Girona is located in the northwest of Spain and seems to be the perfect counterpart to Barcelona, because of its peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. I was really curious to explore Girona, because prior to my trip I had only known Girona from the sixth season of HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones”.
The whole area is absolutely idyllic and the narrow streets city of 100,000 invite you to take a long stroll. The narrow streets lead to impressive buildings along the Onyar river. Only one and a half hours from the much bigger Catalonian capital Barcelona, Girona allows you to witness its picturesque streets and alleys. It almost feels like a movie set, because everything is extremely clean. For the series “Game of Thrones” Girona turned into the Free City Braavos on the continent of Essos. Since I’m a big fan of the show, we planed a day trip and it was more than impressive. The nearly untouched historic ensemble of the Barri Vell is the perfect setting for the series. Of course, visiting certain locations, like the cathedral stairs or the “Banys Arabs“, is a must.
The so-called “Four Rivers City” has a historic old town that gives you the feeling of traveling through several historical epochs at once. The great location between the Pyrenees and the Costa Brava offers a variety of different excursions. The dark, winding streets seem almost isolated from modernity. Everything is very original and has a strong romantic vibe. The city’s landmark, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, took me some more time to explore. I had to go up all of the ninety steps in front of the main portal. Inside of the church is the largest gothic nave in the world. The cathedrale is very impressive – from the outside as well as from the inside.
Moreover, there was something special I have discovered near the Onyar river: A lioness out of stone, which hangs about two meters high on a mast. Why though? I discovered that in the past, anyone who wanted to be accepted as a new citizen in Girona had to kiss the lioness’ bum as part of a ceremonial initiation ritual. Therefore you had to climb up a pole. Today, a small podium may help climbing up to the lioness’ bum – and the proclaimed „city guardian” has already been replaced by a duplicate – the original lioness statue can be found in the historic museum.