Montuïri, Mallorca, Things to do and see, stays and markets
For some it may be difficult to imagine a holiday in Montuïri – for others it is impossible to imagine a holiday outside.
Montuïri is named after the former Arabian district ‘Muntuy’, which describes the very mountainous landscape of this part of Mallorca. The village itself is located on top of one of these mountains, giving you a unique view of the rural landscape from the small pastoral cobbled streets.
Things to do and see in Montuïri
Honestly, Montuïri is certainly not known for its wide range of sights that can fill up a camera. However, the village and the municipality should not be completely written off in this area either.
The sights of Montuïri are largely influenced by the history of the region, with prehistoric excavations, temples and rural architecture. For that reason alone, Montuïri is not a choice for a family with children.
ENJOY AN EXCURSION TO THE TALAYOTIC VILLAGE OF SON FORNÉS
Son Fornés is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent excavations done in Mallorca. An entire prehistoric village from the Talayotic era has been excavated on this site. The Son Fornés is particularly interesting because of its well-preserved three talayots, round structures built in the 9th century BC used for lookouts and habitation, prehistoric architecture if you will.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SON FORNÉS
Before or after visiting the archaeological site of Son Fornés outside Montuïri, you want to go and visit the museum belonging to the site. At the museum, you will learn about the Talayotic culture unique to the Balearic Islands and, see the amazing artifacts found at the site. The museum is found in the stunning old flour mill, Molí des Fraret.
ESGLÉSIA DE SANT BARTOMEU
In the heart of Montuïri town you will find the parish church, Sant Bartomeu. The church offers a lot of beautiful Gothic and baroque details in the exterior, and inside you can enjoy the beautiful works of art, among others. a beautiful gallery of paintings by Jaume Martorell, from 1775. The stairs up to the church are called ‘es Graons’, and have 12 steps, like the path of the cross.
EXPLORE THE MEDIEVAL URBAN CORE OF MONTUÏRI
Only but a few places does like the urban core of Montuïri, look just like it did centuries ago when it was built. Walking along the uneven cobbled main street of Carrer Major with rustic house facades rising on each side, makes it feel like you are in an open air museum of medieval architecture. But the truth is, that this old town is just very well-preserved and boasts authenticity. Some of the most interesting points of interest here, is the parish church, rectory, the town hall, the old posada (inn) of Can Socies de Tagamanent.
VISIT THE HILL OF SANT MIQUEL AND THE HERMITAGE OF BONA PAU
Enjoy a scenic excursion to the hill of Sant Miquel, a place declared Natural Area of Special Interest. At the summit, you will find the historical hermitage of Bona Pau dating back from 1396, where you can enjoy a refreshment at the cafeteria accompanied by the stunning views over the Mallorcan countryside.
DISCOVER THE OLD MILL DISTRICT
The economical upturn of Montuïri from the late 17th century led to new opportunities in production of cereals which the construction of windmills is evidence of. These beautiful old mills stand as landmarks of the entire area, and it is almost impossible to imagine the scenery without them. The most interesting of them, is the Molí d’en Fraret, a very well-kept mill that also houses the archaeological museum of the Son Fornés Talayotic village.
THE KING’S WELL AND OLD LAVOIR
On Carrer del Rei, you will find another point of interest in Montuïri, namely the King’s Well. This old well dates back to the 14th century when King Jaume II of Mallorca constituted the town. Next to well, you can explore the medieval lavoir (washhouse) used for washing clothes.
Best places to stay in Montuïri
Finca Serena, Small Luxury Hotels *****
This small luxurious escape offers the optimal setting for a romantic and relaxing stay, where intimacy, presence, pampering and relaxation are top priorities.
Market & events in Montuïri
Weekly market in Montuïri
The weekly market in Montuïri, is held Mondays at 8 a.m at Plaça Major.
The market is quite small and quiet, but offers a great local atmosphere where you can sample some local produce, find unique ceramics or handcrafts and take in the impressions that speaks to all senses.
Annual fairs and festivities in Montuïri
Easter is an important holiday in Mallorca. In Montuïri, there are two important events during the Easter week; Easter Sunday and Día del Puig (Day of the hill). On Easter Sunday, a procession is held in the center of the village going from the parish church of Sant Bartomeu through Carrer Major, with a stop in the old inn of Can Socies de Tagamanent. The following Tuesday, the town celebrates the Día del Puig with a walk to the hermitage of Mare de Déu de la Bona Pau outside town. Easter is a great time to be in Mallorca, there are plenty of interesting events held all over the island.
Festes de Sant Bartomeu
On August 15, the day of the Assumption, the town of Montuïri celebrates its patron saint of Sant Bartomeu. Now, this is a great day to visit the town as you can experience the most traditional dance group of the island, els Cossiers. Els Cossiers is made up of a lady, six men (cossiers) and a demon performing various dances through the town. The story they dance, is about the demon, representing all bad things, trying to lurk the lady into distress, but the cossiers protects her and escorts her safely to the church where she praises the Christ. The tradition goes back to the 14th century and has existed in many towns in Mallorca, but has also been banned several places due to the dictatorship of Franco. However, the group of Montuïri has always been there.
Fira de Sa Perdiu
The first Sunday n December is dedicated to the partridge fair in Montuïri. The partridge fair of Montuïri is renown all over the island, as it is a one of kind fair and has been on the annual schedule for more than 30 years. The program speaks contests, exhibitions, market, performances, all things related to hunting partridges. There is also demonstrations of how to train dogs for the purpose of hunting. If you are interested in hunting, this is a fair for you.
About the area of Montuïri
No other municipality in Mallorca reflects most historical eras of the island as Montuïri, it is like an open air museum of cultural heritage. The municipality is located in the most mountainous area of the Pla region, the southern part. Montuïri covers a surface of 4.109,24 hectares with 322,29 of those protected areas. The municipality borders the other municipalities of Algaida, Llucmajor, Sant Joan, Santa Eugènia, Sencelles, Lloret de Vistalegre and Porreres, giving it one of the most central locations on the island. As of 2018, the population is at 2.867 inhabitants.
History of Montuïri
The first human occupation in the area goes back to the 9th century BC, evidenced in the amazing Talayotic village of Son Fornés, one of the most remarkable excavation sites in Mallorca.
However, the Talayotic village of Son Fornés is not the only example of prehistoric occupation in the municipality. There has also been discovered several caves, natural and artificial, used as hypogeums (burial sites).
The Talayotic culture disappeared from Mallorca around the 5th century BC, most likely due to extreme fires.
After the Talayotic culture, we can refer to a Post-Talayotic period in Mallorca, a period of Vandal dominance. Instead of building fortified villages and constructions like the Talayotic people, the Vandals lived in shelters dispersed all over. This type of settlements lasted until the Roman dominance from 123 BC.
During the Muslim era (902 – 1229/32), the area of Montuïri belonged under the district called “Muntuy” which also included the municipalities of Algaida and Llucmajor. From the Muslim time, places like Alcoraia, Sabo or Sabor, Rafal Aixat and Mudaina are the most clear toponyms. The Muslim people settled in farmhouses and lived in small tribes.
The Catalan conquest of Mallorca (1229 – 1232) led to a new constellation of districts, as the lands were distributed among knights and supporters of the conquest. It is a bit uncertain which lands of Montuïri belonged to who. However, in 1300, when Mallorca was a kingdom under King Jaume II, the village of Montuïri was established. The king offered 1.775 m2 of land to new settlers, who was given the right to cultivate the soil in return of rents and taxes.
The 14th, 15th and 16th century were all characterized by sad and dark times. First with the plague in 1348, and later the societal conflicts of peasants uprising against the massive tax loads of the lords.
Especially the social conflicts between peasants and lords had big influence on the social structure of the island. It started in 1450, when a mob of small landowners and day-workers felt mistreated and suppressed by the social elite that owned much more land and rented out land to the peasants. The Droughts and lack of know-how made it difficult to make a living, which the bigger landowners took advantage of. With little or no influence, the peasants turned to violence. For three years, blood was shed all over the Mallorcan countryside until the peasants had been defeated. This led to even more tax loads and higher rents, and some even lost their rights to cultivate and forced to leave their homes.
The conflict didn’t end here, however, because in 1520 the conflict arose once again. This time it was the movement of Germanies, an amateur army of artisans. The movement quickly gained support from all over the island, gathering an army of more than 3.000 men. Unlike most other towns in Mallorca, Montuïri was the only one getting looted by the Germanies. The reason is uncertain, but could have been due to the strategic location. In 1522, King Carlos I’s royal troops arrived in the bay of Pollenca to support the nobles in the fight. It did not take the trained soldiers much time to put an end to the unskilled amateur army, it all ended with the battle of Son Fornari in the marsh outside Sa Pobla. The remainder of the Germanies fled to Sineu and went to assault Montuïri again.
The years, even century, following the Germanies were tough; decrease in population and increased fiscal pressure to cover from the damages caused during the years of conflict. Montuïri almost did not have any landowner, just day-labors. According to a cadastre from 1578, there were 24 possessions which counted for almost half of the agricultural wealth of the area (48.450 pesetas out of 100.456).
During this period, vineyards, shrubberies and forests were planted in the municipality, an initiative that in the 17th century proved to be a good decision. In 1685, the number of possessions had reached 39 of which the most profitable belonged to the nobility of the town and to the convent of Santo Domingo in Palma.
Undoubtedly, the 17th century was one of the most remarkable in terms of economic growth. New opportunities arose, the population increased and new infrastructure was built. Some of the best examples from that time are the mills of Montuïri, especially the Molí d’en Fraret, which marks the industry of cereals.
Most of the economical upturn in Montuïri continued well into the 19th century, more precisely to the first Carlist war of Spain. In 1836, the prime minister of Spain, Juan Àlvarez Medizàbal, confiscated all convents and monasteries and auctioned them to private investors in order to raise money to support Isabella II. This caused the Santo Domingo to lose the the properties in Montuïri.
In regards to the Second Republic, the public school in Montuïri was established and named after the mayor of that time, Joan Mas i Verd.
Up until the middle of the 20th century, Montuïri has been comitted to agrarian cultivation. However, in more recent times, new sectors and industries has expanded the economical specter such as tourism and other service industries.
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Local police: 092
Guarda civil: 062
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