Pollensa is located in the north of the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands. It is an ancient town of attractive narrow streets and an impressive main square, lined with cafes, restaurants and bars, and is just a few kilometres from Port de Pollensa. Having been conquered time and time again through the centuries, the town bears signs of rich history. More recently, in the early part of the last century a colony of artists, writers and musicians discovered the inspiring beauty of the area, settling in, and Pollensa has been a major draw for tasteful visitors ever since. The town has several places of interest to visit, including the Roman bridge, signposted ‘Pont Roma’, which is still in use, and the Puig de Pollensa – a small mountain topped by a monastery, just outside the town. Here we provide all the information you want to know to make the most of this relaxed yet culturally satisfying inland town.
History & Culture
The most ancient marks left on the local landscape are from the Talaiots, who arrived here more than 3,000 years ago. The best-known ones were left by the Romans in 123 and can be found on the outskirts of the small town, which has around 16,000 inhabitants today. The old Roman bridge – El Pont Romà – crosses the Torrent de Sant Jordi which was built by the inventive Romans to provide the town with water. Peace reigned until 440 when the Vandals attacked, wreaking destruction, and causing the surviving inhabitants to flee inland. Pollensa’s formative history is eternally tied to the legendary order of the Knights Templar, though the town’s foundations were laid by the Arabs, who constructed irrigation systems, enabling agriculture to flourish. They were ousted in 1229 by King Jaime I, supported by hundreds of knights. Previously, the order had been assigned the role of protecting and mentoring the orphan boy king, until he was ready to lead and had learned the art of kingship. Following the successful invasion, the island was divided up and shared, and the knights were given Pollensa. Under their rule, the town prospered, and an austere church built, overlooking the square, the Nostra Senyora de Angels. The church was rebuilt in the baroque style in the 18th century. The palace of the Templars still remains, beside the Font des Galles, or cock fountain. Look out for the carving of a Knight by the door of the La Taverna del Temple bar, to the left of the main plaça. The introduction of the Christian world and the Catalan culture are embedded in the town’s historic, mainly ecclesiastical buildings. It was not until the 14th century that the knights vanished from the island, following a conspiracy led by the King of France. After the Templars, the Jesuits arrived, constructing Pollensa’s Church of Monti Sion in 1697, but not before the a turbulent period in the 15th and 16th centuries. Pirate raids were a regular event in this part of Mallorca, and the most famous was the Moorish invasion in 1550. Local man Joan Mas led a small band of fellow citizens into battle against the invaders and, despite being armed with only sticks, they defeated the enemy. The event is commemorated every August 2nd in a noisy battle re-enactment, with townsfolk dressed as either Christians or Moors, as part of Pollensa’s Mare de Déu dels Àngels fiesta.
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