Every year the Moors and Christians day takes place in May and yet it owes little to historical accuracy. The origin of the current fiesta is the restoration of the Turkish domination over the Mediterranean sea in the late fifteenth century, beginning with its series of invasions in the western Mediterranean from Africa.
Charles V of Habsburg attempted to beat the pirates along with Aragon, Castilla and the Balearic Islands but he failed.
In the mid-sixteenth century nowhere on the coastline was safe from a pirate sacking, something that the then inhabitants of Alcudia, Andratx, Pollença and Sóller would have confirmed. The watchtowers dotted around the island bear witness to those pirates threats.
The Sollerics celebrate every May victory in a battle that took place in 1561. The way that it was won is not quite certain but everyone taking part wants to play the role of the Moors as they have the colourful costumes, faces painted black and they get to chase women and sail boats.
The beginning of the fiesta is announced at 3 o’clock, and the Moors sail out to sea, then return immediately to invade. On the beach, the Christians are waiting for them, and they fill their mixed powder guns and shoot constantly in the air.
Majorcan women remain outside at first and sing their songs of war. The victory against the Moors in Soller is attributed to the brave women of the town because, when the men seemed to be losing, it is the women who attacked.
As a spectator it is best if you watch the event with a sense of humor or join in the action….
Paguera – You can appreciate it at once since your first visit to Mallorca or after many years visiting the island. Souvenirs, shops for the residents, hotels, restaurants and much more. Everything at hand.
The Paseo Marítimo – the promenade – like the one from Magaluf – has made it a little more difficult to drive on the area, but also more attractive. The beaches of La Romana, Palmira and La Torá, which have convenient approaches every 100 metres from the Paseo Marítimo, are watchful from the first coffee to the sunset… and as if that was not enough, the Basilea mountain affords the tourist the opportunity to make numerous trips, especially during the low season when the heat does not spoil the fun. During the high season there are also a lot of shopping and leisure activities.
Paguera – Palma de Mallorca: 24 km
Paguera – Puerto Adriano: 9.3 km
Paguera – Puerto Portals: 11 km
Paguera – Puerto Andratx: 9.1 km
Find travelling by train boring? Then you should take a trip on the train that departs from Plaza de España daily heading to Sóller. During your journey you may enjoy the abundance of flowers and orange groves enroute.
You will also pass through thirteen tunnels before finally arriving at the last stop: Sóller.
Since 1912 this train has been making the trip to Soller and back. Called “Red Lightning” the train needs one hour to cover the 27 kilometres to Sóller. Obviously not a fast ride it allows the passengers to appreciate the scenery through which they pass. It travels through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Mallorca, vistas are often framed between orange groves and lemon trees.
The final station is Sóller, where at one time the loading of oranges for transport to Palma was daily since from the turn of the 20th century the benefits of vitamin C were known. Demand for oranges was extremely high and for that reason the Mallorcans eagerly jumped into the orange export business.
On the 16th of April 1912 the train departed for the first time, like then as now, it’s art nouveau station. Since that initial trip it has not changed very much, only now the Red Lightning transports tourists instead of oranges.
Once a day the train makes a special stop for ten minutes at a platform overlooking the Sóller valley giving the passengers time to take pictures of an unforgettable view.
In a superb location just 8 km. from Palma, overlooking the small cove of fine sand is the Bon Sol resort hotel with all the comforts of a city hotel.
Its terraces and fully equipped rooms, with splendid views over the bay of Palma, will make your vacation an unforgettable and unique experience.
During all months of the year, may you enjoy many sports and recreational facilities: spa with sauna, solarium, steam bath, heated pool, seawater pool, tennis court, minigolf.
The Hotel has been certified with the “Q” for quality and is part of the exclusive Hotel Association “Reis de Mallorca”. The intimate atmosphere and accommodating service will make you feel like a king.
Since ever, religious festivities have had a lot of repercussion in the islands. The “panades” and “rubiols” are an example of this. Although nowadays they are consumed throughout the year, these products are traditionally elaborated only during the Holy Week and were they consumed after the Lent fast.
The dough is made in a similar way, but the shape and content are so different that make of them two products with an incomparable taste.
The “panada” is savoury and is usually filled with meat, fish and peas. The “rubiol”, with a thinner dough, is filled with a filling made of pumpkin and syrup or cottage cheese, and is consumed as dessert.
Would you like to taste these products? You can find them in every bakery of Mallorca
Semana de Pascua, Easter Week on Mallorca truly is spectacular. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass of the Lord’s Passion celebrated in the Cathedral of Palma. Priests and believers pass through the alleys, led by the bishop of Palma. Palm and olive branches are consecrated with blessed water and numerous spectators decorate themselves with the green branches as well.
During Semana Santa, the Holy Week, enormous images of Christ on the Cross, Madonna’s and Saints are carried through the city accompanied by figures in long pointed hoods. Like this the various brotherhoods of Palma create a medieval atmosphere in the procession “Crist de la Sang” (The blood of Christ) – Goosebumps included! This procession, documented in 1554 is one of the most important of Semana Santa.
The oldest brotherhood of Palma also dates from this time. There are 30 brotherhoods in Palma alone, 50 in all of Mallorca and most of them were established in the twentieth century particularly in the forties or fifties and a few in the nineties. The brotherhoods each have their own habit and hood colours, different banners and unique statues of Saints or of Christ on the cross. The Ceremony of the Silent Penitents (previously an all male affair, nowadays also has women members of the brotherhoods, there being one brotherhood that is only women) begins in the evening at the Plaza de l’Hospital and travels through the centre of the city along and crossing the streets of Olmos, Sant Miguel, Colom, Plaza de Cort, Paseo Borne, Jaime III, Calle Bonaire until reaching the Church, Iglesia de La Sang.
Each brotherhood is accompanied by a musical group whose drums beat the rhythm of the march. The figure, “Crist de la Sang” is the most important Crucified Christ statue in Palma. Only after the penitents have received their blessings can the celebrations of Easter begin. The Villages of Mallorca also have their processions and masses.
The Evening Mass on Easter Sunday is especially worth seeing as it is the most important Mass in the whole year and there is the presence of a great number of Mallorcas priests. The ceremony is led by the Bishop of Mallorca, with the highlight being the renewal of the sacramental oils. The oils which come from Bunyola are blessed along with bread, water and wine. On this day The Cathedral of La Seu is not only wonderful from the outside but also inside where the resplendent atmosphere of devotion is unique.
You can find the Palacio de Almudaina right beside the Cathedral La Seu and above the gardens of S’Hort del Rei. The Arabs built Almuidana as a fort outside of the city walls, right beside the sea. In the 14th Century James II added to the fort the strength and comfort of the then, Court of Mallorca.
Of the 20,000m2 that are the Almudaina Royal Palace only a small part of it is accesible to the public as it is here that the Military Command of the Balearics is based.
The King Juan Carlos uses the palace as his official residence during his vacations each year in Mallorca.
Sóller is an attractive and beguiling town in the northwest of Mallorca. Situated 3 km from the coast and it’s own port, it sits in a bowl shaped valley lush with olive trees and orange groves for which it is famous!
The valley and the mountains that surround it, the Serra de Tramuntana are a popular destination for those that enjoy sport anhd particularly when combined with natural surroundings. It also suits those that simply wish to chill and relax in the silence that the 13,000 residents of Sóller enjoy everyday.
There is the famous wooden electric train that connects Palma centre with Sóller which dates from 1912 and which today is preserved in its original state and condition.
A walk through the town of Sóller is a fascinating experience. There are houses which originated in the 14th century and numerous old buildings that have been wonderfully reformed. Especially outstanding is the parish church of San Bartolomé on the Plaza de la Constitucion. Also impressive is the bank of Ca’n Prunera on Carrer de sa Lluna and many of the buildings on the Gran Vía are worthy of note.
In Mallorca’s white winter you can see from the end of January until the middle of March the beautiful almond blossom.
Traditional Feast around the Sant Antoni Celebrations includes the blessings of animals – in catalán/mallorquin “beneïdes” – in many villages and cities on the island from Sunday on..