto Carrer Bailèn, 110 m. Turn left onto Plaça Espanya, 50 m. Turn right to arrive to the Girona railway station.