Spanish  Gerona  

      city, capital of Girona provincia (province), in the Catalonia comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), northeastern Spain. It lies on the Oñar River in the foothills of the Los Ángeles Mountains, a short distance inland from a Mediterranean coastal resort area known as the Costa Brava. The city comprises three zones: the interior, which includes the old quarter; the modern section; and a residential area.

      Because of its position on the coastal route from Gaul to the Iberian Peninsula, Girona was a fortified site of the Iberians (whose ruined walls dating from the 4th and 5th centuries BC remain) and of the Romans, who knew the city as Oppidum Gerunda. It passed to the Visigoths and was conquered in 714 by the Muslims, who called it Jerunda. Retaken in 785 by the Franks under Charlemagne, the city was lost again in 793 and recaptured by Louis of Aquitaine in 797. It was later incorporated into the kingdom of Aragon. Until the expulsion of Jews in 1492, the city had a thriving Jewish quarter. Girona took an active part in the 17th–18th-century wars between Spain and France and was besieged several times by both sides.

      Historic landmarks include the Gothic cathedral (begun c. 1292), with one of the world's widest (74 feet [23 metres]) aisleless naves. Girona is the site of the Provincial Archaeological Museum and of a university founded by Alfonso V in 1446.

      Industrially, the city is important. Milk pasteurization, filtering, freezing, and preserving are based at the municipal central dairy. There are lumber and flour mills, distilleries, and biscuit, confectionery, and soft drink factories. Textile production is considerable. The city has a paper mill, publishing house, several chemical factories, and soapworks. Heavy machinery is also manufactured. Finance and service industries dominate the economy. Pop. (2006 est.) 85,742.

Spanish  Gerona  

      provincia (province) in the Catalonia comunidad autónoma (autonomous community), northeastern Spain. Girona is the northeasternmost province of the autonomous community and of Spain. It is bounded by France and the Pyrenees to the north, by the Mediterranean Sea to the east and southeast, and by Barcelona and Lleida provinces to the west. Girona province was formed in 1883 from parts of Catalonia. Historically, the province acted as the guardian of the passes through the eastern end of the Pyrenees.

      The province's colder northern sector has a well-developed forest industry (oak, pine, and chestnut). Its eastern and southern fertile coastal plain of El Ampurdán, drained by the Ter, Muga, and Fluviá rivers, produces cereals, corn (maize), and fodder. Fishing also is economically important. Manufactures of textiles (linen and cotton), foodstuffs, paper, and electronics are concentrated in Girona city, the capital of the province, and the export-oriented cork industry flourishes at San Felíu de Guixols and Palafrugell. Tourism is important along the coast, which is known as the Costa Brava, and services have become one of the most important economic activities of the province. Cape Creus, a marked feature of the coastline, is the most easterly point of the Iberian Peninsula. Area 2,282 square miles (5,910 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 706,185.

Vicente Rodriguez

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Universalium. 2010.

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