Visit Besalú and stay in the best cottages
The medieval town of Besalú
is internationally known for its famous 11th century Romanesque stone bridge. Besalú's active tourism 365 days a year makes each of Besalú's rural houses and tourist accommodation in the area even more unique. The views of the village from the bridge make Besalú a spectacular plac
e, a must if you stay in one of our holiday country houses in La Garrotxa
Besalú is a town of 2,500 inhabitants where you can enjoy a wide variety of medieval architecture: the Medieval Bridge of Besalú, the Jewish ritual baths, the Jewish quarter, the Monastery of Sant Pere
, the passage of the Fluvià River in Besalú...
Besalú, medieval town
It is said that the origin of the town of Besalú is its castle
. Today there are only a few remains located on top of a small hill near where we now find the Church of Santa Maria.
The urban layout of the town is clearly medieval. Miró I el Jove was the first earl of Besalú,
but the town did not begin to acquire power until the death of Grifé el Pelós, in 902, when it became a “department” of Barcelona
when Bernat III died childless.
Just over 60 years ago, in 1966, Besalú was declared a National Historic- Artistic Site
for its historical and architectural value. As a result, since the 1970s Besalú has been thriving, thanks in part to the thousands of tourists who stroll through its narrow streets every month of the year.
What can you do in Besalú through its holiday rentals?
Cross the Medieval Bridge of Besalú
Surely, anyone who thinks of Besalú will think about its well-known Medieval Bridge. With 150 meters of fortified bridge, the emblem of Besalú was built in the 12th century and had a defense function. However, it is not entirely original, since in 1315 the water carried away the old bridge. Thus, James II, the king of that time, decided to build what we see today. Although its structure has suffered several damages, the last episode was during the Civil War, today the medieval bridge is in perfect condition.
Stroll through the old town
What we find when we leave the Medieval Bridge behind is the Jewish quarter. During the 9th century, twenty Jewish families settled in the town of Besalú, and began to work as merchants and doctors. In this way, thanks to the high salary compared to the rest of the population, they had certain privileges due to the high taxes they paid to the feudal lords. Finally, in the 15th century they were expelled just like the Muslims by the Catholic Kings.
The main square of Besalú is Plaça de la Llibertat. This is the liveliest place in town. The Town Hall, coffe, bars and restaurants and local shops are some of the establishments to be found in the main square.
Visit the Mikvé bath
The Mikvé is the ancient ritual bath from the end of the 12th century, which was used to purify people during the rituals of Judaism. It remained buried until 1964, when an excavator discovered it while building a well. Currently, the best way to visit it is through the guided tours organized by the Besalú tourist office.
Visit the Benedictine Monastery of Sant Pere
Leaving Plaça de la Llibertat along Carrer del Canó, we arrive at Plaça de Sant Pere and the Church of Sant Pere. This square is the largest in the whole town, and has several restaurants and bars.
Stroll along the river Fluvià
The river that runs under the Besalú bridge is the Fluvià river
, which springs on the banks of Falgars d'en Bas and flows into the Gulf of Roses
, specifically in Sant Pere Pescador
. Another must-do in Besalú is to go down to the Fluvià river and enjoy the views of the bridge from the rural surroundings.