Cultural Routes

Alcúdia's town centre

Cultural route through the old town centre which has been developing since the Catalan conquest in 1229. Short after that date Sant Jaume's church was built. But it was not until the reign of Jaume II when the building of the walls began.

This trip shows you the different landmarks that history has left in this ancient old town. You'll discover the different walls (mediaeval and renaissance), the wall gates and the wall bastions, Sant Jaume's church, Saint Christ's chapel as well as the most important houses (casals).

To make the most of the day try to make this trip on a traditional market day, that is, on Sundays or Tuesdays.

ROUTE
This trip can be done just following the route you feel more like. We just want to pinpoint the most interesting sites. It is high recommendable to tour around the town along Camí de Ronda, which is the road that circles the walls on its inside. These are the most interesting sites in Alcúdia:

History of Alcúdia
Alcúdia, as we know it today, has its origins in the old Muslim farmstead of al-qudya, which means hill. The hill is located in Carrer de n'Amorós (1) which is the highest point of the historic centre and the oldest square in Alcúdia, originally named Plaça de la Carnisseria.

After the Catalan conquest by King Jaume I Alcúdia's land became part of the royal share in the Repartiment (share-out) drawn up in 1232.

It seems that there is evidence that Alcúdia was a settlement of some significance since 1279, from the point of view of its population and its geography. During the reign of Jaume II with the pronouncement of the Ordinacions (regulations) Alcúdia adopted its present form with the building of the city walls (1300).

Medieval Walls
The strategic location of the city of Alcúdia, which was already acknowledged and valued during the Roman period, involved risks due to its proximity to the sea. Thus, King Jaume II designed a protection system, the walls, with a double purpose: to protect the townsfolk and to build a stronghold in the northeast of the island against attacks from outsiders. The building period spanned from the end of the 13th century (1298) to the middle of the 14th century (1360).

The walls consisted of a reinforced square structure of an average height of 6m with 26 towers distributed along the 1.5km perimeter, as well as a moat that has survived the passing of time. The walls, which surround the historic centre of Alcúdia, were declared a Conjunt Històric Artístic (Artistic Historical Site) in 1974 together with the remains of the Roman city of Pollentia.

City Wall gates
One of the main attractions of the mediaeval walls are its gates. At the beginning there were three: La porta del Moll o de Xara (the harbour gate or Xara), la porta de Mallorca o de Sant Sebastià <( Mallorca's gate or Sant Sebastià) and la porta de la Vila Roja (the Vila Roja gate).

Porta de Mallorca o de Sant Sebastià was the gate that connected Alcúdia to the royal road to Palma. The moat has been preserved and its present appearance dates back to the restoration works carried out by G. Alomar in 1963. It is formed by two towers linked by a large machicolation (a projecting parapet supported by corbels which have openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy) and crowned by battlements. The large round-arched portal grants access to a vaulted area with a portcullis that used to close the gate.

Porta del Moll o de Xara was the gate that connected Alcúdia to the harbour. You can also see the original portcullis.

At Porta de Vila Roja a bridge, which lead to the centre of the town, has recently been found.

Renaissance Walls
During the reign of Felipe II in the 16th century a second fortification was built. The star-shaped layout of low bastions ran through the first fortification in order to both position the artillery embattlements and resist artillery attacks. The Renaissance walls had to be demolished due to a clean-up plan because of the epidemics and thus allowing the town's growth.

16th century Bastions
In the first half of the 16th century 8 bastions were built distributed throughout the perimeter to equip the walls with artillery embattlements. At present four of these constructions survive: the bastion of Sant Ferran (which nowadays houses the bullring), the bastion of the King, the bastion of the Queen and the bastion of Santa Maria.

Sant Jaume's church
The parish church is located beside the mediaeval walls where the original church was built in the 14th century. The church, which has always been linked to the town's history, resembled a fortification. In fact, lookouts were placed on its roof. Its structure was part of the walls and it had only one opening to the inner town.

In 1870 its state of neglect led to the collapse of part of the roof and rendered the church completely useless. It was demolished and built from scratch in Neogothic style on the site of the original construction. The building work went on until 1893.

The present church is a single-nave structure with side chapels covered by a ribbed vault. The presbytery is dressed up by a Neogothic altarpiece consecrated to Sant Jaume. It is a work by L. Ferrer and M. Arques. The tympanum in the portal of the main facade contains a sculpture of Sant Jaume by R. Caubet. A large rose window illuminates the inside of the church. Above it and crowning the facade you can find Alcúdia's coat of arms.

Visit the Parish Museum with its interesting religious art exhibition to round off the visit.

Chapel of Sant Crist

This construction, which adjoins the church, was built at the end of the 17th century to house the polychromed carving of Sant Crist, protagonist in the miracles that took place in 1507.

The Baroque chapel, with only one access from the inside of the parish church, is covered by a vault in its middle section. The front contains a Baroque altarpiece room housing the carving of Sant Crist, which can be entered from two side staircases.

Casals d'Alcúdia and Renaissance windows
In the historic centre you can find many examples of casals, houses which were restored, mainly in their facades, during the 16th century to adapt them to new stylistic tastes. During the War of la Germania (1521-1523) Palma's noblemen sought refuge in Alcúdia. They introduced humanistic ideas which influenced the local aristocracy who adopted them. With these new ideas a new stylistic language was introduced, which was applied to the construction of the most important casals of the town. Many of them have reached our time almost untouched.

One the most outstanding casals is Can Torró, which nowadays houses the public library of Can Torró. It has two strong points: it is a very well restored three storey casal from the 14 th century and it houses nowadays the most modern library on the Balearic Islands. Located in Carrer Serra it is next to another ancient casal, named Can Fondo, which has the oldest shield of the city.

Can Fondo or Can Castells, nowadays housing the Sede del Archivo Histórico y Sala de Exposiciones (History archives and exhibition hall ) is a three storey casal with a typical central round-arched door. On the first floor you can see three renaissance windows each with a shield on it. The central window has the shield of the family Castells, who built this house.

There are other casals which can only be seen from the outside like Can Domènech, the former Bryant foundation, where the archaeologists, which were carrying out excavations in Pollentia (the Roman City) stayed and is nowadays the seat of the Consortium of the Roman City of Pollentia. Its facade holds the shield of the Crown of Aragón which was formerly on the gate Porta de Mallorca.

Can Calvó in Carrer del Albellons and Can Canta in Carrer Major are other two splendorous casals. In this street you'll also find the Ajuntament (town hall), built in 1929 by Carles Garau in a historicist style, with two floors and a facade split in three parts: in the lower part is the main entrance with a round arch and a balcony above it. The upper part has a tower, a bell-tower and a clock. This building is very singular.

La Victòria Hermitage

 

Penya des Migdia

 

Sa Talaia

 

Camí de S'Hort Des Moros / Camí de S'Alou

 

Es Coll Baix

 

Alcanada

 

S'Albufera Natural Park

 

S'Albufereta

 

Sant Martí's Puig and Cave

 

Porta de Mallorca, Costa Nord and Porta de Xara

 

Alcúdia's town centre

 

Roman City of Pollentia

 

Santa Anna's church

 

Torre Major

 
 
 

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