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Towns of Mallorca


Palma de Mallorca, officially known in Catalan as just Palma, is of the largest cities in Spain with the population of over 400 000 people, the capital of the island of Mallorca and the capital of the autonomous community of Balearic Islands (Spanish: Islas Baleares; Catalan: Illes Balears).

The driving force behind Palma's economy, just like that of the rest of the island, is tourist industry, on which the government of Palma has relied since the beginning of the 20th century. At the service of visitors are numerous hotels of all categories and sizes, excellent medical care, convenient transit system. The city has 5 major department stores, including El Corte Inglés, Carrefour and Alcampo, 4 superstores, over 260 supermarkets, 1300 bars and restaurants.

Palma is divided onto 5 districts: Distrito Norte (Northern District), Distrito Centro (Central District), Distrito Poniente (Western District), Distrito Levante (Eastern District) and Playa de Palma (Beach of Palma). The central district, basically the Old town, is of the most interest to visitors, since this is where major cultural and historical monuments of the archipelago are concentrated. Plus, the name of the very popular beach district of Palma speaks for itself.

The Old Town of Palma is bordered by the Balearic sea and Avenidas, six avenues running through where the ancient ramparts used to be - the ruins had been dismantled in the early 20th century. Avenidas form a 2460 meters-long semi-circle. The Old Town is a conglomeration of Gothic structures of both secular and religious significance, each of which is a heritage sight. The period of construction of most of them falls between the 13th and 15th centuries, when Mallorca had been experiencing an economic boom after being reclaimed by the kingdom of Aragon from the Moors during The Reconquista of 1229-1235.

Major architectural sights include the Palma Cathedral, or La Seu, as it is known to locals, The Palace of Almudaina (Palau de l'Almudaina) and the stock exchange Sa Llotja. The great Antoni Gaudí worked on the interior of La Seu from 1904 to 1914.

Apart from the Gothic architecture, the Old Town has plenty of Modernista works. The most notable is the Gran Hotel building designed in 1903 by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which houses CaixaForum Palma exhibition centre today. Other buildings include Can Barceló on Plaça Quadrado, Can Corbella on Sant Domingo street, bakeries Fondo and Des Teatre on Unió street, Can Salas and Can Coll on Sagrera boulevard.

Playa de Palma consists of 6 areas: Can Pere Antoni, El Molinar, El Coll d'en Rabassa, Can Pastilla, Les Meravelles, S'Arenal.

Maps for download:
Distrito Centro
Can Pere Antoni, El Molinar, El Coll d'en Rabassa
Can Pastilla, Les Meravelles, S'Arenal
Cala Major

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Pollença is one of the most interesting towns of Mallorca that boasts not only a great location, but many historic monuments and a rich cultural calendar as well.

The main attraction of the town is San Domingo monastery, in which the church of Nostra Senyora del Roser houses an icon of Virgin Mary that dates back to the 15th century. In summer the monastery acts as a venue for the prestigious music festival, Festival de Música de Pollença.

The central square of Pollença, Plaça Major, becomes a marketplace every Sunday. Here also stands the Nostra Senyora dels Àngles church.

The grounds in front of the Oratori del Puig del Calvari church offer beautiful panoramic views of Pollença and its marina. Here, in a modest chapel, you can also see the sculpture of Virgin Mary of the 13th century, La Mare de Déu del Peu de la Creu. On Good Friday the torch procession towards he Nostra Senyora dels Àngles church starts here.

The area known as Port de Pollença used to be the seaport and the trade center of the town, but just like many similar areas in resort towns it is now a touristy neighbourhood. Numerous bars and restaurants, patios that are open practically year-round attract visitors with great Mediterranean food and delicious cocktails. From here your yacht could sail to explore the shores of the Formentor Peninsula, to enjoy the magnificent beach El Caló or go into the open waters and reach the mysterious neighbouring island of Menorca.

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Alcúdia is small town on the northern side of Mallorca with a population of approximately 19 thousand inhabitants. Alcúdia attracts tourists with its sheltered sandy beaches and several historic monuments, among which two especially stand out.

The first is the ruins of a Roman settlement Pollentia, dating back 2 thousand years - it had been even more populous and significant than Palma de Mallorca back then. The amphitheatre, the forum and several houses of nobility are well preserved. The cost of admission includes museum entry which greatly complements the visuals offered by the Pollentia ruins. The museum offers learning activities and workshops that would allow both adults and children to learn more about archaeology and the Roman epoch of the island: how houses were built, which techniques were used in construction, which toys Roman children used to play with, what they learned in schools, and many other entertaining facts.

The second significant monument in Alcúdia is the fortress wall built in the 14th century by the decree of King Jaume II to protect the town from pirate raids. When it was just completed, the wall was almost 2 km long and had 26 turrets that were 6 meters tall. Despite the construction boom that Alcúdia went through in the 19th century, over the course of which parts of the wall were demolished, its significant portion is still relatively well-preserved. Visitors can walk atop the wall and enjoy the views of the old town from there.

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Santa Ponça

Santa Ponça is one of many resorts that were developed in Spain during its tourism industry boom. Bars, restaurants, clubs occupy the majority of points of interest in Santa Ponça, so if you want to find out more about the local cultural artifacts and historic sights, you may need to hire a professional tour guide.

That being said, Santa Ponça was chosen by King Jaume I for disembarkation of his army on Mallorca to start fighting against Arabs occupying the island at the time. In 1929, on the 700th anniversary of the event, the monument called La Creu del Desembarcament (The Cross of Disembarkation) was installed in Santa Ponça. It was replaced in 1997 after a lightning bolt hit the original sculpture. This vantage point offers beautiful views of the Balearic sea and Santa Ponça's beaches.

Another interesting sight in town is the Capilla de La Pedra Sagrada, the Chapel of the Holy Rock, built in 1929. According to the legend, the rock housed in the chapel was used by King Jaume as an altar on which the king served the mass after the Catalans landed on Mallorca.

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