Weekly market on Plaça Major, with the Santa Maria church.
The palace-castle of La Bisbal.
The dry bed of the river Daró in the town centre.
Ceramics is the mainstay of the local economy.
La Bisbal d'Empordà is the county seat of the
Baix Empordà in
Catalonia, Spain. The town lies 29 km southeast of
Girona, 12 km west of
Palafrugell and 19 km northwest of
Palamós along road C-66 from Girona to
Palamós, where it becomes C-31. Two other roads branch off at La Bisbal, GI-660 to
Sant Feliu de Guíxols and GI-664 to
Cassà de la Selva; both roads cross the hilly coastal range called the
Gavarres, with many twists and turns. The municipality lies on the northern edge of the
Gavarres, on either side of the Daró river-bed, a dry tributary of River Ter.
The town's name is derived from the
Catalan word for "bishop", 'bisbe', as the town was owned by the bishops of
Girona from the
Carolingian period onward. The town is built over the site of a
Roman settlement named Fontanetum, and in Old Catalan was sometimes referred to as Fontanet. The
Spanish name of La Bisbal del Ampurdán is no longer in official use.
The modern settlement can be dated back to no later than the
consecration of the church of Santa Maria de la Bisbal in 901 (the current
baroque structure dates from the 17th century). The fortified episcopal palace, constructed partially in the
Romanesque style, occupies an eminent spot in the historic town center.
The town became home to a large number of
French immigrants after the
French Revolution of 1789 and saw several skirmishes during the
Napoleonic Wars (
Peninsular War). In the
Battle of La Bisbal, Spanish General
Henry O'Donnell defeated the French forces of General
François Xavier de Schwarz on 14 September 1810. The town was briefly occupied by
Carlist forces in 1874 during the
Third Carlist War.
The economy is heavily based on
pottery manufacture, as well as
And not least, La Bisbal is one of the traditional centers of the
Sardana, the Catalan folk dance.