You can have a wonderful day just strolling around the streets of Girona. Admire the river with its colourful houses, cross every bridge, each one different and with a legend or story behind. Walk up to the oldest part of the old town, where the streets get narrow and make you travel back to the medieval times – only its cleaner and doesn’t smell like in those times : )
If you look carefully, you will notice some surprising details about the 2000 year old town of Girona.
Girona was under the sea
This was around 50 million years ago, during the Tertiary period. As a proof check the stones of the old town, especially around the Cathedral. You will see that they are filled with half an inch size lentils – they are actually single-cell fossils that used to swim around the Mediterranean. In 2015 they even found a 40 million year old sea cow fossil on a pavement slab!
Girona was a fortress
The road from France to Barcelona was built by the Romans and, since then, Girona has been the first obstacle you found if anyone wanted to invade from France. There is still a wall along the back side of the city, and there are many legends about the attacks suffered, did you know Girona was once saved by flies? More information in our blog: Girona and the fearful flies of Sant Narcís. ou can walk along the walls, some of the best views from here!
When should you bite your tongue?
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell when to bite your tongue. In Girona they had it clear way back in 1605, local politicians should always be careful with what they say. As a reminder, there is a curious sculpture biting its tongue at the entrance of the City Council Hall.
Look for the details of the façade in the Cathedral, and you’ll find a small sculpture with surprised open eyes and an unmistakable moustache. The only thing is that the façade dates from 1686, so it can’t actually be Salvador Dalí, but it sure looks like him!
Eiffel left his imprint in Girona
Yes, the same Gustave Eiffel from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Also known as the Iron Brige, it’s unmistakably Eiffel style.
Don’t trust all the maps you see
At some point in your trip to Girona, you will definitely walk along the Rambles. When it’s hot in the summer it’s nice to be under the arches and, if you look up, you will notice that one of them has a map of Paris! It was painted in the 1800’s to attract people to enter a perfumery, which is no longer there.
Want to be sure you return to Girona?
There’s a lioness at the entrance of the old town, perched up in a column. It is said that if you kiss the lioness’ butt you will be sure to return to the town some day. The original sculpture is kept at the Girona Museum and is from the 12th century.
How can you get there?
If you’re staying in Barcelona, the best way to get there is by the AVE high-speed train, it only takes 30 minutes to cover 100 km.
You can join our regular daily tour, by train. Combine the Dalí Museum with Girona to make the most of your day. Hope to see you there!