Slow Down, Tourist – Mysterious Town In The Hills

in #travel6 years ago (edited)

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Mysterious feeling

One of the most lovely towns I ever visited was Besalú, a small medieval Catalan city in the North, near the Spanish-French (Catalan-French) border. Where time stood still 800 years ago if I understood the history of the town.

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Nobody touched his wall since centuries?

Some towns have only very few medieval monuments because of having been rich – the mighty monarchs or leaders mostly modernized their towns, destroying all older buildings. (There was no mass tourism centuries ago.)

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A good example is the rich Vienna (not on this photos), earlier capital of a large empire, where you can hardly find any medieval remains. All seems to be from the centuries 19-20.

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However, long-ago rich, but then becoming poor cities was still using the old buildings due to lack of resources and so happened that some of them could remain intact until nowadays. This should be the case of Besalú, too, because:

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In the year 1111, Besalú lost its independence, for historical reasons in favor of the county of Barcelona. Centuries later, Besalú started a decadent period, worsened by the redemptions, wars with the French and Carlists.
(Wikipedia) (I suppose they mean the "reconquest" wars /reconquista/)

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Bad luck for the ancient population, good luck for the modern humanity. The main attraction of the city is the huge medieval stone bridge from the 11th century, with a massive gate tower in the middle.

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The old market still working

The gate was the point of customs collection, the “toll-house”. In the middle ages, all more important towns had the right to toll transient goods.

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Other 1000 years building is the main church, we find remains of a medieval synagogue, and some real old-feeling streets and citizen houses.

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Old bridge, new bridge

As I went there, some buildings seemed not to be touched, renovated since centuries. Where time stood still sometime in the middle ages.

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I suppose the boys in town are using this rocks to jump since centuries.

My “Slow down, tourist” project

Millions and millions of tourists are traveling to the most crowded destinations, like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Athene, Roma etc., but only hundreds or thousands to other historical places, beautiful medieval or classic destinations.
Many people are running from one famous monument to other, and from one bar to other, without paying attention to nice or important details. I’m a slow tourist, trying to know less known places, small towns or villages, details, sometimes everyday’s life of the people. I’m trying to share my experiences with you in this series.

Other posts in my series “Slow down, tourist” you may want to read:

You can find me on Discord, I suppose.

(Camera and objectives used to take photos in this post: Konica-Minolta D7D, Sigma 28-300, Minolta 18-70. I don't know why Exif data got lost.)


lovely pix

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I got to say this is a excellent post!! The pictures are amazing, your description of the places and the historical background I found really entertaining. You get my up-vote and a new subscriber.

It seems so beautiful in the offerings that we also feel that once in our life, they have to see them with their open eyes.

Nice place😄

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Thank you for these photos! They convey a charming town.

excellent post

I loved the concept of slow down tourist. this definitely gonna be a big hit. moreover i too will try this in my life. and loved those pictures and the details about them. keep growing bud.

Nice picture
I gave you a vote!
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Thank you very much, I do not know what is more impressive, the photos or your story. First time I hear about Besalú. I congratulate you on your project "Slow down, tourist". I will wait for more stories and photos.

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