Besalú is a town in the comarca of Garrotxa, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain.
The town’s importance was greater in the early Middle Ages, as capital of the county of Besalú, whose territory was roughly the same size as the current comarca of Garrotxa but sometime extended as far as Corbières, Aude, in France. Wilfred the Hairy, credited with the unification of Catalonia, was Count of Besalú. The town was also the birthplace of Raimon Vidal, a medieval troubadour.
The name Besalú is derived from the Latin Bisuldunum, meaning a fort on a mountain between two rivers. It is also the historical capital of the county of “La Garrotxa”. One key date is the year 894, when Besalú was converted to a county with its own dynasty. The county changed from “L’Empordà” to “El Ripollès”. 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.
In 1966, Besalú was declared a site of historical and artistic importance.