Whilst we were staying in Catalonia we decided to visit the medieval quarter (the Barri Vell) of Girona.
Famous for it’s brightly painted houses overhanging the River Onyar, it is a city quite different to any other we’ve been to.
We popped over one of the eleven bridges and arrived at the Basilica de Saint Feliu which dates back to the 12th Century. It’s so large I couldn’t get it all in one photo and we completely mistook it for the cathedral!
We loved the contrast of the imposing exterior with the serene interior. The Basilica sits very close to the cathedral and it was a short walk between the two, passing nuns on the way:
The construction of the cathedral began in the 11th century and includes the widest Gothic nave in the world (22metres/72ft) and is the second widest of ALL churches after St Peter’s Basilica.
Go up the many steps for the views of the lovely medieval rooftops.
You really feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
We then walked around the Jewish Quarter with it’s maze of medieval alleyways before getting a much-needed ice cream to cool down.
In places it feels very much like Barcelona’s Barri Gotic. It has a real mix of historical architecture with trendy pockets of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.
Take a walk through Independence Square (perhaps stopping for some people-watching):
…and head onto Eiffel Bridge as the sun sets to see the brightly painted houses glow.
As we visited Girona on a very hot day with kids in tow we only touched the heart of this interesting city.
If you are staying in Catalonia I would highly recommend a visit. We were only staying a 30 minute drive away (details in my last post here) in the countryside but you could easily while away a few days here. I would love to come here for a city-break/gastro tour out of season and love the look of these architect-designed apartments.
If anyone has some more tips on Girona let me know!