GIRONA - GERONA
Girona was the centre of a county founded by Charlemagne in 785; this was one of the 14 original founding counties of Catalonia. One century later Girona merged with Barcelona county (878) and passed under the jurisdiction of the count-king: this is the reason of the royal arms of Catalonia-Aragon (Or, four pales Gules), shown in Girona's arms since the early 13th century.
From this time is also the escutcheon (ancient vairy, Gules and Argent), the traditional and identifying sign of the city; its number of pieces has been unstable, four or three, and also the colours, red or blue, and it's said that it reminds the four rivers (Ter, Onyar, Güell and Galligants) that join in Girona. The official arms (granted in July 5, 1996) have been established with three vairy pieces in red, as there were in the arms of 1372 and 1476 respectively.
The ancient county became later a duchy (1351), when the king Peter III the Cerimonious gave the title of duke to his first-born son, the infant John. In 1414, the king Ferdinand I gave the title of Prince of Girona to his first-born son, the infant Alphonse. Because of that a prince's crown is at the top of the arms.
Literature : de Cadenas, A. A. and de Cadenas, V. : Heraldica de las comunidades autonomas y de las capitales de provincia. Hidalguia, Madrid, 1985.