Glimpse of village life in Spain
This is my favourite Catalunya
At only few metres from Sant Pere’s monastery, it was founded by the monastery itself during the XIIth century as a hospital for poor people. The building, constructed in the typical style of that period, consists on one long hall (picture 3). Decoration is almost nonexistent here, with only few concessions on the narrow main façade: again the...more
Beautiful! This is the kind of architecture that I prefer: pure Romanesque style, simple lines and light and stone being almost the only decoration inside. Sant Pere is a medieval benedictine monastery founded in 977 by Count Miró of Besalú. The current church, the only part of the big ensemble that survived (picture 1), is from the XIIth...more
This is a nice example of medieval civil architecture in Besalú. It was built during the XIIIth century. We know that during the XIVth century it belonged to a Jewish family, the Astruc family. You still can see the mezuzah (a kind of parchment containing Jewish texts) hole on the entrance door, used to consecrate the homes. Later Bernat Cavaller,...more
A must for any bridge lover, this medieval bridge is the jewel of the village and also its symbol. Its origin is unknown but we already have some news about it by the year 1075. The main structure should be from that period. During its long life it has been modified several times to protect the village from floods and enemy attacks. The defence...more
An important Jewish community lived in Besalú since the IXth century until 1436 and left interesting constructions like the synagogue and the miqvé (Jewish baths). Few things remain from the Jewish quarter where the old miqvé (Jewish bath) is the highlight, being the first and only miqvé found in Spain and the third (to ten) in Europe. At the...more
Sant Vicenç shows up to us at the end of a narrow street (picture 1).It is the parish church of the village. First documented in the Xth century, it is a Romanesque church (XIIth century) with only few gothic elements, like the rose window. The bell tower is from the XVIIIth century .When we visited Besalú the church was closed but you still can...more
A visit of Besalú is like a travel into the time, a village of narrow streets (pictures 1-2) and stone houses decorated with colorful flowers (picture 3). Still today stones talk and they tell us about its inhabitants, their everyday life and beliefs. Take your time and enjoy not only its rich historical heritage but also its hidden corners and...more
It is the main square of the village. Narrow streets plus porticoed medieval houses (picture 1) make here a very beautiful ensemble: what a pity that it is always full of cars! It was very difficult to avoid them for the pictures. Just in front of the town hall there is a small museum about the village. Nothing special but, as it is free and you...more
There was an active Jewish community in Besalu. Only a few ruins (of the synagogue) are left. Quite recently also a mikve (ritual bath) was found. After hard limitations of the living space and the activities of the Jews the Jews left the town. This coincided with a stagnation of the town which is an important reason for the fact that Besalu has...more
located in the center of the beautiful medieval village of besalu is the romanesgue church of sant pere. sant pere is the sole remnant of a 948AD benedictine monastery that was demolished in 1835. nearby is a mikvah, (jewish bath) that was built in 1264. it is one of three baths of that period that survive in europe.more
The both Romanic churches St. Peter and St. Vincent are locked if there are no services and can only be visited on guided tours but you can always look at the interior of the churches through a window in the door and if you drop one Euro into a slot the interior will be illuminated for 3 minutes.more
The architecture is the first thing that struck me about this lovely find. We walked in off the streets to what looks like an old wine cellar. The bar is at the bottom of some stone steps under an enormous archway and the restaurant is through patio doors to another area. I would love to know the history of the buildingEach time we have visited (4...more
I have described some of the Catalan dishes you may see in BesalùArrós Negre - Squid cooked in its own ink with rice, peas, red peppers, garlic and onion. This dish is claimed to have originated in L'Empordá in northern Catalonia, but this might be disputed by Valencians. Allioli - emulsified olive oil and garlicButifara amb seques - is fried white...more
Spaniards - and Catalans - know two types of breakfast. Either a coffee and a croissant, often consumed standing in a bar or Churros y Chocolate which is a veritable calory bomb helping everybody over the long time between the morning and the very late (not before 2 PM) lunch.more
It seems to be quite difficult to reach Besalu by Public Transport. We hired a car in Barcelona to travel around in Catalunya for 4 days. In earlier years I travelled in Spain either by my own car or by train and bus. But now I was around with a small car with Spanish licence and this gave me entirely new insights into the rude style of driving and conduct among local drivers. it seems that Spanish drivers behaved much more politely towards drivers of foreign cars...
If you like liquors, Besalú is also known for its Ratafia. Its a kind of liquor or brandy flavoured with different herbs and it is typical of the Mediterranean areas of Italy, Spain and France. Ratafia Catalana is a Geographical Denomination (DG) and has its origins in the Catalan Pyrenees and particularly appreciated in this area but also in Languedoc in France. If you are fond of this kind of liquors don’t miss the Ratafia Fair of Besalú, every year on 29-30th November.
By the way: the quality of the picture is not good because of the bad lightning, not because of the Ratafia :-)))
Culinary traditions of this area of Cataluñya are wonderfully represented in the local restaurants...but the Bonka brand of instant coffee in some places leaves a lot to be desired! Ask instead for expresso or cafe con leche from the "machina"
churchDel Monasterio Benedictino, established in the year 977 fror the Conde-Obispo Miró, only stays the actual church de Sant Pere, ancienst from the year 1003, romanic style century XII. (s.XII). Elementos escultóricos: leones de la fachada y capiteles interiores. Tumbas de época abacial (s.XVI, XVII, XVIII). El campanario pertenece a la época...more
16 Reviews and Opinions
This centuries-old bridge, open only to foot traffic, was incredibly beautiful and photogenic. While modern day vehicles fly past on the new bridge less than a hundred yards away, you can stand on this wonderful piece of architecture, with the calm river waters below, and gaze back at the lovely medieval scene that is Besalu.more
Had I not taken a wrong turn looking for the road to the bridge I wouldn't have found this little surprise. Someone in Besalu is clearly intent on adding some contemporary flair to the town's artistic side. And it works, for me at least.See following pic for a clearer perspective.more