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L'Alt Empordà, Spain

les Escaules

At the foot of a waterfall lies a peaceful swimming lagoon and evidence of over 60,000 years of human inhabitation. 

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On a hilltop overlooking the Muga Valley stands the remains of Escaules castle, the medieval fortification that once monitored the border between the counties of Empúries and Besalú. From this vantage point you can see the charming village of les Escaules, it's olive orchards, and the ruins of the ancient Escaules monastery, but these hills hide history much older than relics of the Middle Ages.

The Caula waterfall, located just west of the village, falls 30 meters until it joins the Muga River, and is riddled with jutting cliffs and hidden caves. In 1980, excavations uncovered polished stones and ceramics, as well as lithic industry artifacts of the lower-mid Palaeolithic, suggesting that the caves had been inhabited for more than 60,000 years.

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