Friday, November 15, 2013

The 5 Bridges of Girona: Stone Bridge, Eiffel Bridge, St. Agusti Bridge, Princess Bridge and St. Feliu Bridge

The city centre of Girona lies on the River Onyar, with the old city centre and its ancient city walls lying to the east and the newer city to the west. There are 11 bridges uniting the eastern and western parts of the city but only 5 of these bridges, 4 of whom are exclusive narrow foot bridges, connects locals and tourists alike to the core of Girona old city centre.

But before I begin, did I tell you that Girona is a very lovely place? I very much enjoyed my stay here and I was glad I picked this city as my base in Catalonia. And do remember that the whole region of Catalonia speak Catalan and not Spanish. You will rarely see the flag of Spain here, instead you will see an avalanche of Catalan flags. They are literally everywhere! Nevertheless, I will talk about this Catalan nationalism another time.

Map of Girona Old City Centre

Let us begin with a little bit of orientation of Girona old city centre and the location of the bridges.

Now you can see the River Onyar and the 5 foot bridges spanning across it. The city as a whole is relatively big but this section of Girona is the core center of the city and is easily walkable. Small, compact, cosy and pretty, just exactly how I want it.

The 5 Bridges of Girona

Let us start our inventory of the bridges from the south, from Placa de Catalunya.

1) The STONE BRIDGE (Pont de Pedra)

This stone arch bridge is the only bridge that is not a foot bridge because it allows bicycles to pass, however, this bridge is close to other vehicular traffic. This is the first series of the 5 bridges accessing the old town. Right on the east side of the bridge you will find the Girona Tourism office and the main walkway of the town--La Rambla de la Libertad.

2) The EIFFEL BRIDGE (Pont de les Peixateries Velles)

Built circa 1877 and perhaps the most famous bridge in Girona because this bridge was designed by Gustav Eiffel, the architecht behind the Eiffel Tower. He constructed this before embarking on the Eiffel Tower project in Paris. The original name is indeed Pont de les Peixateries Velles and locals call this bridge El Pont de Ferro as well, however, everyone outside Girona knows this bridge as the Eiffel Bridge.

3) ST. AGUSTI BRIDGE (Pont de Sant Agusti)

This is the third bridge from the south and this bridge offers a closer beautiful view (for picture taking especially) of the River Onyar, the river houses, the Collegiate Church of St. Feliu and the grand Cathedral of Girona. This is a busy and very important foot bridge because it connects pedestrians from the old eastern part of Girona directly to the neoclassical colonnaded porticoes of the Plaza de la Independencia in the west.

And here is another picture taken on another day at a different time. I know, I had great weather for a November in northern Spain. 25C!

4) The PRINCESS BRIDGE (Pont de la Princesa) or GOMEZ BRIDGE

This is perhaps the cutest and most romantic bridge in Girona. I have a blown-up picture on the glass walls that separates the toilet and the bedroom in my hotel room of this bridge. This must have been nicknamed as the Princess Bridge because of its Rococo-style ornate wrought-iron head railing in the middle. You can also find unbiquitous lovers padlocks attached to its side railings, although I have a feeling that locals regularly removes them.


5) ST. FELIU BRIDGE (Pont de Sant Feliu)

The last and most northern most bridge which offers a grand view to the Collegiate Church of St. Feliu. This wooden bridge directly lands you on the St. Feliu Square and the Church.

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Girona (Catalonia), Spain

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