Very close to the city of Girona and the Pyrenees is La Garrotxa, one of the most beautiful regions in Catalonia. In it we can find different very beautiful towns accompanied by spectacular landscapes.
But one of them stands out above all, Besalú, a town that appears in almost all guides when talking about the most beautiful towns in Spain.
Besalú is a very special place thanks to its bridge and its medieval layout, but it is not the only interesting thing to see in La Garrotxa.
What to see in Besalú, a trip to the Middle Ages
1. The fortified bridge of Besalú
Surely you have seen the image of Besalú with the bridge in the foreground thousands of times. And it is without a doubt the most characteristic monument of this beautiful town and one that you will never get tired of seeing.
It is located a few meters from the parking lot enabled to visit Besalú and crossing it is mandatory to reach the streets of the town. The origin of the bridge dates back to the 11th century, or even earlier, although it has been restored several times in later times, although its medieval essence has been maintained.
The last restoration was in the 20th century, since it was destroyed during the Civil War, and it stands out for its elbow at its midpoint under the great arch, which makes it very special. A customs house was installed there in the Middle Ages to charge for the goods that entered and left this very commercial town over the centuries.
2. The Besalú Jewish Quarter
The Jews were of great importance in Besalú. They have had it in every locality where trade has been present. And their coexistence with the Christians was exemplary throughout the centuries.
As soon as we pass the Besalú Bridge we come across the Jewish Quarter. There is the Synagogue, one of the many that existed in Besalú. In it we can visit a mikveh from the 12th century, that is, the space where the purification baths of Judaism were held. There are very few in the Iberian Peninsula and this is one of the best preserved.
Around the main Synagogue there is a network of narrow and winding alleys forming a Jewish quarter that is worth a visit.
3. Other places to see in Besalú
In the center of Besalú is the Plaza Mayor, also called Plaza de la Libertad. It is a very old square where the medieval market is held every Tuesday and in which the semicircular arches that surround it, the Town Hall and the Royal Curia, a building with Gothic windows dating from the 16th century, stand out.
From it you can see the Monastery of Sant Pere in the background, located in another of the beautiful squares of Besalú, the Plaza de Sant Pere
The monastery was founded in the 10th century, having a period of great splendor until it fell into decline in the 15th century and currently only the church remains. In this square there is also an interesting Museum of Miniatures.
To the north of the town is the Church of San Vicente, one of the oldest buildings in Besalú, Romanesque in style and where the relic of the Vera Cruz is preserved.
Castellfollit de la Roca
A few kilometers from Besalú we find another of the great attractions of La Garrotxa, the town of Castellfollit de la Roca.
Its main attraction is its location, on top of a cliff, whose best views can be obtained from the road that passes by the town. Also from a small bridge-viewpoint that crosses the river at the foot of the houses and from where the photos will look great.
If you decide to visit the interior of the town, the highlight is the Church, located at one of its ends, next to its bell tower. From there you also have very good views.