One thing that keeps coming in my memory is the striking silhouette of the medieval castle overlooking the town of Begur, with its numerous colonial-style houses, the layout and profile of the streets and alleys of the old town. Despite of its touristic character, the village has important historical remnants that go back in early history. The castle of Begur is a good example of medieval remains. The castle was constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first known lord of the castle was Arnust de Begur at the beginning of the 11th century. In 1607, the owners of the castle sold the rights to the municipality of Begur. Another interesting fact is that in 1810 the castle was subject to its final destruction during the Napoleonic Wars.
We didn’t visit the castle, only had some great view at it from the village of Begur. Still we think it is very rewarding to go up the hill and enjoy the castle itself and the views at the hinterland from it. The reason why we didn’t visit was a bit ridicules maybe as our three children were all very tired after our hikes in the old village of Begur and didn’t feel like going all the way to the castle. And sometimes it is a good idea to do listen to your own kids :) .
Most people try to rush Begur on a budget so they end up missing some of the highlights in a whirlwind. The key to seeing Begur properly is a game plan, you must know what you want to see before setting out. Before we visited Begur we saw on a city map that the small town of Begur is divided into three areas - the historical old town, the area around the Begur Castle and the more residential area in the new part of the town. We visited the city only once, and hiked our way through the first mentioned area.
Our hikes were in the old town (Gothic Quarter) where the city is one huge ancient site in which we could walk for several time. It was quite strenuous sometimes, but definitely worth while! For example we started at Camino del Mar where we parked the car for free, made our way via some hidden alleys towards the old town and it ended at the central square Placa de la Vila. While most tour guides don't recommend getting lost in the alley's, this part of Begur is the place to get hopelessly lost for a few hours. We wondered off through mysterious and steep alleyways leading us away from the crowds. We ended up at Carrer del Sant Pere with its view at the castle, Carrer del Castell and the beautiful painted houses, mazes of hilly backstreets and deserted gardens. The real Begur?
Take time to meander - losing yourself in the maze of alleys, streets and lanes is one of Begur old town's principal pleasures. The streets wind and wander with no discernible order or object. After our stroll we rewarded ourselves with a cool glass of beer or wine for our effort! We learned that you won't do justice to the entire city of Begur whenever you won't visit other parts than just the main sights. So ... do meander, because the cluster of sights around the main square Placa de la Vila are truly beautiful, but the more secret pleasures of the hushed backstreets are just entrancing.
There are truly more than enough vibrant cultural scenes to see, like the off the beaten path painted houses way back near Carrer del Castell and for example the permanent fruit stalls at the back of Carrer del Sant Pere. We first visited the Church de St. Pere and via the pavement along the church, with its beautiful tower, we ended up at some deserted viewpoint. It isn’t probably the most important point of Begur, but it lead to a great spot, right from here we could make out the Castle of Begur at its best. All this may seem very though as finding your way in Begur might be difficult, but in really distances are short and the signs will help you in getting around. Enjoy!
Begur is a city a lot of history indeed. The medieval town had its golden age long, long ago as the area was a Greek colony before it was won and treasured by the Romans. The compact town of Begur is easy to get around, and the ideal place to explore on foot. Begur is Spain, and yet it is a culture unto itself. It was an small city of the ancient Roman Empire and its legacy of monuments can be admired in the streets to this day. Historical buildings to stroll around include the Classic Begur Hotel, we read that this particular building was first designed in the 12th century and was intended to create a safe place of comfort for the residents of Begur, even whilst under attack. Besides that do visit the old town, Placa de la Vila, the Begur Castle with its viewpoint and the defensive walls. Anyway, the village reveals delights at every turn. Time to explore it!
We can honestly state that the best way to explore Begur is by foot and the second best way is also by foot! Besides giving you the opportunity to roam the narrow streets and the cozy squares, it is the quickest way too. If you really want to, you can cross the city in approximately 30 minutes. Remember that sometimes it might be quicker (and nicer!) to take a few short-cuts into picturesque alleys instead of following the masses of tourists. Maybe this is easy for us to say as we stayed for a longer period of time and not like most of the tourists only for one day. But even when your stay is rather short, do try to get away from the crowds and just have a 'look around'. Begur is simply a perfect place to walk for a few hours and pretending to know where you are.
Once were inside we had a good look at the interior. It’s not a particular rich church, but still gives away some beautiful ‘secrets’. Of course the beautiful stained glasses are worth a closer look. We noticed that the church has a single nave with some interesting vaults. The apse is semicircular on the outside while the inside remains of polygonal shape. Inside the church we read on a plaque that in the we could visit the side chapel with its albaster statue of the Madonna and Child, created by Francesco Fajula in 1985. Also of interest is the elaborate altarpiece which shows St Peter holding the keys to heaven.
Once back outside we admired its final structure where you can make out the Romanesque base, the Gothic apse and nave and the Baroque portico and bell tower. Having a good look at the baroque façade allows some details of the 19th century remnants. Do walk around the church and enjoy the vibe at that particular spot. We can honestly say it is a must visit and that's why we suggest everybody to go to the church Eglesia Parroquial de St. Pere and observe the village and the beauty of its landscape.
Although we were quite early when we first arrived at the Church of St. Pere in Begur we were already allowed to enter it. A huge advantage of our early arrival was the fact that there were almost no tourists. Either the bus / coach was still on his way to the village and church or everybody was having a breakfast at the terraces of their hotels. Whenever we visit a church the kids always want to burn a candle, it has become a bit of a tradition. The Sight of burning votive candles - real or electronic - is common in most Catholic churches. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?
According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights. Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed. So for us lighting a candle is a way of extending our prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf our prayer is offered.
The history of the entire area of Begur is quite interesting. Despite of its touristic character, the village has important historical remnants that go back in early history. The castle of Begur is a good example of medieval remains. The castle was constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries and it’s situated on the impressive hills of the Begur Massif. Begur’s old town is home to numerous monuments left as legacies of significant moments in the town's history. These particular facts probably turns it into one of the best places of the Catalan coast. We found some marks of its fine history with a visit to the city central square called Placa de la Vila and saw the Church of St. Pere (17th century). Time for us to explore it!
When we first arrived we saw that the village is dominated by the church of St. Pere, it truly towers over the brown houses of this small picturesque town. We learned that the of Church of St. Pere de Calella originates from the 17th century. The church has been renovated in the late 20th century and that definitely shows. We walked our way up and once in front of the church we could clearly see that the church is located at a higher location and we had some very nice views over the city and the sea.