During the Fires de Girona, which run from October 28 to November 6 and mark the feast day of the city's patron saint, Sant Narcís, there are numerous activities on offer throughout the city, such as free entry to most museums and some of Girona's most emblematic buildings. Here's our selection of the ones you shouldn't miss, along with the times that entrance is free. Enjoy!
Saturday 29 October, 10am-2pm
The former Hospital Santa Caterina has, for the past few years, hosted the seat of the Generalitat de Catalunya (regional Catalan government) in Girona. In addition, there's also the Espai Santa Caterina, an exhibition space where you can currently visit the show, '350 years by your side. Memories of the former Hospital de Santa Caterina'.
Saturday 29 October, 10.30am-5.30pm; Sunday 30 October, 10.30am-1.30pm
The Girona History Museum is an unmissable place for two reasons: the content and the surrounds. The building, a former convent of Sant Antoni from the 18th century, has had a unique evolution: first it was a Gothic house, later it was converted into a monastery for Capuchin brothers, and at the end of the 19th century it became the Provincial Education Institute; since 1981 it has housed the History Museum of Girona. Inside, you can take a trip through the city's history, from its foundation in the Roman period to the time of the Franco dictatorship. In addition, the museum hosts a varied programme of activities and temporary exhibitions.
Ajuntament de Girona
Saturday 29 October, 11am-6pm
There are various reasons for visiting the interior of Girona's City Hall (Plaça del Vi, 1). The building, which is constructed around an internal courtyard, is part of the Architectural Wealth Inventory of Catalonia. In addition, it's a structure made up of various sections, from different eras and in different styles. At the start of the 20th century, the façade was pulled down and replaced with the current, rather eclectic one.
Sunday 6 November, 10am-2pm
Girona once housed one of the most important Jewish communities in the Western world, and, still today, it contains one of Europe's most important Jewish neighbourhoods ('call' in Catalan). The Jewish History Museum, located in the Bonastruc ça Porta centre, seeks to explain the history of Catalonia's Jewish communities. The Museum has 11 different rooms that take visitors on a tour of the daily lives, culture and history of Jewish communities around the region and in Girona itself during the medieval period. The building, coincidentally, is situated in the space in the Call that was occupied by the synagogue and its outbuildings in the 15th century.
Sunday 6 November, 11am-2pm
This place is paradise for cinephiles. The Cinema Museum in Girona invites you to discover the gadgets that stunned our grandparents and take a tour through the history of cinema: from shadow theatre to the magic lantern, from photography to the cinematography of the Lumière brothers, from Mèliés to TV via Griffith and the peerless Charlie Chaplin. Opened in 1998 in the former Casa de les Aigües, the Museu del Cinema organises a wide range of courses, activities and exhibitions: film screenings, specialised courses, workshops for children... And, you can always lose yourself in the Tomàs Mallol collection, containing some 20,000 cinema-related items gathered by the late Catalan director.
Saturday 29 October, 10.30am-5.30pm; Sunday 30 October, 11am-1pm
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) signalled a turning-point in the history of the centres of towns and cities in the rearguard, as they were subject to numerous air raids. That's why many had to develop and construct a specific kind of wartime architecture: air-raid shelters. It's calculated that across Catalonia, including in Girona, more than 2,000 were built (of which 1,400 were in Barcelona alone). The only Girona one that's open to the public today is the one under Jardí de la Infància.