Besalù Catalan

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wing.

Psalm 17 : 8

Keep my commandments, and live, and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Proverbs 7 : 2

In 1966 Besalu became a National Historical – Artistic Site. The town’s buildings are monumental legacies of the Medieval period.

A hot afternoon but a cool wind. Let us look at the bridge, a church and the place where there was a Mikwah documented in 1264.

This dogleg bridge dates from 11th century and was shaped so the pillars could go on to solid rock. With its seven arches it is 105m long and 30m wide including the sentry tower. (I seem to only have 6 arches) It has been rebuilt several times. The bridge was dynamited during the Civil War and rebuilt by the architect Pons Sorolla.  The county pagus ( local designation of the land ) was installed in the fortified tower during medieval times.
Here is me on the outside of this ancient church. You put in €1 and the lights come on for 3 minutes  so you can see inside. This church was documented in 977. It is a Romanesque construction and is the towns parish church.
A miqwah is a Jewish underground hall with a ritual cleansing pool. They were always built so that they could be filled by a fountain, river, lake or sea. No piping or channeling involved. They are located a few meters below ground and this one was locked. This was only discovered in 1964. There are also remains of a Synagogue dating back to 1264.
This is what was behind the locked gate. This is a picture from a tourist leaflet.

Some medieval sayings we still use: ( these are English I wish I knew Spanish equivalents

You are the apple of my eye. The centre of the eye is involved with seeing and this was the apple of the eye hence important.  You are a much loved person.

By hook or by crook.  There was a 14th century law that let peasants collect wood from dead trees only with their reaper’s hook or their shepherd’s crook.

To sink or swim. A medival practice of judging whether someone was guilty or not by throwing them into a lake. The baptised person would sink and then come up innocent. The guilty would float because the water had rejected them.

God spede you / Fare thee well / Have a nice day.

Thank you for being with me for a few moments in Besalù Catalan.

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