The lucky city of Girona

Girona 1

Girona is a lucky city. It is located between the famous Barcelona (South) and the glamorous Southern France (North). That means that touristic hordes invariably focus their frantic attentions either in the Barcelonan amenities or in the Provençal perfumes, leaving Girona relatively alone, relatively virgin, relatively in peace …

Girona 2

That solitude (relative solitude) would be logical if Girona were an ugly and featureless city, but it isn’t. Girona is a very nice city, full of history and awesome monuments. So, thank you, touristic hordes. I love your frantic attentions and your standardized itineraries.

Sant Pere tower

Girona is the capital of the Province of Girona (a province is an administrative division). And the Province of Girona is one of the most beautiful and varied “administrative divisions” of Europe, but, please, dear reader, don’t tell anybody …

Girona Romanesque

As my little bunch of loyal followers may well know, the biggest part of this blog deals with the villages, mountains, beaches, coves, restaurants, monasteries, hidden ruins, donkeys and artists of the Province of Girona (administrative division), but I’ve never posted before about its capital. So, this post is just a glimpse of said capital, the city of Girona.

Streets of Girona

The first inhabitants of Girona were Iberians. Later, the Romans came with their Latin language and their engineering-mania, and they built a citadel here, which was given the name of Gerunda.

Girona 6

Then came the Visigoths and the Moors and the Jews … and Charlemagne, a wise guy who conquered the whole thing in the year 785 and made it one of the countships of Catalonia. The history of Girona is long, but my blogging time is short, so let’s go on …

Girona narrow alley

The original Charlemagne’s throne is exhibited within the walls of the Girona Cathedral. This cathedral is Romanesque, Gothic and Barocque at once, because it was built between the 11th and 18th Centuries. It has the widest nave of all the European cathedrals. Awe is guaranteed.

Girona cathedral façade

The wonderful Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants is Romanesque …

Sant Pere de Galligants

It has a nice cloister. The legendary Master of Cabestany worked here …

Sant Pere cloister

The church of Sant Feliu is Gothic …

Sant Feliu in Girona

Girona has undergone twenty-five sieges and been captured seven times, which means that Girona has romantic ruins and evocative corners everywhere …

Girona 11

Girona stands ready to resist new invasions, and to make money out of them, if possible …

Girona shop

There are interesting museums in the city …

Museum of Girona

In the 12th century flourished the Jewish community of Girona. Today, the medieval Jewish quarter is one of the best-preserved in Europe …

Shop in Girona

The locals live in medieval houses …

Girona 15

They enjoy medieval patios …

Girona 16

They walk through narrow, old and mysterious streets …

Girona street

They climb lots of stairs …

Stairs in GIrona

They travel in high-speed trains (Girona station)…

Girona Renfe Station (AVE)

They buy food in grocery stores called “colmados” …


And they cross the river by a 19th century bridge …

Girona bridge

It was built by Gustave Eiffel and his crew (the same people who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris)


This little bridge is not such an impressive work as the Eiffel Tower, but it is very useful …

Girona from the Eiffel bridge

… specially if you want to cross the river …

Onyar River

The best restaurant of the world is in Girona (

El Celler de Can Roca

Its name: “El Celler de Can Roca”. The brave Covetotop spied the secrets of this gastronomic temple and disclosed them on this very blog, here and here. This is the Can Roca’s kitchen  …

Can Roca's kitchen

Covetotop ate an affordable ice cream in this other place just for the sake of blogging …

Rocambolesc Girona

Covetotop rides a friendly donkey throughout the whole Province of Girona, camera in hand, just for the sake of blogging … and for the joy of his little bunch of loyal readers …

Burrito in Girona

Covetotop loves posting about this immensely beautiful and little known (by global standards) “administrative division” called Province of Girona, from its Pyrenees Mountains …

Pyrenees, Girona

… to its Mediterranean Costa Brava …

Es Castell beach, Costa Brava

Girona is very beautiful but, please, dear reader, don’t tell anybody …


About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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19 Responses to The lucky city of Girona

  1. Sarah says:

    Wow! So many phenomenal photos. The one of the Pyrenees Mountains is breathtaking! Thanks for sharing this place with us – I won’t tell a soul! 😉

  2. Another brilliant post, covetotop! Even for Spain, undergoing 25 sieges seems to be a lot for one city. You would think that eventually whoever was making the decision to take Girona would realize that it had fallen so many times before! But luckily for us, that probably accounts for the many different styles of art and architecture in the city. Thanks for sharing this beautiful, less-traveled city with us, I promise not to tell.

    • Covetotop says:

      The last guy who attempted to take Girona was Napoleon. These days you can visit the city with no fear. No more sieges at sight -I hope- Thanks for your promise!

  3. Trish says:

    I’ll tell everybody to avoid Girona. It’s absolutely awful. Not.
    I don’t believe you rode that donkey – I think you’re pulling out legs.

    • Covetotop says:

      🙂 Yes, I must acklnowledge that I didn’t ride that friendly donkey. I just had a conversation with him: he recommended to me quite a few interesting places to blog about in the next future … 

  4. Christina says:

    I presume we readers have proven ourselves worthy enough to visit Girona as long as we don’t act like the touristic hordes.
    Also, thanks for having a gelato for the sake of blogging. Your dedication is admirable! 🙂

    • Covetotop says:

      Touristic hordes are huge. I just count on a little bunch of friendly, sensitive readers, worthy enough to visit not only Girona, but the whole Galaxy. 
      Thank you for your kind words about my dedication. As a blogger I think it’s my duty to carry out daunting experiments, like swimming in solitary beaches, visiting phantom castles or having freezing ice creams in summer, just for the sake of blogging … 🙂

  5. abrooke65 says:

    Gorgeous! Thanks for the tour. We were supposed to get to Girona on our honeymoon, but we missed the high speed train and opted to spend one more day in Barcelona. Thanks for showing me what I missed. I really would have loved to see such a well-preserved ancient town. Next time. Gracias! Las fotos son bonitas!

  6. You really make this quiet place come alive, Covetotop! Very first time i went to Spain, i slept on the beach at Palamos…

    And, can you imagine building a bridge today – designed by the kick-ass architect of the day – for a mere 22,500 pesetas…? This blog is a guarantee of quality.

    • Covetotop says:

      Well, taking into account the current financial crisis and deflaction, I am afraid that 22,500 pesetas will be a very reasonable price for a bridge soon … 😉
      Grazie, Alessandro!

  7. harri8here says:

    What a mouthwatering, spectacular portrait of Girona.

  8. What a beautiful city!! It’s funny, I have a similar picture of the Pyrénées from Port Leucate -now I know what’s on the other side!

  9. Pingback: 98: Between Painted Peonies and Garden Conceptions. | Almofate's Likes

  10. t’s a lovely city. I loved the wall, and walking along it. It’s a great place to see the Spanish and the French all in one place.

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