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Step back in time to medieval Catalonia

Written by Christine

Catalonia’s history goes back hundreds of years and has seen many changes over the centuries. However, if you visit some of Catalonia’s medieval villages you will feel as if you have hopped in a time machine and will experience a real part of Catalan history. Prepare for adventure and wonderment and be ready to make a blast to the past!

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Photo credit: J.Enric via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Photo by J.Enric via Visual hunt

Sitting inland about 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona is Rupit, a village whose history goes back more than one thousand years. There you will find many breathtaking yet historical sites such as the church of Joan de Fàbregues as well as the castle of Rupit. Both of these buildings are documented going as far back as the year 968 and are still a huge attraction for tourists today. It is known that since the 12th century the village began to grow, with the castle being its center. When you visit Rupit today you will feel as if you are still in the 12th century since it maintains the architectural style of times past with wide stone walkways and streets and houses made from stone. When you visit the village you will be amazed at the beauty of the town and the paths that wind around to show you all of the magic that it has to offer. There are several churches open to visit as well as a small waterfall and a hanging bridge. You can reach Rupit by car or by public transport.


Besalú is located in the province of Girona, 133 kilometers north of Barcelona. This magical city has a history that dates back more than a thousand years to the beginning of Catalonia itself. It once was its own independent county until the year 1111 when it became integrated into the Catalan kingdom. Today you can see parts of the old city wall that is still standing as well as the town’s most important monument, the bridge over the Fluvià river. Near the medieval bridge is where you will find the ancient Jewish quarter where there is a monument of a traditional Jewish bath, called the Miqvé. It is believed that the Jewish bath dates back to the 12th century, like the bridge and the city wall. To get the full medieval experience, you should visit Besalú during the last weekend of August during the annual Medieval Fair. You can reach Besalú by public transport from Barcelona as well.

Related article: Most charming villages in La Costa Brava


Photo credit: J.Enric via / CC BY-SA

Photo by J.Enric via

A 30-minute drive south of Rupit will land you in Tavertet, a medieval village that is now popular with tourists. There are many homes for rent here, so if you’re looking to get away from it all and experience medieval Catalonia this is your chance! You can wander around the cliffs and see not only the magic of the medieval town but the natural wonder as well. You will be immersed in nature here, seeing cliffs, waterfalls, trees, and fresh air. This town is the quietest of the medieval villages, making it a popular getaway and vacation spot. While many are attracted to see the architecture, the natural environment surrounding is just as incredible. You can reach Tavertet by car or public transportation.

Be sure not to miss any of these beautiful villages for a unique view of ancient Catalonia.

About the author


Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!

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