Just a stone's throw away from the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park lies Besalú, a small gem leftover from the time of the counts. The town owes its origins to the construction of its castle, which dates back to the 10th century. The current town is not a faithful representation of how it originally looked but it has preserved some of its traces from the Middle Ages.
The town is reached via a splendid 12th century Romanesque bridge rising above the Fluvià river. Next you find yourself in the middle of a stone maze which produces a particular sort of atmosphere. Strolling through the medieval lanes, you will discover the Jewish district, the Abbey of Sant Pere consecrated in 1003 by Taillefer, the Parish Church of Sant Vicenç and the ruins of Santa Maria of Besalú. These remains testify to the cohabitation that existed between the Jewish community which settled in the region starting in the 9th century and the Christians. Once a year, the inhabitants of Besalú put on their medieval dress and relive the Middle Ages for a weekend. By wishing to preserve an urban and architectural structure in harmony with its medieval past, Besalú is one of the most beautiful examples of this period in Catalonia.
Noteworthy: A visit to the Tourist Information Office is a good way to discover the sites that you would otherwise not think to visit.