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Girona is a city located in the northeast of Catalonia,at the confluence of the rivers Ter and Onyar. It is the capital of the province province of the same name and of the Catalan comarca of the Gironès. The recorded population in 2005 was 86,672.
The ancient portion of the city with its once-formidable fortifications stands on the steep hill of the Capuchins, while the more modern section is in the plain and stretches beyond the river. The bastions of the walls which have withstood so many sieges are still to be seen.
The ancient cathedral, which stood on the site of the present one, was used by the Moors as a mosque, and after their final expulsion was either entirely remodelled or rebuilt. The present edifice is one of the noblest monuments of the school of the Majorcan architect Jaume Fabre and one of the finest specimens of Gothic architecture in Spain. It is approached by eighty-six steps. An aisle and chapels surround the choir, which opens by three arches into the nave, of which the pointed stone vault is the widest in Christendom (73 feet). Among its interior decorations is a retable which is the work of the Valencian silversmith Pere Bernec. It is divided into three tiers of statuettes and reliefs, framed in canopied niches of cast and hammered silver. A gold and silver altar-frontal was carried off by the French in 1809. The cathedral contains the tombs of Ramon Berenger and his wife.
The Collegiate Church of Sant Feliu is also architecturally noteworthy. Its style is fourteenth-century Gothic, the façade dating from the eighteenth, and it is one of the few Spanish churches which possesses a genuine spire. It contains, besides the sepulchre of its patron and the tomb of the valiant Álvarez, a chapel dedicated to St. Narcissus, who according to tradition was one of the early bishops of the see.
The Benedictine church of Sant Pere de Galligants is in Romanesque style of an early date.
Most traces of Girona's rich Jewish history were wiped out when the Jews were expelled from Spain (see Spanish expulsion), however some remain. On Carrer de Sant Llorenc, the doorway of an old building has a rectangular indentation which once held a mezuzah. Further along is the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta and the Catalan Jewish Museum. The Bonastruc ça Porta project started in the 1970s, when it became fashionable to renovate properties in the old town. Clearing away nearly 700 years of construction, Jose Tarres, a local restaurateur, discovered the remains of what turned out to be the medieval yeshiva founded by Nahmanides.
The city has a number of relevant Art Nouveau buildings including the Farinera Teixidor by Rafael Masó.
During the professional cycling season, various non-European pro cyclists have called Girona home, as illustrated in the book Inside the Postal Bus by Michael Barry, written during his time with the US Postal Service cycling team. Between races, cyclists do their training rides outside the city, which provides excellent training terrain.
In the Spring of 1997 Marty Jemison, Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie moved to Girona as teammates of the US Postal Service Professional Cycling Team. This was the first year that American cyclists started living in Girona and meeting for training rides at the Pont de Pedra.
Football is also widely popular. The local Football club is Girona FC.
The city is the home of the Universitat de Girona.