The Plateau and the Meadows
Cassà is located at the exact point where the Gavarres open onto the Selva plateau. It extends for more than 35,000 ha, bounded by the Gavarres to the east, the Ardenya and Cadiretes massif to the south, and the Guilleries and Rocacorba mountains to the west and north. It is a land of gently undulating hills, predominated by agroforestry and crops of cereals, hay and corn, with pockets of holm oaks, cork trees and pines. It also has numerous creeks and rivers, which make for a very rich bird habitat, in addition to several swampy areas that give rise to wet, floodplains, found in Cassà in various parts of the municipality. A flat, amenable landscape, it offers magnificent panoramas to discover, ideal for walking or cycling. It is also a very rich natural habitat typical of open spaces, especially with regard to bird life.
In this still little-known but very beautiful natural environment, there is a great natural, historical and architectural heritage. In Cassà, the plateau retains a markedly agricultural character and is dotted with farmhouses, many of them of medieval origin. Some of the most interesting include Can Dalmau, from modern times, Mas Bassó, documented from early as the 11th century, or others like Can Oller, Can Frigola, Can Gruart, etc., all of them considered cultural assets of local interest. Two rural chapels are also preserved, which bear witness to the great activity that these places had and have in the life of Cassà de la Selva. The district of Sangosta is home to the farmhouse and chapel of Remei, from the 17th-18th century, which preserves a fresco by the local artist Benet Casabó. Found in the district of Esclet is the Chapel of Sant Vicenç d'Esclet, where a popular gathering is held in January in honour of this saint.
Also in Esclet you can find the so-called Meadows of Esclet. These are semi-natural meadows where hay is harvested and which flood during the rainy season, forming small ponds. Although most of these spaces have been drained and dried up, in Esclet it was possible to reach a custody agreement with the land ownership, which has made it possible to conserve a unique natural space that offers an unrivalled habitat for numerous species of plants, but also amphibians and birds. These meadows are an excellent example of the rich natural heritage of these threatened open spaces.
Likewise, there were historically several lakes and ponds in the plateau of La Selva. Specifically, in Cassà, there was once the lake of Mosqueroles. This large lake was located in the district of the same name, alongside the Gotarra creek, and was fed by the periodic floods of the streams and torrents that cross the gentle slopes of the plateau. The lake had been drained in the Middle Ages to gain farmland. Today you can still visit a 15th century drainage channel through which the waters of the old pond washed into the Gotarra creek.
Returning from Sant Vicenç towards the centre of Cassà we also find the Pineda Fosca (Dark Pinewood), a natural recreation area much appreciated by the residents of Cassà, especially in the summer months, when it offers a cool refuge from the heat. Very close to the pine grove, next to the Torremansa farmhouse, we can find the fields which were home to the Cassà aerodrome during the civil war. This airfield was one of the many created around Girona during the civil war to protect the region from fascist aviation bombings. In particular, the one in Cassà had two strips over 200 meters wide each. Today, all that remains of the aerodrome is the flat landscape that stretches between the Pineda Fosca and the Torremansa farmhouse, in addition to several buildings, such as the one known as the House of the Aviators, which may have served as a control tower, and a shelter.
You can discover all this on foot or by bike along the routes proposed from the municipality, which you can discover here.