After our day in medieval Besalú and a relaxing afternoon at the shores of Lake Banyoles we further discovered medieval Catalonia. Driving deeper into the countryside and nature we made astonishing discoveries.
4. Pont de Llierca
The bridge over the Llierca river is a stunning example of medieval arts and craftsmanship. The exact date of its construction is unknown but it is proven that at least since the 14th century the bridge has been in use. Engineers of that period managed to build a 28 meter high span over the valley of the river. Most likely it was one of the first constructions to extend the road network in order to facilitate trade in the 11th century. Up to the 10th century medieval societies only used the old Romand roads that were left (with a few exceptions) before finally an expansion of the road network started in Europe.
Its elegant arch captivated us a lot and we spent some time here in this tranquil environment. It is a great bathing spot as well. So do not forget your swimwear!
5. Santa Pau in the middle of La Garrotxa
The days we spent in the Girona province were full of breathtaking impressions. After having been to Besalú – a Game of Thrones type of village – we drove to Santa Pau, about 20 minutes away from Besalú. We found Besalú already authentic and had the feeling that time stood still. However, when arriving to Santa Pau with its population of 1500 and its preserved medieval layout and architecture this impression was even topped!
The village is rather isolated in the middle of the Volcanic Natural Park of La Garrotxa. The current center, a triangular square lined with numerous archways, developed out of the medieval oxen market. The castle built in the 12th century protected the village and its trades.
Read the conclusion of our Girona trip in the next blog post.
Also interesting: Collserola Natural Park
In case you have no possibility to travel North of Barcelona but would want to enjoy nature, then the Collserola Natural Park could be interesting for you. Starting with the mountain range of Tibidabo – overlooking Barcelona – the park covers an area that is 22 times bigger than Central Park in New York. The views are amazing from up there and sometimes you can see as far as Montserrat where the famous mountain monastery is located. The park can be reached from Plaza Catalunya in only 30 minutes by public transport.