Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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When many Europeans think, “Island getaway,” Mallorca is “it.” This beautiful Spanish island 105 miles south of Barcelona draws nearly 25 million visitors annually. While sun may be on most minds, the island’s capital, Palma, offers the joys and mysteries of a Medieval city.
ACTIVITIES IN MALLORCA
Palma follows the classic European hub-and-spoke plan, her historic core encircled by tree-shaded ramblas and boulevards, Plaza Major anchoring dead center, while the glorious Gothic cathedral, la Seu, and the Moorish royal palace sit on her rim, at harbor’s edge. Narrow streets wander in all directions, sunlight rarely penetrating, until the traveler steps into a sunny intersection or plaza. Outside La Ciutat (“The City,” as the locals call it), a steep and rocky coastline rings the island, the hard stone punctuated by bays and coves sheltering soft crescents of sand. The rugged northern mountains climb to 4,741 ft.(1,445 m.), while to their south, much of the island is rolling farmland, though these days the farmhouse is likely to be a vacation villa.
HISTORY OF MALLORCA
As with most Mediterranean islands, Mallorca has been settled since the Stone Age, and over 270 stone structures, Talaiot, survive from the Bronze Age. Modern Palma was founded by the Romans in 123 BC, atop one of those Bronze Age settlements, though only a few hints of Rome or the Moors that followed exist today. The Vandals sacked the island in 426 AD, and it remained under their rule until the Byzantine conquest in 524. Moorish rule began in 902, though Christian forces sacked the city in 1115 to suppress piracy. Construction began on the city’s cathedral in 1229, the year Christian Spaniards evicted the Moors, which is also when the city was re-named Palma.
FACT ABOUT MALLORCA
Top Photo Slice: The stunning La Sea Cathedral, as viewed with the Parc de la Mer in front, one of Mallorca's must-see attractions. (℗ 45591) Photo contributed by © chezp
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