CULTURE AND LOCAL FESTIVITIES
The Santanyí municipality is much more tan a bunch of hotels, restaurants and unforgettable beaches. Its cultural offer and festivity calendar will complete your holiday experience on the island.
CULTURE, CALA D’OR PRESENT AND PAST
Although the most important tourist centre in the region, Santanyí has a history and culture worth mentioning. In all the villages you will find something interesting to see and you can get close to its past, which is, no doubt, the best way to understand its present and take a lasting memory back home. Furthermore, if your visit coincides with the local festivities, you will have the chance to take part in the most well rooted and endearing festivities of the island.
The continued presence of pirate ships off the coast of Santanyí stirred great fear amongst locals, who constructed several reinforcements around settlements and along the coast. Towers were the most common form of shield, located along the coast and forming part of the island’s general system of defence; they used bonfires to communicate with one another in case of alarm. The most noteworthy examples in the town include; Sa torre d’En Beu (Cala Figuera), Sa torre Nova de Sa Roca Fesa (Cala Santanyí) and Sa torre d’En Bossa (Portopetro).
ARCHITECTURE / PORTA MURADA
Porta Murada is a tower in the form of a door built between the 14th and 16th centuries by the residents of Santanyí to fend off Turkish attacks. The door, built using local stone, features a crest with a poetic text. Its most distinguishing feature is the prison it houses, which would serve to lock up pirates and which has been preserved to this day. Outside the grounds are a series of towers that were used to protect the outlying dwellings that were not protected by the wall.
Mare de Déu de la Consolació Sanctuary is located close to S’Alqueria Blanca. Its construction date remains a mystery, but it features in records dating back to 1523. From its uppermost point, visitors can enjoy wonderful panoramic views of Santanyí and the eastern coast of Mallorca. Its Baroque style is eye-catching and it’s no wonder this architectural treasure has been classed as an Asset of Cultural Interest. Nowadays, residents tend to visit the sanctuary several times a year to attend mass.
The wonderful landscapes of Cala Figuera are a feast for the senses of locals and have helped their artistic talents flourish. Santanyí has always been considered a home to painters, since back in 1919 Argentine painter Francisco Bernareggi was captivated by the majesty of the Pontàs, an intriguing bridge shaped rock just a few metres above sea level. Camargo and Schaffner are just two examples of local painters.
Built on an ancient lagoon, Casa de Cultura Ses Cases Noves opened its doors to the public in 2004. Since then, it has become the perfect place for art lovers living in Santanyí to exhibit their works to visitors from around the island and further afield. Ses Cases Noves is located in a former manor house, the most noteworthy feature of which is its wonderful inner courtyard.
SANTANYÍ AND IT’S HISTORIC ORGAN
Few visitors may suspect this, but Mallorca is truly a pilgrimage for those who know about historical organs, and Santanyí has one of the most spectacular and most studied instruments on the island. We are talking about a spectacular organ built in 1762 by the legendary Jordi Bosch. You can admire its beauty in the church in Santanyí.