Myths and legends of Mallorca
Secret tunnels that lead to the sea, enigmas in the Cathedral and dragons that guard treasures… Beyond the beauty of its beaches, would you like to discover these legends of Mallorca?
The secret passageway in Bellver castle
Little could have Jamie II of Mallorca known that his island fortress would become one of the only circular-based and oldest castles in the whole of Europe when he ordered his fortress’ construction in the fourteenth century.
This Catalan-gothic marvel, with its courtyard and its perfectly preserved four battlements, elevates 112 meters above sea level, is one of the main cultural attractions on the island. From the three-kilometer-long forest that surrounds it, you will be able to admire the best views of Palma de Mallorca and its bay, as well as enjoying a relaxing walk.
As any medieval castle worth writing about, the Bellver castle also has its own legends. Among them, the mysterious subterranean grotto whose origins archaeologists still cannot clarify nowadays. The main hypothesis is that it could have been an escapeway that was commissioned by the king, with an exit to the sea, which could be used in the event of an assault.
Just 5 minutes away by car from the center of Palma, you will be able to stay at Iberostar’s 5-star hotel in Playa de Palma and discover, among other things, the exquisite cuisine in its sea view restaurants. You will also be able to relax in its spas, created for complete relaxation, after discovering these myths and legends of Mallorca.
The guardian of the Caves of Drach treasure
Take a stroll among the impressive stalactites and stalagmites, walk up and down surrounded by rocks until you reach one of the biggest subterranean lakes in the world, with 117 meters in length by 30 meters wide.
The caves of Drach, located in Porto Cristo and documented since the Middle Ages, are a natural treasure that is worth admiring.
The soul of Mallorca Cathedral
“From the outside you will see its armor, but from the inside you will see its soul”. These are the words that painter and promoter of the modernist movement, Santiago Rusiñol, dedicated to Mallorca Cathedral, the impressive Gothic monument built in 1229 in front of Palma Bay.
It is no wonder why he pronounced these words. Visiting ‘La Seu’, as Mallorcans call it, will become an unforgettable experience. Restored by famous architect Antoni Gaudí, among others, it has seven rosettes that give it a serene beauty. The most famous of all is the one known as the Gothic Eye, a 13-meter diameter rosette which is the center of attention when one of the most magical and mysterious phenomena on the island occurs.
Only two days a year, on the 2nd and 11th November, and always minutes before 8 o’clock in the morning, this rosette produces the eight o’clock show. At this moment, the rays of sun break through the stained glass made from 1116 colorful pieces, creating a magical atmosphere in the temple. This is when the light reflected from the rosette placed right in front of it, at the other side of the basilica, paints a giant eight composed of thousands of colors that is known as the soul of the cathedral.
When they arrived in the small village of Valldemossa, surrounded by green mountains, the famous musician said that it was “the most beautiful place on earth”.
Although this is not a legend per se, Chopin and Sand’s stay in Valldemossa is mythical, as they stayed in two cells of the Valldemossa Royal Charterhouse, an old fourteenth century monastery, for several months.
In his cell, number 4, which can be visited nowadays, the musician had his piano brought over from Poland. Although his disease did not improve, he did manage to turn his pain into beauty, by composing some of his most famous preludes, masterpieces of piano music.
Majorcan honderos, the most feared army
Did you know that Majorcan honderos, the name given to the island’s slinger soldiers, were considered one of the fiercest armies in Ancient times? Feared due to their great efficacy and boldness, legend goes that they were trained from an early age by their own mothers in dexterity exercises, that consisted of taking down an ingredient that hanged from a branch with their sling in order to eat it.
The island’s slingers were armed with three slings: one for big-sized projectiles, another for projectiles that required more precision and another for shorter distances. The slings were created out of linen, esparto and horse mane. The projectiles were rocks in different sizes or heavy lead balls. The sling’s reach could stretch to a maximum distance of 100 meters.