Mallorca

Coordinates: 39°37′N 2°59′E / 39.617°N 2.983°E / 39.617; 2.983
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mallorca
Majorca
Flag of Mallorca
Sentinel-2 image of Mallorca and Cabrera with enhanced natural colors
Mallorca Majorca is located in Balearic Islands
Mallorca Majorca
Mallorca
Majorca
Mallorca Majorca is located in Spain
Mallorca Majorca
Mallorca
Majorca
Geography
LocationMediterranean
Coordinates39°37′N 2°59′E / 39.617°N 2.983°E / 39.617; 2.983
ArchipelagoBalearic Islands
Total islands5
Major islandsBalearic Islands
Area3,640.11 km2 (1,405.45 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,436 m (4711 ft)
Highest pointPuig Major
Administration
Spain
Autonomous CommunityBalearic Islands
ProvinceBalearic Islands
Capital and largest cityPalma (pop. 430,640)
GovernmentCouncil of Mallorca
PresidentLlorenç Galmés (PP)
Demographics
DemonymMajorcan, Mallorcan
Population940,332[1] (2023 Official estimate)
Pop. density258.33/km2 (669.07/sq mi)
Additional information
Anthem: La Balanguera

Mallorca,[a] or Majorca,[b][2][3] is the largest island of the Balearic Islands, which are part of Spain, and the seventh largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands have been an autonomous region of Spain since 1983.[4] There are two small islands off the coast of Mallorca: Cabrera (southeast of Palma) and Dragonera (west of Palma). The anthem of Mallorca is "La Balanguera".

Like the other Balearic Islands of Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, the island is a highly popular holiday destination, particularly for tourists from the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The international airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, is one of the busiest in Spain; it was used by 28 million passengers in 2017, with use increasing every year between 2012 and 2017.[5]

Etymology[edit]

The name derives from Classical Latin insula maior, "larger island". Later, in Medieval Latin, this became Maiorca, "the larger one", in comparison to Menorca, "the smaller one". This was then hypercorrected to Mallorca by central Catalan scribes, which later came to be accepted as the standard spelling.[6]

History[edit]

Prehistoric settlements[edit]

Example of prehistoric talaiot in Mallorca
Archeological evidence indicates the presence of the porc negre (black pig) in pre-Roman settlements.[7]

The Balearic Islands were first colonised by humans during the 3rd millennium BC, around 2500–2300 BC from the Iberian Peninsula or southern France, by people associated with the Bell Beaker culture.[8][9] The arrival of humans resulted in the rapid extinction of the three species of terrestrial mammals native to Mallorca, the dwarf goat-antelope Myotragus balearicus, the giant dormouse Hypnomys morpheus, and the shrew Nesiotites hidalgo, all three of which had been continuously present on Mallorca for over 5 million years.[10] The island's prehistoric settlements are called talaiots or talayots. The people of the islands raised Bronze Age megaliths as part of their Talaiotic culture.[11] A non-exhaustive list of settlements is the following:

Phoenicians, Romans, and Late Antiquity[edit]

Ruins of the Roman city of Pollentia

The Phoenicians, a seafaring people from the Levant, arrived around the eighth century BC and established numerous colonies.[12][self-published source?] The island eventually came under the control of Carthage in North Africa, which had become the principal Phoenician city. After the Second Punic War, Carthage lost all of its overseas possessions and the Romans took over.[citation needed]

The island was occupied by the Romans in 123 BC under Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus. It flourished under Roman rule, during which time the towns of Pollentia (Alcúdia), and Palmaria (Palma) were founded. In addition, the northern town of Bocchoris, dating back to pre-Roman times, was a federated city to Rome.[13] The local economy was largely driven by olive cultivation, viticulture, and salt mining. Mallorcan soldiers were valued within the Roman legions for their skill with the sling (Balearic slingers).[14]

In 427, Gunderic and the Vandals captured the island. Geiseric, son of Gunderic, governed Mallorca and used it as his base to loot and plunder settlements around the Mediterranean[15] until Roman rule was restored in 465.

Middle Ages[edit]

Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages[edit]

In 534, Mallorca was recaptured[from whom?] by the Eastern Roman Empire, led by Apollinarius. Under Roman rule, Christianity thrived and numerous churches were built.

From 707, the island was increasingly attacked by Muslim raiders from North Africa. Recurrent invasions led the islanders to ask Charlemagne for help.[15]

Islamic Mallorca[edit]

Arab Baths in Palma

In 902, Issam al-Khawlani(es)(ca) (Arabic: عصام الخولاني) conquered the Balearic Islands, and it became part of the Emirate of Córdoba. The town of Palma was reshaped and expanded, and became known as Medina Mayurqa. Later on, with the Caliphate of Córdoba at its height, the Muslims improved agriculture with irrigation and developed local industries.

The caliphate was dismembered in 1015. Mallorca came under rule by the Taifa of Dénia, and from 1087 to 1114, was an independent Taifa. During that period, the island was visited by Ibn Hazm. However, an expedition of Pisans and Catalans in 1114–15, led by Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, overran the island, laying siege to Palma for eight months. After the city fell, the invaders retreated due to problems in their own lands. They were replaced by the Almoravides from North Africa, who ruled until 1176. The Almoravides were replaced by the Almohad dynasty until 1229. Abu Yahya was the last Moorish leader of Mallorca.[16]

Medieval Mallorca[edit]

In the ensuing confusion and unrest, King James I of Aragon, also known as James the Conqueror, launched an invasion which landed at Santa Ponça, Mallorca, on 8–9 September 1229 with 15,000 men and 1,500 horses. His forces entered the city of Medina Mayurqa on 31 December 1229. In 1230, he annexed the island to his Crown of Aragon under the name Regnum Maioricae.

Modern era[edit]

A 1683 map of Mallorca, by Vicente Mut

From 1479, the Crown of Aragon was in dynastic union with that of Castile. The Barbary corsairs of North Africa often attacked the Balearic Islands, and in response, the people built coastal watchtowers and fortified churches. In 1570, King Philip II of Spain and his advisors were considering complete evacuation of the Balearic islands.[17]

In the early 18th century, the War of the Spanish Succession resulted in the replacement of that dynastic union with a unified Spanish monarchy under the rule of the new Bourbon Dynasty. The last episode of the War of Spanish Succession was the conquest of the island of Mallorca. It took place on 2 July 1715 when the island capitulated to the arrival of a Bourbon fleet. In 1716, the Nueva Planta decrees made Mallorca part of the Spanish province of Baleares, roughly the same to present-day Illes Balears province and autonomous community.

20th century and today[edit]

A Nationalist stronghold at the start of the Spanish Civil War, Mallorca was subjected to an amphibious landing, on 16 August 1936, aimed at driving the Nationalists from Mallorca and reclaiming the island for the Republic. Although the Republicans heavily outnumbered their opponents and managed to push 12 km (7.5 mi) inland, superior Nationalist air power, provided mainly by Fascist Italy as part of the Italian occupation of Majorca, forced the Republicans to retreat and to leave the island completely by 12 September. Those events became known as the Battle of Majorca.[18]

Since the 1950s, the advent of mass tourism has transformed the island into a destination for foreign visitors and attracted many service workers from mainland Spain. The boom in tourism caused Palma to grow significantly.

In the 21st century, urban redevelopment, under the so‑called Pla Mirall (English "Mirror Plan"), attracted groups of immigrant workers from outside the European Union, especially from Africa and South America.[19]

Archaeology[edit]

In September 2019, A 3,200-year-old well-preserved Bronze Age sword was discovered by archaeologists under the leadership of Jaume Deya and Pablo Galera on the Mallorca Island in the Puigpunyent from the stone megaliths site called Talaiot.[20] Specialists assumed that the weapon was made when the Talaiotic culture was in critical comedown. The sword will be on display at the nearby Majorca Museum.[21]

Palma[edit]

The capital of Mallorca, Palma, was founded as a Roman camp called Palmaria upon the remains of a Talaiotic settlement. The turbulent history of the city had it subject to several Vandal sackings during the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It was later reconquered by the Byzantines, established by the Moors (who called it Medina Mayurqa), and finally occupied by James I of Aragon. In 1983, Palma became the capital of the autonomous region of the Balearic Islands. Palma has a famous tourist attraction, the cathedral, Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, standing in the heart of the City looking out over the ocean.[22]

Climate[edit]

Mallorca has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), with mild and relatively wet winters and hot, bright, dry summers. Precipitation in the Serra de Tramuntana is markedly higher. Summers are hot in the plains, and winters are mild, getting colder and wetter in the Tramuntana range, where brief episodes of snow during the winter are not unusual, especially in the Puig Major. The two wettest months in Mallorca are October and November. Storms and heavy rain are not uncommon during the autumn.[23]

Climate data for Palma de Mallorca, Port (1991–2020), extremes since 1978 (Satellite view)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.2
(75.6)
24.4
(75.9)
26.6
(79.9)
28.0
(82.4)
32.0
(89.6)
36.5
(97.7)
38.0
(100.4)
37.8
(100.0)
35.5
(95.9)
31.2
(88.2)
27.6
(81.7)
23.4
(74.1)
38.0
(100.4)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 16.5
(61.7)
16.5
(61.7)
18.3
(64.9)
20.3
(68.5)
23.5
(74.3)
27.3
(81.1)
29.9
(85.8)
30.4
(86.7)
27.8
(82.0)
24.4
(75.9)
20.1
(68.2)
18.3
(64.9)
22.8
(73.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.7
(54.9)
12.6
(54.7)
14.3
(57.7)
16.4
(61.5)
19.5
(67.1)
23.3
(73.9)
26.0
(78.8)
26.6
(79.9)
23.8
(74.8)
20.6
(69.1)
16.3
(61.3)
13.8
(56.8)
18.8
(65.9)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 8.9
(48.0)
8.7
(47.7)
10.2
(50.4)
12.4
(54.3)
15.5
(59.9)
19.3
(66.7)
22.1
(71.8)
22.7
(72.9)
20.0
(68.0)
16.8
(62.2)
12.6
(54.7)
10.1
(50.2)
14.9
(58.9)
Record low °C (°F) 0.0
(32.0)
−0.1
(31.8)
1.6
(34.9)
4.4
(39.9)
8.0
(46.4)
11.0
(51.8)
16.4
(61.5)
15.8
(60.4)
10.0
(50.0)
8.4
(47.1)
3.8
(38.8)
2.5
(36.5)
−0.1
(31.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.4
(1.75)
36.7
(1.44)
29.1
(1.15)
37.5
(1.48)
31.6
(1.24)
13.9
(0.55)
5.1
(0.20)
21.7
(0.85)
58.2
(2.29)
72.6
(2.86)
67.8
(2.67)
49.3
(1.94)
467.9
(18.42)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 6.2 5.9 4.6 4.7 3.1 1.9 0.6 1.8 5.3 6.3 7.2 5.9 53.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 170 176 218 250 300 329 356 323 238 211 165 157 2,893
Source 1: NOAA[24]
Source 2: AEMET[25]
Climate data for Palma de Mallorca Airport (1991–2020), extremes since 1954 (Satellite view)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.5
(72.5)
24.0
(75.2)
28.6
(83.5)
30.1
(86.2)
35.0
(95.0)
41.4
(106.5)
40.6
(105.1)
40.2
(104.4)
38.2
(100.8)
33.6
(92.5)
27.2
(81.0)
23.8
(74.8)
41.4
(106.5)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 15.8
(60.4)
15.9
(60.6)
18.2
(64.8)
20.7
(69.3)
24.4
(75.9)
28.7
(83.7)
31.6
(88.9)
31.8
(89.2)
28.2
(82.8)
24.3
(75.7)
19.4
(66.9)
16.8
(62.2)
23.0
(73.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
10.3
(50.5)
12.2
(54.0)
14.6
(58.3)
18.3
(64.9)
22.4
(72.3)
25.3
(77.5)
25.7
(78.3)
22.6
(72.7)
18.9
(66.0)
14.2
(57.6)
11.5
(52.7)
17.2
(62.9)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 4.7
(40.5)
4.7
(40.5)
6.2
(43.2)
8.6
(47.5)
12.1
(53.8)
16.1
(61.0)
19.0
(66.2)
19.7
(67.5)
17.0
(62.6)
13.6
(56.5)
9.0
(48.2)
6.2
(43.2)
11.4
(52.6)
Record low °C (°F) −6.0
(21.2)
−10.0
(14.0)
−4.2
(24.4)
−2.0
(28.4)
1.6
(34.9)
6.0
(42.8)
11.0
(51.8)
10.8
(51.4)
5.6
(42.1)
0.0
(32.0)
−3.0
(26.6)
−3.1
(26.4)
−10.0
(14.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40.0
(1.57)
32.4
(1.28)
23.1
(0.91)
32.3
(1.27)
28.5
(1.12)
13.3
(0.52)
3.7
(0.15)
16.2
(0.64)
56.9
(2.24)
67.0
(2.64)
61.7
(2.43)
46.9
(1.85)
422
(16.62)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 6.0 5.3 4.1 4.4 3.3 2.0 0.5 1.7 5.1 6.0 6.7 5.8 50.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 160 168 212 246 292 325 349 317 231 202 159 150 2,811
Source 1: NOAA[26]
Source 2: AEMET[27]
Palma de Mallorca sea temperature
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 14.4
(57.9)
13.9
(57.0)
14.1
(57.4)
15.9
(60.7)
18.9
(66.1)
22.5
(72.5)
24.9
(76.7)
26.0
(78.8)
25.0
(77.1)
22.7
(72.9)
19.7
(67.4)
16.3
(61.4)
19.5
(67.2)
Mean daily daylight hours 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 12.2
Average Ultraviolet index 2 3 5 6 8 9 9 8 6 4 2 2 5.3
Source: seatemperature.org [28]
Source: Weather Atlas [29]

Geography[edit]

Satellite image

Geology[edit]

Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands are geologically an extension of the fold mountains of the Betic Cordillera of Andalusia. They consist primarily of sediments deposited in the Tethys Sea during the Mesozoic era. These marine deposits have given rise to calcareous rocks which are often fossiliferous. The folding of the Betic Cordillera and Mallorcan ranges resulted from subduction of the African plate beneath the Eurasian plate with eventual collision.[30] Tectonic movements led to different elevation and lowering zones in the late Tertiary period, which is why the connection to the mainland has been severed at the current sea level.

The limestones, which predominate throughout Mallorca, are readily water-soluble, and have given rise to extensive areas of karst. In addition to limestone, dolomitic rocks are mainly present in the mountainous regions of Mallorca; the Serra de Tramuntana and the Serres de Llevant. The Serres de Llevant also contain marl, the more rapid erosion of which has resulted in the lower elevations of the island's southeastern mountains. Marl is limestone with a high proportion of clay minerals. The eroded material was washed into the sea or deposited in the interior of the island of the Pla de Mallorca, bright marls in the north-east of the island and ferrous clays in the middle of Mallorca, which gives the soil its characteristic reddish colour.[31]

Regions[edit]

Topography

Mallorca is the largest island of Spain by area and second most populated (after Tenerife in the Canary Islands).[32][33] Mallorca has two mountainous regions, the Serra de Tramuntana and Serres de Llevant. Both are about 70 km (43 mi) in length and occupy the northwestern and eastern parts of the island respectively.

The highest peak in Mallorca is Puig Major, at 1,445 m (4,741 ft), in the Serra de Tramuntana.[34] As this is a military zone, the neighbouring peak at Puig de Massanella is the highest accessible peak at 1,364 m (4,475 ft). The northeast coast comprises two bays: the Badia de Pollença and the larger Badia d'Alcúdia.

The northern coast is rugged and has many cliffs. The central zone, extending from Palma, is a generally flat, fertile plain known as Es Pla. The island has a variety of caves both above and below the sea – two of the caves, the above sea level Coves dels Hams and the Coves del Drach, also contain underground lakes and are open to tours. Both are located near the eastern coastal town of Porto Cristo. Small uninhabited islands lie off the southern and western coasts; the Cabrera Archipelago is administratively grouped with Mallorca (in the municipality of Palma), while Dragonara is administratively included in the municipality of Andratx. Other notable areas include the Alfabia Mountains, Es Cornadors and Cap de Formentor. The Cap de Formentor is one of the places where the tourists can enjoy the pleasure of its beach which is golden and very thin.[35]

World Heritage Site[edit]

The Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.[36]

Municipalities[edit]

Municipalities of Majorca
Enlargeable, detailed map of Mallorca and outlying islands

The island (including the small offshore islands of Cabrera and Dragonera) is administratively divided into 53 municipalities. The areas and populations of the municipalities (according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Spain) are:

Municipality Area
(km2)
Census Population
1 November 2001
Census Population
1 November 2011
Census Population
1 January 2021
Estimated Population
1 January 2023
Alaró 45.7 4,050 5,273 5,800 5,948
Alcúdia 60.0 12,500 18,914 20,694 21,725
Algaida 89.8 3,749 5,272 6,013 6,230
Andratx 81.5 7,753 11,234 11,780 12,096
Ariany 23.1 766 892 906 976
Artà 139.8 6,176 7,562 8,180 8,324
Banyalbufar 18.1 517 559 541 578
Binissalem 29.8 5,166 7,640 8,931 9,225
Búger 8.29 950 1,014 1,089 1,152
Bunyola 84.7 5,029 6,270 7,115 7,343
Calvià 145.0 35,977 49,807 51,831 53,496
Campanet 34.6 2,309 2,536 2,654 2,785
Campos 149.7 6,360 9,712 11,471 11,817
Capdepera 54.9 8,239 11,281 12,212 12,585
Consell 13.7 2,407 3,778 4,240 4,291
Costitx 15.4 924 1,113 1,398 1,520
Deià 15.2 654 684 686 688
Escorca 139.4 257 258 183 195
Esporles 35.3 4,066 4,845 5,153 5,283
Estellencs 13.4 347 363 326 361
Felanitx 169.8 14,882 18,045 18,211 18,636
Fornalutx 19.5 618 695 681 715
Inca 58.3 23,029 30,359 33,719 34,459
Lloret de Vistalegre 17.4 981 1,308 1,469 1,591
Lloseta 12.1 4,760 5,690 6,318 6,453
Llubí 34.9 1,806 2,235 2,405 2,462
Llucmajor 327.3 24,277 35,995 38,475 39,156
Manacor 260.3 31,255 40,348 44,878 46,614
Mancor de la Vall 19.9 892 1,321 1,570 1,643
Maria de la Salut 30.5 1,972 2,122 2,235 2,333
Marratxí 54.2 23,410 34,538 38,351 39,455
Montuïri 41.1 2,344 2,856 3,061 3,142
Muro 58.6 6,107 7,010 7,547 7,842
Palma 208.7 333,801 402,044 424,837 430,640
Petra 70.0 1,911 2,876 3,051 3,151
Pollença 151.7 13,808 16,057 16,903 17,260
Porreres 86.9 4,069 5,459 5,630 5,749
Puigpunyent 42.3 1,250 1,878 2,073 2,090
Santa Eugènia 20.3 1,224 1,686 1,774 1,870
Santa Margalida 86.5 7,800 11,725 12,830 13,231
Santa María del Camí 37.6 4,959 6,443 7,526 7,579
Santanyí 124.9 8,875 12,427 12,364 12,561
Sant Joan 38.5 1,634 2,029 2,173 2,204
Sant Llorenç des Cardassar 82.1 6,503 8,490 9,058 9,378
Sa Pobla 48.6 10,388 12,999 14,064 14,296
Selva 48.8 2,927 3,699 4,113 4,289
Sencelles 52.9 2,146 3,113 3,616 3,876
Ses Salines 39.1 3,389 5,007 5,021 5,032
Sineu 47.7 2,736 3,696 4,156 4,387
Sóller 42.8 10,961 13,882 13,621 13,747
Son Servera 42.6 9,432 11,915 12,072 12,129
Valldemossa 42.9 1,708 1,990 2,047 2,053
Vilafranca de Bonany 24.0 2,466 2,984 3,553 3,691

Comarques[edit]

Culture[edit]

Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria[edit]

A sculpture of Ludwig Salvator in Mallorca

Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria (Catalan: Arxiduc Lluís Salvador) was the architect of tourism in the Balearic Islands. He first arrived on the island in 1867, travelling under his title "Count of Neuendorf". He later settled in Mallorca, buying up wild areas of land in order to preserve and enjoy them. Nowadays, a number of hiking routes are named after him.[37]

Ludwig Salvator loved the island of Mallorca. He became fluent in Catalan, carried out research into the island's flora and fauna, history, and culture to produce his main work, Die Balearen, a comprehensive collection of books about the Balearic Islands, consisting of 7 volumes. It took him 22 years to complete.[38]

Nowadays, several streets or buildings on the island are named after him (i.e., Arxiduc Lluís Salvador).

Chopin in Mallorca[edit]

Chopin's piano in Valldemossa, Mallorca

The Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin, together with French writer Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (pseudonym: George Sand), resided in Valldemossa in the winter of 1838–39. Apparently, Chopin's health had already deteriorated and his doctor recommended that he go to the Balearic Islands to recuperate, where he still spent a rather miserable winter.[39][40]

Nonetheless, his time in Mallorca was a productive period for Chopin. He managed to finish the Preludes, Op. 28, that he started writing in 1835. He was also able to undertake work on his Ballade No. 2, Op. 38; two Polonaises, Op. 40; and the Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39.[41]

Literature[edit]

French writer Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (pseudonym: George Sand), at that time in a relationship with Chopin, described her stay in Mallorca in A Winter in Majorca, published in 1855. Other famous writers used Mallorca as the setting for their works. While on the island, the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío started writing the novel El oro de Mallorca, and wrote several poems, such as La isla de oro.[42]

The poet Miquel Costa i Llobera wrote in 1875 his famous ode, the Pine of Formentor, as well as other poems concerning old Mallorcan traditions and fantasies. Many of the works of Baltasar Porcel take place in Mallorca.

House of the poet Miquel Costa i Llobera

Agatha Christie visited the island in the early 20th century and stayed in Palma and Port de Pollença.[43] She would later write the book Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories, a collection of short stories, of which the first one takes place in Port de Pollença, starring Parker Pyne.

Jorge Luis Borges visited Mallorca twice, accompanied by his family.[44] He published his poems La estrella (1920) and Catedral (1921) in the regional magazine Baleares.[45] The latter poem shows his admiration for the monumental Cathedral of Palma.[46]

Nobel prize winner Camilo José Cela came to Mallorca in 1954, visiting Pollença, and then moving to Palma, where he settled permanently.[47] In 1956, Cela founded the magazine Papeles de Son Armadans.[48] He is also credited as founder of Alfaguara.

Grave of Robert Graves

The English writer and poet Robert Graves moved to Mallorca with his family in 1946. The house is now a museum. He died in 1985 and his body was buried in the small churchyard on a hill at Deià.[49] Ira Levin set part of his dystopian novel This Perfect Day in Mallorca, making the island a centre of resistance in a world otherwise dominated by a computer.

Music and dance[edit]

The Ball dels Cossiers is the island's traditional dance. It is believed to have been imported from Catalonia in the 13th or 14th century, after the Aragonese conquest of the island under King Jaime I.[50] In the dance, three pairs of dancers, who are typically male, defend a "Lady," who is played by a man or a woman, from a demon or devil. Another Mallorcan dance is Correfoc, an elaborate festival of dance and pyrotechnics that is also of Catalan origin. The island's folk music strongly resembles that of Catalonia, and is centered around traditional instruments like the xeremies (bagpipe) and guitarra de canya (a reed or bone xylophone-like instrument suspended from the neck).[51] While folk music is still played and enjoyed by many on the island, a number of other musical traditions have become popular in Mallorca in the 21st century, including electronic dance music, classical music, and jazz, all of which have annual festivals on the island.[52]

Art[edit]

Joan Miró, a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist, had close ties to the island throughout his life. He married Pilar Juncosa in Palma in 1929 and settled permanently in Mallorca in 1954.[53] The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Mallorca has a collection of his works. Es Baluard in Palma is a museum of modern and contemporary art which exhibits the work of Balearic artists and artists related to the Balearic Islands.

Film[edit]

The Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival is the fastest growing Mediterranean film festival and has taken place annually every November since 2011, attracting filmmakers, producers, and directors globally. It is hosted at the Teatro Principal in Palma de Mallorca.[54][better source needed]

Mallorcan cartographic school[edit]

Map of Mallorca and Menorca by the Ottoman admiral Piri Reis

Mallorca has a long history of seafaring. The Majorcan cartographic school or the "Catalan school" refers to a collection of cartographers, cosmographers, and navigational instrument makers who flourished in Mallorca and partly in mainland Catalonia in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. Mallorcan cosmographers and cartographers developed breakthroughs in cartographic techniques, namely the "normal portolan chart", which was fine-tuned for navigational use and the plotting by compass of navigational routes, prerequisites for the discovery of the New World.

Cuisine[edit]

Ensaïmades, a type of Mallorcan pastry product

In 2005, there were over 2,400 restaurants on the island of Mallorca according to the Mallorcan Tourist Board, ranging from small bars to full restaurants.[citation needed] Olives and almonds are typical of the Mallorcan diet. Among the foods that are typical from Mallorca are sobrassada, arròs brut (saffron rice cooked with chicken, pork and vegetables), and the sweet pastry ensaïmada. Also Pa amb oli is a popular dish.[55]

Herbs de Majorca is a herbal liqueur.

Language[edit]

The two official languages of Mallorca are Catalan and Spanish,[56] a dialect of the former being the indigenous language of Mallorca.[57] The local dialect of Catalan spoken in the island is Mallorquí, with slightly different variants in most villages. Education is bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, with some teaching of English.[58]

In 2012, the then-governing People's Party announced its intention to end preferential treatment for Catalan in the island's schools to bring parity to the two languages of the island. It was said that this could lead Mallorcan Catalan to become extinct in the fairly near future, as it was being used in a situation of diglossia in favour of the Spanish language.[59] As of 2016, with the most recent election in May 2015 sweeping a pro-Catalan party into power, the People's Party policy was dismantled.[60]

Population[edit]

Mallorca is the most populous island in the Balearic Islands and the second most populous island in Spain, after Tenerife,[61] in the Canary Islands, being also the fourth most populous island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus.[62] It had a Census population of 920,605 inhabitants at the start of 2021,[63] and an official estimate of 940,332 at the start of 2023.[1]

Economy[edit]

The beaches in the southeast of Mallorca are popular tourist attractions.
The main base of the economy of Mallorca is tourism. Escorca (Serra de Tramuntana).

Since the 1950s, Mallorca has become a major tourist destination, and the tourism business has become the main source of revenue for the island.[64]

The island's popularity as a tourist destination has steadily grown since the 1950s, with many artists and academics choosing to visit and live on the island. The number of visitors to Mallorca continued to increase with holiday makers in the 1970s approaching 3 million a year. In 2010 over 6 million visitors came to Mallorca. In 2013, Mallorca was visited by nearly 9.5 million tourists, and the Balearic Islands as a whole reached 13 million tourists.[65] In 2017, ten million tourists visited the island.[66] The rapid growth of the tourism industry has led to some locals protesting the effects of mass tourism on the island.[67][68][69]

Mallorca has been jokingly referred to as the 17th Federal State of Germany, due to the high number of German tourists.[70][71]

Due to a high number of expats choosing to settle down in the area, Mallorca has recently also become a business hub economy of its own, due to a high number of particularly foreign enterprises choosing to either relocate, or expand, to the island.

Attempts to build illegally caused a scandal in 2006 in Port Andratx that the newspaper El País named "caso Andratx".[72] A main reason for illegal building permits, corruption and black market construction is that communities have few ways to finance themselves other than through permits.[73] The former mayor was incarcerated in 2009 after being prosecuted for taking bribes to permit illegal house building.[74][75]

Top 10 arrivals by nationality[edit]

Data from Institute of Statistics of Balearic Islands[76]

Rank Country, region, or territory 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
1 Germany 3,237,745 3,731,458 3,710,313 3,450,687 3,308,604 2,224,709
2 United Kingdom 1,985,311 2,165,774 2,105,981 1,986,354 1,898,838 1,324,294
3 Spain 1,059,612 1,088,973 985,557 1,192,033 1,195,822 759,825
4 Nordic countries 641,920 758,940 758,637 668,328 572,041 387,875
5 Benelux 345,837 366,130 363,911 360,973 368,930 284,845
6 Switzerland 325,241 334,871 312,491 292,226 280,401 188,826
7 France 323,241 328,681 337,891 349,712 316,124 187,589
8 Italy 203,520 165,473 154,227 173,680 200,851 135,535
9 Austria 163,477 175,530 160,890 138,287 181,993 107,991
10 Ireland 104,556 100,059 104,827 115,164 158,646 68,456

Politics and government[edit]

Emblem of the Mallorca Insular Council

Regional government[edit]

The Balearic Islands, of which Mallorca forms part, are one of the autonomous communities of Spain. As a whole, they are currently governed by the People's Party of the Balearic Islands (PP), with Marga Prohens as their President.[77]

Insular government[edit]

The specific government institution for the island is the Insular Council of Mallorca [ca] commonly known as Council of Mallorca, created in 1978.[78]

It is responsible for culture, roads, railways (see Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca) and municipal administration. As of September 2023, Llorenç Galmés [es] (PP) serves as president of the Insular Council.[79]

Results of the elections to the Council of Mallorca[edit]

Elections are held every four years concurrently with local elections. From 1983 to 2007, councilors were indirectly elected from the results of the election to Parliament of the Balearic Islands for the constituency of Mallorca. Since 2007, however, separate direct elections are held to elect the Council.


Island Councilors of the Council of Mallorca since 1978
Key to parties
  PCE
  EUIB
  EUEV
  PSM
  Bloc
  MÉS
  El Pí
  CDS
  UM
  Cs
  UCD
  PP
  CP
  APPL
  Vox
Election Distribution President
1979[80]
1 2 6 15
Jeroni Albertí i Picornell (UCD) (1979-1982)
Maximilià Morales (UCD) (1982-1983)
1983
2 11 6 11
Jeroni Albertí (UM)
1987
2 11 3 4 13
Joan Verger (PP)
1991
3 11 1 18
1995
2 5 8 2 16
Maria Antònia Munar (UM)
1999
2 4 8 3 16
2003
2 3 9 3 16
2007
3 11 3 16
Francina Armengol (PSIB–PSOE)
2011
4 10 19
Maria Salom (PP)
2015
5 6 7 3 2 10
Miquel Ensenyat (MÉS)
2019
3 4 10 3 3 7 3
Catalina Cladera (PSIB–PSOE)
2023
4 9 2 13 5
Llorenç Galmés (PP)

Renowned Mallorcans[edit]

Ars magna, by Ramon Llull

Some of the earliest famous Mallorcans lived on the island before its reconquest from the Moors. Famous Mallorcans include:

Notable residents, alive in modern times[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Mallorca current railways
Badia Express Cala Millor
Badia Express Cala Millor

A trackless train is in operation in several tourist areas.[86]

Water transport[edit]

There are approximately 79 ferries between Mallorca and other destinations every week, most of them to mainland Spain.

Cycling[edit]

One of Europe's most popular cycling destinations, Mallorca cycling routes such as the popular 24 km cycle track (segregated cycle lane) which runs between Porto Cristo and Cala Bona via Sa Coma and Cala Millor are must rides.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Balearic Catalan: [məˈʎɔɾkə, -cə], Spanish: [maˈʎoɾka]
  2. ^ English: /məˈjɔːrkə, m-, -ˈɔːr-/, mə-YOR-kə, my-, -⁠JOR-

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External links[edit]