Vacation in Spain is a unique opportunity not only to bask in the sun by the sea, but also to get a lot of impressions from getting acquainted with the culture of this country, its history and monuments of architecture. No tour can cover everything that I would like to see. The best solution is to rent a car and create your own route, focusing on what you would like to see yourself.
Pearl of Catalan land
Besalú is a small town in Catalonia, which invariably attracts thousands of tourists from year to year. There are not three thousand inhabitants, but the streets are always full of people. An amazing place, ranked among the historical monuments of the country, harmoniously combines the pristine charm of the past and quite modern infrastructure, including souvenir shops, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes. The open-air museum will remain forever in the heart of every person who has visited it.
The first mention of the castle, built in the place where the rivers of Fluvia and Copelades merge (the province of Girona), can be found in sources dating from the tenth century. Unfortunately, today only ruins, remains of former greatness, and partially preserved St. Mary's church are visible on this place. From this castle and the beginning of the town, gradually growing up along the flow of the river Fluvia.
Historians assumed that there could have been a Roman settlement here before, but such a theory was not confirmed.
In 894, the Barcelona Count Vifred I Hairy presented these lands as a gift to his brother. Then life boiled here (both political and cultural).
After the death of Wifred I, the county, stretching between Campradon and Girona, albeit briefly, was given the status of a separate state and Besalu became the capital. It was part of a well-fortified buffer zone designed to protect the francs from the Moors.
In 1111 without leaving the heirs the last count died and the city with all the lands again departs to Barcelona, giving way to the status of not only the capital but also the regional center. From ruin and desolation he saved the work and devotion of local residents who did not want to leave the house.
What is the city today?
To date, back in 1966, received the title of national historical monumental complex. It was restored and fell into the tourist routes of the region. Guests can admire the medieval architecture, stroll through the narrow streets or enjoy the comfort of local cafes or restaurants in the hot midday.
Briefly about the most interesting.
The Fortress Bridge
The first thing is to begin acquaintance with the town - a fortress bridge with seven spans, which for centuries served as its protected gate. Built in the eleventh to the twelfth century for defensive purposes, it is perhaps the most beautiful building of the region.
It was built on river boulders, which became its natural foundation. This is due to its somewhat curved shape. The watchtower was completed in the fourteenth century. Behind it was hidden the building in which the state duty was paid. Money was taken not only for the entrance of man, but for donkeys.
From the moment of construction the bridge has been repeatedly subjected to perestroika, repair and reconstruction. He was even blown up during the fighting in the early twentieth century. In 1965, architect Pons Sorolya managed to rebuild the destroyed spans, focusing on images of the Napoleonic era.
You will fall into it when you pass the bridge. The Jewish community in the Middle Ages was so influential that it was even allowed to build a synagogue.
With the advent of the epidemic of plague on the Spanish land in 1348, mass persecutions against the Jews began, which the society found guilty of this disaster. It was believed that the latter deliberately poison Christians with their poisons. Pogroms and massacre of Jews became commonplace, and in 1492 they were expelled from the city and out of the country altogether. From the synagogue there was nothing but a ritual room found by archaeologists.
Chairs on the walls
Another highlight of the museum was the chairs. These pieces of furniture were nailed long ago to the walls of the dwellings from the outside with legs. In such an interesting way, the townspeople struggled with dark forces in the Middle Ages. Chairs were nailed to sit on them to catch the spirit (in particular, witches) flying over the city. If there are chairs outside, why should she climb into the house? On the other hand, the furniture is nailed so that you can not sit on it, and so there was no reason to linger among people.
In the central square are the buildings of the mayor's office and the Royal Curia. (Curia - the governing body, which included both the secular and spiritual elite of the city). Now in the building of the Royal Curia works a themed restaurant with a similar name, but until its foundation it managed to shelter in its walls the residence of the royal court, the Palace of Justice and the church school. The square, surrounded by semi-circular arches, was once the focus of local trade, and now serves as a venue for solemn events.
Church of St. Peter
This church is a preserved part of the Benedictine monastery, created in 997. Its highlight - a huge window with the image of lions, personified the strength and power of the church.
The building in the Romanesque style, which is located on the square that used to be the former cemetery of the monastery, now has its owner, so it's hardly possible to get inside the uninvited guests, however, this does not prevent you from admiring the building from the outside.
Located behind St. Peter's Church, St Julian's Hospital (the construction of the twelfth century) was traditionally the place where the recovered Crusaders were treated. After a while, the monks of the Benedictine monastery opened a shelter there for pilgrims. The decoration of the house is the portals, columns and bas-relief of a lion with two heads.
Simultaneously with the Benedictine monastery, the Church of St. Vincent was laid. The facade is decorated with a stunning Gothic window. It stores the most valuable Christian relic - a fragment of the True Cross of the Lord.
Here is the famous Miniature Museum, known for its huge exposition (2000 exhibits), considered one of the largest in Europe.