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Girona (Catalan: Girona, Spanish: Gerona) is a city located in the northwest of Catalonia, Spain on the confluence of the rivers Ter and Onyar. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and of the Catalan comarca of Gironès. The population was ca. 74879 in 2001.


The first inhabitants in the region were Iberians. Later, the Romans made a citadel there, which was given the name Gerunda. The Visigoths ruled in Girona until it was conquered by Moors. Finally, Charlemagne reconquered it in 785 and made it one of the fourteen original countships of Catalonia. Guifré I incorporated Girona to the county of Barcelona in 878. Alfons I declared Girona as a city in the 11th century. The ancient county became later a duchy (1351), when the king Peter III of Aragon gave the title of duke to his first-born son, John. In 1414, king Ferdinand I in turn gave the title of Prince of Girona to his first-born son, Alphonse. The title is currently carried by Prince Felipe, Prince of Asturias.

The 12th century saw a flourishing of the Jewish community of Girona, with one of the most important Cabalistic schools in Europe. The Rabbi of Girona, Nahmanidis or Bonastruc ça Porta, was appointed Great Rabbi of Catalonia. The history of the Jewish community of Girona ended in 1492, when the Catholic Kings expelled all the Jews from Spain. Today, the Jewish ghetto or Call is one of the best preserved in Europe and a major touristic attraction.

Girona suffered several sieges by the French during the 17th and 18th centuries. Finally, Napoleon conquered the city in 1809, after 7 months of siege. The defensive city walls were demolished in the 19th century to allow for the expansion of the city.

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