The county town of Besalú constitutes a unique Jewish heritage site in Catalonia, with a 12th century mikveh (Jewish bath) and the remains of a 13th century synagogue. In 1966 Besalú was declared a national historic-artistic site. Since then, many finds have been made and much work has been done towards recovering this heritage. With its twisting mediaeval streets adapted to the city’s orography, arches, steps, stone houses, the superb Romanesque bridge leading to the town center over the waters of the Fluvià Besalú still retains the charm of mediaeval times.
The presence of Jews in Besalú is attested in a document from 1229 in which Jaume I the Conqueror gave them the roles of moneylenders. In 1342 the Jewish community, connected to the one in Barcelona, and became independent. In those days it they 200, a quarter of the total population in the town, and lived side by side with the Christian population.