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The remainings of the wall

Discover the history of the bastion you can visit in the same hotel

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Girona became a stage for struggle and resistance against the ambitions of Napoleon Bonaparte. The city’s strategic location made it a key target in the Napoleonic Wars, and one of the most significant episodes in its history was the Napoleonic sieges. In this context, the city had to develop its defensive infrastructure to fortify the stronghold and repel foreign incursions. The main defensive wall was composed of the ancient Mercadal wall, its towers, and forts reinforced with various bastions.

What is a bastion?

The bastions surrounding the city played an essential role in its defense. A bastion, in the context of defensive architecture, is a star-shaped structure that protrudes from the walls and serves the purpose of providing a panoramic view and greater firing capacity in multiple directions. Each bastion allowed for the accommodation of a garrison tasked with defending its position, so that each of these bastions could practically fight autonomously, making them key points for the protection of the city and its inhabitants in times of danger.

(O) Figuerola Bastion, just a few meters from the hotel but now completely gone
(N) Santa Creu Bastion, visitable from the Hotel Gran Ultonia
(M) Governor’s Bastion, already disappeared.
(L) Santa Clara Bastion where the Ultonia Regiment achieved heroic victories
(K) Sant Francesc Bastion. Visitable from the municipal market.
(I) Mercè Bastion located on the other bank of the Onyar River, marking the start of the pedestrian route

The crowded Gran Via de Jaume I is today one of the city’s most important avenues, daily traversed by thousands of people. Few are aware that the route of this grand avenue follows the former Mercadal wall, where the various bastions were also located, as shown in the previous image.

The bastion in the hotel: a living link to history

The renovation works to convert the former Cinema Teatre Ultonia into the Hotel Gran Ultonia in the early 2000s uncovered the remnants of what was once one of the most important bastions of the city’s fortified defense. After significant conservation efforts, guests of Hotels Ultonia Girona can now visit an authentic fragment of the Santa Creu Bastion in the basement of the building. We are delighted that every time a guest walks through our lobby or relaxes in one of our rooms, the connection with the city becomes tangible.

El Baluard, the bastion in Catalan

Inspired by this discovery, the name El Baluard was chosen to represent this gastronomic and event space, as a small gesture of affection and respect for our city’s past.

An experience not to be missed

From the early third of the 20th century, the old and obsolete walls, along with the bastions reinforcing them, were demolished to make way for the urban growth demanded by the city. The Mercadal wall, which had served as a refuge and parapet on many occasions, began to crumble, but not the perimeter located in the old town of the city. After extensive renovation, the route of the old wall through the Barri Vell is one of the most visited attractions in the city. In addition to an entertaining walk accessible to the whole family, it offers views of the sunset in Girona that Instagram enthusiasts will be able to immortalize.