Besalú Travel Guide

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Yan Simkin (leprechaun_1)

Besalú is almost entirely medieval, its prime sight being the fortified bridge. It is reached, if you are on public transport, by bus from Gerona via Banyoles There are various tourist trips possible [a bit expensively] by mini-train but it may well be sufficient just to explore the buildings and alleys of the town.

Besalu is a lovely medieval town. The 12th century Roman bridge over to the town is a real landmark. The town sits where the Rivers Fluvia and Capadella meet. If you are looking for a picturesque inland setting for a few days, Besalu is an ideal choice. It would take under an hour to drive from Girona airport, well served by Ryanair flights from all over Europe. There is a lot to do and see in the area, the Garrotxa Volcanic Park, the Dali Museum in Figueres, the coast, and the city of Girona.

Wilfred the Hairy, credited with the unification of Catalonia, was born in Besalu in 878. He was so named as he was as hairy as a mountain troll, even having hair of on the souls of his feet. In the Middle Ages Besalu was the capital of a country which reached up to Corbieres, now in France. Besalu was the birthplace of Ramon Vidal, a troubadour (a type of lyric poet who composed music and poetry usually on the topic of courtly love). The Church of Sant Pere, in the main square was originally part of a monastery built in 1003. The Milova is a ritual Jewish bath dating from the 11th or 12th century. It is located near the River Fluvia in the lower town. It was recently discovered and restored. You need to visit the Tourist Office in the main square to obtain the key. There is an outdoor market on Tuesdays.

In December there is the Fiera de Ratafia. This is the local "firewater"; a grappa based sweet liquor flavoured with herbs, spices, coffee and nuts. Legend tells that witches supervise its production; it is left outside for two weeks so that the magic and power of the sun and the moon can contribute to its special flavour.


February 29, 2008 change by europealacarte (1 point)

October 27, 2004 new by davidx

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