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Majorca, Spain » City Info » History

Majorca, a modern city with a rich history.


Majorca Island has been inhabited since the middle ages. Traces of habitation have been discovered from the period of 6000 - 4000 BC. The place was occupied by the Carthaginians and later by the Romans in 123 BC under Quintus Caesilius Metellus. During the Roman period, the towns of Pollentia (Alcudia), and Palmaria (Palma) were established. The economy of these towns were supported by olive cultivation, viniculture and salt mining.
In 426, Majorca was sacked and annexed to the Vandal kingdom . In 534, the Byzantine Empire conquered it and administered it as a part of the Sardinia Province. During this time, Christianity boomed up and many churches were built. However, from 707 Muslim raiders from North Africa attacked the city.
Caliphate of Cordoba conquered Majorca in 902, escorting a new period in the prosperity of the island. Many local industries were developed and agriculture was improved by the Moors with irrigation. In 1015, Majorca came under the ruling of the Taifa of Denia, and was an independent Taifa from 1087 – 1114. Though in 1114, the Pisans and Catalans laid their siege on Palma for 8 months. After the fall of the city, the invaders gave way and were replaced by the Almoravides from North Africa. In 1203, the Almohad dynasty ruled over the island replacing the Almoravides. In 1229 King James I of Aragon attacked with 15,000 men and 1,500 horses, taking the possession of Majorca after a three-month war.
In 1276, after the death of James I, the kingdom was divided between his sons; James II became the king of the kingdom of Majorca. In 1344, King Peter IV of Aragon marched into the kingdom and re-incorporated the island into the crown.
1479 and onwards, the Crown of Aragon and Castile were in dynastic union. In the 18th century the dynastic union was unified by the Spanish Monarchy after the war of the Spanish succession. Majorca became a part of the Spanish province of Baleares in 1716 by the Decretos de Nueva Planta.
The island of Majorca (Mallorca) lying off the east coast of Spain is the largest in the Balearic group of islands. Majorca started becoming a tourist destination in the 1960s when the development boom came spanning around hundreds of hotels, apartments and shopping centres. The capital Palma retains some of its historic zest through its grand mansions and the magnificent Gothic cathedral in its centre. Also there are several old towns and villages lying below the peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.