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Santanyí

Church of Sant Andreu in Santanyi

Santanyi, the city that’s home to the noble Marés stone, and a former smugglers’ stronghold, is in the south eastern corner of Mallorca. The area was settled early in history and, due to repeated pirate attacks, fortifications were constantly built throughout the years.

Placa Major in Santanyi, wikimedia-diba

The Historic City

As proven by the neatly arranged streets, which are parallel to each other, Santanyi itself is a Roman settlement and was inhabited in pre-Christian times. Santi Annini ('the Holy Lamb') may have overlapped with the Latin name to give the current name Santanyi. The town, with more than 11,000 inhabitants, is the county seat and is located in the extreme south east of Mallorca, 56 kilometers from Palma. Santanyi is the center of the almond tree culture and natural stone trade. Due to its many fortifications, the city still looks defiant to this day. In the 1960s, Santanyi became popular due to its fearless smugglers, who negotiated for contraband goods in the bay, and hid it in the stone quarries.

Marés – the Sandstone from Santanyi

Nearly every noble house on Mallorca has a part made of the hard sandstone called Marés – most frequently the window and door frames. Previously, the honey-colored Marés was mined on the coast and shipped from there to Palma, but today it can be found only in the area between Campos and Santanyi. Rich nobles, bishops, and sea traders ordered their arcades and columns to be made of the expensive Santanyi stone, and today it is primarily the nouveaux riches who decorate their houses with the noble stone. All buildings in Santanyi have a bit of golden sandstone, which seems a bit softer here than elsewhere. This includes, of course, Palma Cathedral, which could not be built without Marés stone.

Porta de sa Murada

Like many other coastal towns throughout the Middle Ages, Santanyi was plagued by frequent pirate raids. Around 1520, a solid fortified wall was built around the city. Only a few pieces survive today from the medieval wall today – the most important being Porta de sa Murada (1520-23). The gate is a fine example of a Santanyi stone building and a reminder that here once stood a walled city. The Gothic Capilla del Rosario (1248) is also built of typical honey-colored Santanyi sandstone – the inhabitants used it as a defensive castle during pirate raids.

Church of Sant Andreu in Santanyi

The Bosch Organ of Sant Andreu Apòstol

The church of Sant Andreu Apòstol was built in the 18th century, in Plaça Major. It was in fact an expansion of the fortified church Capilla del Rosario from the 13th century, and is famous today for its massive rococo organ. This famous musical instrument was created by Spanish royal organ builder Jordi Bosch. The city still honors it by hosting many organ concerts in Sant Andreu throughout the entire year, bringing fans from all over the world. Initially, the instrument was created for the Dominican convent in Palma.

Placa MAJOR2 in Santanyi_wikimedia_Aracelifoto

Plaça Major

Another attraction that should not be missed is Casa Rectoral, from the 16th century, and its beautiful palm court, located in Plaça Major. Right next door, you can take a seat at the pub popular with local artists and enjoy refreshments on the terrace while watching the hustle and bustle of the market square. A lively Mallorcan market day is organized here every Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 am till 1 pm.

Natural spectacle 'Es Pontas' in Santanyi

Es Pontas - The Bridge

A natural show can be enjoyed less than 5 km from Santanyi, where the cliffs of Santanyi project a striking shape right into the sea. Wind and waves have sculpted the rocks into a semi-circular bridge. Signs bearing the name "Es Pontas" point the way along the cliffs to the rock formation, which is located between Cala Santanyí and Cala Llombards

Traditional boat house beach Cala Santanyi

Cala Santanyi

If you go only about 5km west of Santanyi you will find the pine-fringed bay of Cala Santanyi. A resort, with a colony of villas, has been built at the center of the bay, right next to the very well-kept beach. The fine sandy beach is approximately 90 m wide, extends deep into the island, and is suitable for children, due to its very gentle slope into the sea. Thanks to its sheltered position, the bay records very few waves. Just offshore you can see the rock formation known as Es Pontas.

Cala Figuera, Mallorca

Cala Figuera , the Port of Santanyi

The quaint fishing village (5.5 km wide) was the ancient port of Santanyi and hosted the summer residences of many wealthy citizens. Today, Cala Figuera is very popular with young people and with anybody who seeks some time out from the over-populated cities. The elongated, fjord-like bay offers stunning views, thanks to its rugged rocky shores fringed with pine trees. The cove has no sand beach, and those who fancy going for a swim have to jump from the cliffs into the sea. Cala Figuera is probably the most romantic and most picturesque bay on the south eastern coast. Old fishing houses and colorful boathouses line the two inlets of Caló d'en Busques and Caló d'en Boira. Boats are moored at narrow jetties and rock gently on little waves. The entire port oozes pure romance! A path leading around the bay makes for a nice stroll, particularly during evening hours. Recently, several music bars and restaurants have been opened among the old fishermen's houses. The excellent seafood restaurants by the harbor have always given impeccable service.

Cala Llombards with old boathouse

Cala Llombards

Cala Llombards, a rocky sea inlet with a quite large sandy beach, can be found a few kilometers south west of Cala Santanyi. The rocky cove is well protected from waves, and swimmers will enjoy its exceptionally clear water. The pretty beach is covered with sand for about 60 meters, and it's suitable for children. Even if it's quite a popular place with tourists, the bay never appears to be very crowded. Some rustic boathouses line the shore, making for a nice, picturesque background.

A Tip from Mallorca.org

When you wake up on Saturday mornings, listen carefully. Sometimes you may hear the organist practicing on the famous Bosch organ. If the main entrance is closed, simply enter the church through the side entrance to the right of the portal.

information

Population: 11,784

Tourist Information

Santanyí
Oficina Municipal de Turismo de Cala d'Or- Santanyí
Calle Perico Pomar 10
07650 Santanyí
-
turisme@ajsantanyi.net
+34 971 657463
+34 971 648029