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Trip Planner Europe  /  Spain  /  Catalonia  /  Province of Girona  /  Besalu

Besalu

3.9
Bridges · Specialty Museums · Sacred & Religious Sites
Besalú is a town in the comarca of Garrotxa, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The town's importance was greater in the early Middle Ages, as capital of the county of Besalú, whose territory was roughly the same size as the current comarca of Garrotxa but sometime extended as far as Corbières, Aude, in France. Wilfred the Hairy, credited with the unification of Catalonia, was Count of Besalú. The town was also the birthplace of Raimon Vidal, a medieval troubadour.Besalú was designated as a historical national property ("conjunt històric-artístic") in 1966. The town's most significant feature is its 12th-century Romanesque bridge over the Fluvià river, which features a gateway at its midpoint. The church of Sant Pere was consecrated in 1003. The town features arcaded streets and squares and also a restored mikveh, a ritual Jewish bath dating from the eleventh or twelfth century, as well as the remains of a medieval synagogue, located in the lower town near the river. Besalú also hosts the Museum of miniatures created by jeweler and art collector Lluís Carreras.HistoryThe name Besalú is derived from the Latin Bisuldunum, meaning a fort on a mountain between two rivers. It is also the historical capital of the county of “La Garrotxa”. One key date is the year 894, when Besalú was converted to a county with its own dynasty. The county changed from “L’Empordà” to “El Ripollès”. In the year 1111, Besalú lost its independence, for historical reasons in favor of the county of Barcelona. Centuries later, Besalú started a decadent period, worsened by the redemptions, wars with the French and carlists.
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