Girona is a city built on Roman foundations, located on the famous Via Augusta, the main artery of the Roman road network, and it now has some 200,000 inhabitants.Restoration work began on the historic centre, which had long been left to ruin, during the 1980s, driven by a major European movement towards heritage preservation. The Call, the city's Jewish district, is a maze of Medieval streets and remains one of the best-preserved in Spain and even Europe, with the narrow side streets of the historical quarter bearing names such as 'Plaza del Vino' ('Wine Square'), 'Plaza del Aceite' ('Oil Square') and even 'Calle de la Plata' ('Silver St.'), in tribute to the various Medieval crafts and markets which once thrived there. The cathedral and its imposing Gothic nave, the second largest in the world after Saint Peter's in Rome according to several experts, dominates the old town, whilst the square just in front of it, which is also built on Roman ruins (cloister and steeple) faces the Pyrenees. The monumental staircase leading up to this point is similar to that of the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, and the old watchtowers here enjoy panoramic views across the entire valley and the areas surrounding this charming city. You can get up here by climbing up through the narrow streets, crossing the Francesca Gardens and walking along the wall. Another of Girona's assets is its architecture. The colourful houses at the foot of the Onyar river stand alongside monumental buildings from the Baroque period, such as the cathedral and austere Roman constructions like the thermal baths. Girona is the perfect destination for a weekend or short break. Beyond the boundaries of the city, the region is also the birthplace of one of the masters of surrealism, Salvador Dali, as testified by the museum in Figueras and the Port LLigat museum in Cadaques, whilst just a few miles outside of Girona you will find the house which the artist dedicated to his muse - Pubol Castle.
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