Besalú, in the province of Girona, is among the best preserved medieval towns in Catalonia. It was designated as a conjunt històric-artístic (historical national property) in 1966.
Originally called Bisuldunum, the town served as a fortress between the Fluvia and Capellades rivers. It was the capital of a feudal county until the beginning of the 12th century when it became governed from Barcelona.
Guifré el Pilós (Wilfred the Hairy, 870-897), the Count of Barcelona, was also Count of Besalú and a number of other Catalan counties.
Besalú is renowned for the 12th-century Romanesque bridge crossing the Fluvià river, featuring an elaborate gateway at its midpoint. While the bridge was badly damaged during the Spanish Civil War, it has been perfectly restored.
The medieval troubadour Raimon Vidal (1196–1252), famous for the Razós de trobar, was born in Besalú.
Among the main attractions are two churches, Sant Pere, consecrated in 1003 and Sant Vicenç dating from 977.
The town is near the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Nature Reserve, the best example of volcanic terrain on the Iberian Peninsula. The reserve features numerous walking trails.