Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Historic Buildings of Palma de Majorca

Posted on: May 28th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Historic Buildings of Palma de Majorca

The beautiful capital city of Majorca, Palma de Majorca, overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is home to a wonderful collection of spectacular buildings that boast some of the most astounding architecture in Europe.The city’s landmark is the magnificent La Seu, a Gothic cathedral located in the old quarter. The foundation stone was laid in 1230 by King James I of Aragon and work continued for the next 400 years. Following an earthquake, work was resumed in 1851 and as a result, the building has features from many different periods of history. In 1909, a wrought-iron candelabra, designed by the famous architect Gaudi, was erected over the main altar. It is also home to one of the world’s largest stained glass windows that was made from 1,236 pieces of glass and measures an impressive 12m across. Dedicated to San Sebastian, Palma’s patron saint, this masterpiece is a sight not to be missed.

Opposite the cathedral stands the immense Almudaina Palace. Built in the thirteenth-century, it was originally an Arab fortress and housed members of the Spanish Royal Family throughout the fourteenth-century. Elements of Islamic architecture can still be found with its Moorish arches, but it was later converted to demonstrate Gothic architecture. Surrounded by the stunning S’Hort des Rei gardens, exploring the grounds is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Built in 1309, Bellver Castle is situated on top of a hill and offers some of the most outstanding panoramic views of the city below. The unique structure is entirely circular and features both Moorish and Romanesque features. For many centuries it was used as a prison, but now houses the city’s History Museum where Roman, Spanish and Arab artefacts can be found.

The Arab Baths, located in the mediaeval quarter, is all that remains of the Moorish city of Medina Mayurqa, which was what Palma was once known as. Dating back to the tenth-century, this ancient building features a domed room that was once used for relaxation purposes. Spend an afternoon exploring the grounds and be sure to visit the courtyard for a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of hectic city life.

For more modern architecture, visit the old Gran Hotel. Opened in 1903, this breathtaking building is now home to the city’s most popular art gallery and many different exhibitions can be found here throughout the year. The sculptured façade, the intricate tiling, the ornate iron railings and the huge stone carvings make this building a wonder to behold.

The History Of Majorca In 5 Minutes

Posted on: May 27th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Majorca

This stunning Spanish island with it’s 3,439 miles of picturesque coastline is far more than just a beach holiday destination. This part of the Balearic coast is steeped in a rich and intriguing history, that will leave you wanting to discover more than just the beach. The following is a 5 minute history on this sunshine filled land to really get you looking forward to your travels.

These picturesque islands are thought to have been naturally created over 150 million years ago; Majorca is presumed to have been formed as part of the Balearic mainland and eventually broke away. This particular group of islands have been ravaged by invaders and settlers throughout the years; On the plus side, it has left us with the incredible holiday destination that we enjoy today.

A Simplified History Of Invaders and conquerors through the years 700BC – 145AD; The Baleares Islands were largely dominated by the Phoentians, until the Carthaginians came along.

123AD; Majorca is conquered by the Romans, eventually turning the island into a Christian dwelling.

1203-1229; The Baleares islands are taken over by the Almohadian tribes from Algeria and Denia. Three months worth of battles finally lead to Catalan King Jaume I of Aragon taking the throne in Majorca.

1879- 1898; Skipping ahead, through many bloody battles and Majorca finally has a rest from the torrent of invasions. This period was known as ‘Gold Fever’ because of the increase of money coming into the country due to trading wine and almonds.

1935-1939 This time bought the devastating Spanish Civil War, The ‘Gold Fever’ was officially over.

2015 Majorca has finally been granted the peace that this stunning island deserves. With a maximum rainfall of just 55 inches for the whole year, this holiday destination is a favourite for travellers from all around the world.

Today, Majorca and its capital of Palma continue to grow year by year; In 2014 the main airport into Majorca saw 23.1 million tourists walk through on their holidays. As well as tourists, this fantastic holiday destination offers work for immigrants from all over Europe and Africa. The rich and chaotic history just adds to the draw of this island as a holiday destination.

The Top 5 Museums and Art Galleries in Majorca

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Museums and Art Galleries

For those seeking an alternative experience of the largest Balearic island to the usual partying and sun worship, Majorca has a wide range of museums and art galleries to choose from.

1. Museu de la Mar
The Museu de la Mar, or the Port of the Sea, is situated at the Port de Sóller and is a celebration of that port’s maritime history. The museum resides within a medieval chapel, the Oratorio de Santa Caterina, and showcases a range of seafaring memorabilia in respect and remembrance of the settlement’s centuries old reliance on the sea for survival.

2. CCA Andratx Art Centre
The CCA Andratxt Art Centre is a must see for admirers of post-modern creativity. On showcase are a variety of artistic mediums, including installation, sculptures, paintings and photographs. Located in Andratx, near Palma, this gallery displays exquisite artworks from Spanish as well as international artists.

3. Museu de Fang (Majorcan pottery museum)
The Museu de Fang, or the Clay Museum, contains examples of Balearic pottery with an emphasis on local Majorcan items. This museum, housed in an old windmill, serves as a reminder of the thriving local pottery industry that has existed here for centuries. It is both an art gallery and a museum, in its way, because the often functional objects on display are works of art as well as cultural and historical artifacts.

4. Casal Solleric
Located in Palma, capital of Majorca and the Balearics, this art gallery resides within a magnificent 18th century baroque building and exhibits contemporary paintings and photography. Visitors may enjoy the contrast between the historical setting and the contemporary exhibits.

5. Es Revellar Art Resort Galleries
This art gallery resides in the magnificent Es Revellar estate, located in the municipality of Campos and dating from the 15th century. Serving as both a hotel and an art gallery, it practices the concept of land art, that is the use of beautiful surroundings to induce pleasant emotions. Works of art including sculptures as well as multicultural and historical artifacts melt into exquisite gardens and gorgeous stone villas.

Easter Cuisine in Majorca

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by admin No Comments

Easter Cuisine

During Holy Week, the people of Majorca prepare delightful Easter cuisine to celebrate the holiday.

Bakeries will compete to display the most spectacular ‘Mona de Pascua'; chocolate sculptures which can take many forms, from eggs to rabbits.

Families will also get together, preparing traditional dishes of Panades, Cocarrois and Robiols. Panades is a kind of edible pie-shaped basket, made with flour, and filled with lamb meat. A cocarrois is like a Cornish pasty filled with Swiss Chard or garlic. Robiols are a sweet food; crescent moon shaped pastries filled with marmalade or curd cheese.

All these pieces of easter cuisine are available to buy in bakeries as they are very popular during the Easter season, but many people prefer the communal spirit of cooking with friends and families.

Easter Holidays in Sunny Majorca

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Easter Holidays

Easter is the perfect time to visit Majorca, as this picturesque Spanish island really comes to life at this time of year. That’s why Easter holidays are so popular. Easter is known as Semana Santa in Majorca and the celebration kick off with Palm Sunday. Thousands of people from all over the island take part in processions from their church at this time to symbolise welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem.

The Easter celebrations last for a full week in Majorca. Among the events that visitors will be able to witness are impressive parades, vibrant markets, fiesta and a wide range of other events. Perhaps the largest processions of the week are Crist de la Sang, which is held on Maundy Thursday and Sant Enterrament on Good Friday. One of the great things about these celebrations is that visitors are welcome to join in the fun and this is a great opportunity to discover warmth and vitality of the people of Majorca.

Santueri Castle to Re-open its Doors to The Public

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Santueri Castle

A historic castle in Mallorca is to be reopened to the public from Saturday 8 March. Situated on a rocky outcrop near Felanitx, Santueri Castle has been inaccessible for many years, but following major restoration work in 2010 and 2011 it is now ready to open.

Visitors will be able to explore the towers and ramparts of the castle and learn about its rich history. The site has been home to a fortress since Roman times, but the present walls were built in the 14th century, and in 1811 the castle went into private ownership. The castle also offers stunning views of south-east Mallorca and the coast and, on a clear day, the Cabrera Islands. It will be open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm, and entry costs 4 euro.

Visit Puig de Maria

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 by admin No Comments
Puig De Maria
Picture via Silar from http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Pollenca

Puig de Maria is a famous hill that is located in the town of Pollenca which is part of the Mallorca island chain. Besides offering a truly balmy climate and an inviting sun that shines throughout the year, visitors are able to climb this hill and partake in the sights of the 15th century monastery that still dominates the landscape.

The timeless atmosphere that seems to saturate Puig de Maria can be seen in its lazy, rolling hills that offer a truly breathtaking vista of the Mediterranean shores that are to be found below. Should travellers work up a bit of a thirst, they will be greeted at the top with a bar and a restaurant; perfect for enjoying a cold pint or a plate of local tapas. There is also a hostel located atop the Puig de Maria. Therefore, an overnight stay is possible if one wishes to watch the sun rise early the following morning.

A Brief Majorcan History

Posted on: January 14th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Majorcan History

Majorcan History twists and turns through many different rulings but to many, Majorca is a traditional holiday spot. This reputation for tourism began in the 1960s, but the Mediterranean island was first occupied as early as 6000 BC. Since then possession of the island has been contested frequently, passing through phases of occupation over the course of almost 2,000 years.

The Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines all laid claim to Majorca. The island was seized by the Emirate of Cordoba in 902 AD, and passed into a phase of Muslim and North African control. In 1229 Majorca was captured by King James I of Aragon, returning the island to European control. From this point on the rulership of Majorca began to settle.

The War of Spanish Succession threw the region into turmoil, but its conclusion brought Majorca under unified Spanish rule in 1716 where it’s remained ever since.

There is no better way to learn more about the country’s rich heritage than to visit the place itself! If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, why not take a look at the car hire service we have available. 

Arabic Baths – An Amazing Historical Discovery

Posted on: November 10th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Arabic Baths

 

For three hundred years, from the 7th to the 10th century, Mallorca was occupied by the Moors. The Arabic baths, in the gardens of Can Fontirroig, are the only remains of the city of Medina Mayurqa and one of the island’s few surviving examples of Muslim architecture.

The most striking feature of the arabic baths are the domes, or cupolas. The twelve columns supporting the dome are of different construction and materials, and were probably reused Roman remains. The dome covered the caldarium, or steam room, and has six holes to allow steam to escape. Next door is the tepidarium, or warm room, where the bathers would have gathered before entering the caldarium. Unfortunately nothing remains of the frigidarium, where they would have finished their bathe with a plunge into cool water.

The surrounding gardens are a delight to explore, and the ruins are open all year round with an entry fee of 2 Euros.

Serra de Tramuntana – An Adventure You’ll Never Forget

Posted on: November 1st, 2013 by admin No Comments

Serra de Tramuntana

 

If you’re looking for a stunning destination to visit that’s not quite mainstream, then consider visiting the Serra de Tramuntana. This mountain range runs across the north-western coast of Majorca, and has been awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO due to its significant physical and cultural importance.

Majorca is a highly popular holiday destination, offering great weather, stunning sights, and amazing culture. However, if you want a little more than the usual sights in Majorca have to offer, then the Serra de Tramuntana is right up your alley.

Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing drive to see the stunning mountain scenery and the coast, or you want to enjoy a spot of hiking, this area is ideal for you. You can stop in all the towns, enjoy a cup of coffee, visit the Monastir de Lluc, and generally immerse yourself in the culture of this amazing island. It will be a trip you’ll never forget.