The exquisite Girona Cathedral is an iconic symbol of the city and a must-see on your Girona holiday. Famous for its impressive Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture, it’s a cultural delight that’s the centrepiece of the beautiful city of Girona in Catalonia. A visit will give you an insight into a rich and inspiring history as you explore the inner and outer beauty of this Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Location and Information
Girona Cathedral is located on Plaza de la Cathedral in central Girona and is open throughout the year. There are audio tours and guided tours available to enhance your visit, as well as a shop so you can purchase souvenirs. It’s close to transport links, the city centre museums and Arab Baths, in addition to charming pavement cafés and al fresco eateries.
Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary, Girona Cathedral dates back to the 11th century but is actually built on a 6th century site. The original church and cloister were built in the Romanesque style in 1064. The bell tower was finally completed in 1117. In 1312 the Cathedral was redesigned by Pere Sacoma with a Gothic theme, which incorporated a large nave. That nave is now the second largest nave in the world (after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome) at 22.98 metres. The outside was later developed with a Baroque façade, contributing to the magnificent building we see today.
Lace up your comfy shoes, because your trip to Girona should include climbing the 17th century staircase to reach the main entrance, and a day spent strolling around to discover hidden treasures including the Tapestry of Creation, the famous Gothic nave, the altar stone, the Cross of Pearls, and early Christian Sarcophagi.
Uncover five centuries of history made up of a Baroque face, Gothic body and Romanesque feet. The cloisters, sacristy and Tower of Charlemagne remain from the original 11th century Romanesque building. The cloister is famous for its fantastic sculptures depicting religious figures and animals, and pillars decorated with intricate carvings. Pointed arch stain-glass windows capture the essence of the cathedral and frame the home of the beautiful white marble high altar.
The exterior of Girona Cathedral has been designed in Gothic style with impressive sculptures adorning the walls, as well as a beautiful Gothic portal of Saint Michael and the southern entrance of the Apostles dating back to the 14th century. There are two bell towers, the original Charlemagne and a new tower completed in the 18th century.
The Cathedral Treasury is attached to the church and home to two stunning pieces of renowned artwork, namely the Tapestry of the Creation made from Roman textiles, and the Beatus de Girona, which is a 10th century illuminated manuscript.
Your visit to Girona should include a trip to its cathedral to see one of the best preserved and most spectacular medieval buildings in Europe. It’s a big change from the usual holiday hotspots, but well worth a visit. Follow the maze of cobbled streets to Girona Cathedral and delve into a history that’s beautifully illustrated in paintings and carvings, giving you an insight into the local culture.