A tight huddle of ancient arcaded houses, grand churches, climbing cobbled streets and medieval baths, and Catalonia’s most extensive and best-preserved Call (medieval Jewish quarter), all enclosed by defensive walls and the lazy Río Onyar, constitute powerful reasons for visiting northern Catalonia’s largest city, Girona.
The Roman town of Gerunda lay on Vía Augusta, the highway from Rome to Cádiz. Taken from the Muslims by the Franks in AD 797, Girona became capital of one of Catalonia’s most important counties, falling under the sway of Barcelona in the late 9th century. Its wealth in medieval times produced many fine Romanesque and Gothic buildings that have survived repeated attacks and sieges. Today they combine with fine examples of Modernisme, as well as lively nightlife, a great eating scene and art and music festivals.