Day Tour

Girona: A Cultural Crossroads (6 Hours)

Context Travel

Barcelona, Spain

Valid for Travel Now Through: 20 Mar 2019

Girona: A Cultural Crossroads (6 Hours )

Barcelona, Spain

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing

Meals

None

Recommended Ages

12 and Above

Activity Level

Moderate

Description

The medieval city of Girona bears historical roots in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures. Only 30 minutes by high-speed train from the Catalonian capital, this historical hub proves to be a true crossroads of religion and culture. In the company of an architect or historian, we’ll depart on an excursion from Barcelona to discover this historically rich city and to better understand why this small city makes such an impressive cultural impact.

Meeting our docent at the station in Barcelona, our introduction will start on the train, where the docent will put the social and cultural history of Girona into context, while exploring the pivotal role this city has played in the story of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. We will take the train nearly 65 miles up the Catalan coast, arriving at the city located at the confluence of the Ter, Onyar, Galligants, and Guell rivers. Upon arrival at the Girona station, we may take a taxi a short distance to the historic city center, or alternatively opt to navigate the residential streets by foot on the 20-minute walk to the fortified city. Once we have passed through the city gate and into the historic center, we will begin to trace the religious roots planted in Girona's cobbled streets.

In an attempt to uncover how Islamic culture influenced Girona, we may start with a visit to the 12th century Moorish bath. We’ll duck into the entryway to see the exceptionally preserved central pool covered by a cupola, and navigate our way through the ruins of the Bayns Arabs. We’ll then make our way through the Jewish Quarter, which was home to nearly 150 Jewish families until the expulsion in 1492. Today it remains very well preserved, containing a web of narrow medieval alleyways winding through the ancient Call. While navigating these serpentine streets, we may be on the lookout for mezuzas, or historic hollows in the doorframe in which prayers were placed.

From here, we’ll continue our route, climbing up to the Basilica of Sant Feliu, a prominent structure nestled into Girona’s old city. We may venture into the interior of the basilica, and discover a celebrated Aloi de Montbrai sculpture of a recumbent Christ, as well as 4th century early Christian and pagan sarcophagi. Continuing up the stoned pathways, we’ll arrive at la Catedral de Girona. An impressive structure featuring the hallmarks of varying architectural styles, this cathedral is home to the sacred chapel of Narcism, the patron saint of Girona, and to the magnificent 11th century Tapestry of the Creation, unanimously considered to be a true masterpiece of medieval artwork.

At this point we'll leave you (with tickets for your return to Barcelona) free to explore the rest of Girona on your own.

Please note: This excursion is fairly walking-intensive, and some sites in Girona are unfortunately not very wheelchair-accessible. Please contact us if you have mobility concerns and we would be happy to advise.

About Us

The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and culture that makes these cultural capitals amazing. With no more than six other people, you'll participate in an intimate, hands-on, conversational experience. No Tour Guides - Our "docents" are first and foremost scholars or specialists, with MAs, Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in their fields of study.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within three business days need to be made by phone to the emergency number provided in your confirmation email. Cancellations within three business days made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored. Other terms and conditions may apply.



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