I have been to Catalonia and Costa Brava many times in the last dozen years but never visited Girona until this year. I have to admit I was underestimating it as a destination to my own loss. It is incredibly colorful and agreeable to walk around. And visual perspectives such as this one are to kill for.
The tower in the top center of the shot belongs to the remarkable Catedral de Santa Maria de Girona. Here is a look at it from the bottom of the steps leading to Plaça de la Catedral.
Anyone who is a fan of The Game of Thrones might find this perspective familiar. It doubled for Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing where Cersei started her walk of shame.
Here is the opposite view from the top of the stairs.
The dominating position of the cathedral over the city means that the high tower of Basílica de Sant Feliu, Girona’s earlier cathedral, appears practically at the eye level.
Cathedral’s Gothic interior is on the darker and oppressive side, but there are some brilliant stained glass windows.
As much as I enjoy seeing great churches, the most remarkable sight in Girona is not the cathedral, but the banks of river Onyar in the town center. The colourful buildings on both sides create such a vibrant palette that it is hard to step away from it. Here is a selection of different angles and focal-length shots of a stretch less than a kilometer long.
The red bridge that features in a couple of shots – where it does not, I am very likely standing on it myself – is called Pont de les Peixateries Velles (Old Fishermen’s Bridge). It is also colloquially called Pont Eiffel because it was designed by Gustave Eiffel, whose more famous structure resides in Paris.
Eiffel built this bridge in 1876, some dozen years before the tower.
Stepping away from the river banks brings you to a maze of narrow streets, intimate squares, and steep staircases that are fun to navigate.
Those who would rather be driven around town can make use of the tourist train.
We walked, of course. Words abandoned us in any attempt to describe how surprised we were with the brilliant Girona. So, it was only fitting that on a plaza in the newer part of the city center we came across these letters in disarray.
Half a day was all we budgeted for Girona on this visit, which precluded us from stopping by some of its points of interest, such as the town walls. When I am next in the area, Girona gets a full day do-over from me.