Alaró, Idyllic Town

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Alaro has always had plenty of water and possibly owes its origin to the source of Ses Artiques located on the old road to Orient, next to the district of the same name, which is one of the oldest in the region.

The first houses in the village were built at the foot of the mountain and so the district of Los Damunt came about. Its centre is an idyllic small square that bears the names of heroes Cabrit and Bassa.

The houses are built very close to each other, many of them directly on the mountain. In sharp contrast is the badly located, too big and old Guardia Civil building, which has been unoccupied for 2 years and is now severely run down.

The torrent or rain stream of the Marantxa separates Los Damunt and Los Davall, both neighbourhoods appear in records dating back in the fourteenth century. Also at that time they began building the church, one of the oldest on the island, dedicated to St. Bartolome. The religious year determines the use of the church and it is busiest during the celebration of Easter.

The history of this small town of about 4000 inhabitants is closely related to the history of its castle. The first documented quote about Alaro appears in the journal of King Jaume I, who wrote that: “on the way to Bunyola on the right hand side there is a castle located on the mountain named Alaro”, being the robust fortress of the kingdom of Mallorca.

700 years ago the battle to conquer this impregnable fortress was a fierce one. After the taking the kingdom of Mallorca by the conquerors from Aragon, the castle became a ruin and then in the eighteenth century a place of pilgrimage.

During the time of Francos dictatorship Alaro was a quiet town, in bars like Protectores and Casino the elderly men played card games whilst the women could be seen in the early hours carrying huge laundry baskets to the laundrette. They spent all morning chatting and exchanging news. What has changed their lives more: the washing machine or the many bars that have opened?

In the late seventies the first pub opened, the Machine. The tables were made out of unusable sewing machine parts.

In Alaro there are still antique shops, despite all the supermarkets, whose schedules are geared to the needs of customers. Ca’n Bou is one of those legendary shops where you can buy everything you need in a home from moth balls to fly swatters.

The area controlled by Alaros town hall covers a surface area of 50 squared km, managed by large fholdings. One of the richest is Ses Verger. Almost all of them have oil presses, to make olive oil. It is the almond and olive groves, and the carob and fig trees that determine the landscape of Alaro.

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