Girona has some important natural features which were important in making this a settlement more than 2000 years ago. The intersection of 4 rivers is always important, and more so in a hot country. The Onyar, Guell, Galligants and Ter rivers all meet here, but as all are dammed and controlled upstream we no longer have problems with flooding. In the past, flooding was a fairly regular event, and the high water marks are recorded on some buildings in the Old Town.
The Romans used Girona as a fort and trading post. The Via Augusta, their main road from southern France into northern and southern Spain, can still be followed in part on the Carrer de la Força from the cathedral and then along the river Onyar. It continued towards Barcelona and eventually all the way to Cadiz on the Straits of Gibraltar. The Romans established some nearby quarries for building materials, preferring the softer sandstone which can still be seen incorporated into walls, especially in the city walls and around some of the main gates.
In the Middle Ages, Girona was a tempting target. Being on the main medieval trading route from France into Spain and being the largest and most important town in the region brought death and destruction in the form of armies bent on conquering new lands.
Today, Girona is one of the few places in Europe that can claim to be close to mountains (the Pyrenees) and to a splendid coast (the Costa Brava). It is also close to the French border and the cultural attractions of Barcelona, all within an hour's drive.