History of Mallorca

The history of Mallorca is deep and rich. It comprises many cultures, peoples, and traditions. The political and social dynamics of this largest of the Balearic Islands have been constantly changing until the advent of packaged tourism in the middle part of the twentieth century. Evidence suggests that the history of the island of Mallorca goes back as far back as the Paleolithic period (6000 to 4000 B.C.). Burial chambers and other remnants of a people long since passed away has given historians a peak into just how far back the history of Mallorca stretches.

Spain has many historically significant landmarks and attractions in places such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Cadiz. As Mallorca and other islands like Ibiza are known widely as tourist destinations, they are often times left off of the list in terms of places of historical significance. Once you scratch below the surface, however, you will find a tumultuous and dynamic past rife with interesting facts on Mallorca.

The Romans first came to the shores of Mallorca in approximately 123 B.C. and ruled there for over 500 years. The island of Mallorca flourished during this time. The towns of Pollentia (modern day Alcudia), and Palmaria (modern day Palma) were both established. Grapes and olives were produced in prolific proportions, and remain a staple on the island today. Mallorca enjoyed relative peace and prosperity because of the protection of the Roman soldiery. It was not long until the period of peace would come to an end.

Rome was sacked by the Vandals, an East Germanic tribe, in the middle of the fifth century. They destroyed and pillaged, and less than one hundred years later, their influence was gone and Mallorca was essentially incorporated into the Byzantine Empire in the year 534 A.D. Along with the Byzantine Empire came Christianity. Many churches were constructed during this period including the Cathedral of Palma. One of the interesting facts on Mallorca is that it has survived so many different periods of conquest and occupation. The churches, architecture, and traditions, even today, reflect the long and diverse history of this island in the Mediterranean.

In around the year 707, the Byzantine Empire clashed more frequently with Moorish invaders from the coasts of North Africa. For the ensuing five centuries warring tribes and nations, mostly from North Africa, would wage war on the shores of Mallorca. It was not until 1229, when James I of Aragon (a region in Spain) and incorporated the island into the Crown of Aragon. Fighting continued with North African aggressors. The history of the island of Mallorca is one of violence and conquest in many ways.

In the early part of the eighteenth century, the War of the Spanish Succession led to Mallorca being incorporated in the Spanish monarchy. In 1716, a decree known as the Nueva Planta made the island an official part of the Spanish province of Baleares. The history of Mallorca was profoundly affected in 1891 when a widespread disease killed nearly all of the islands vineyards, depriving the island of its main source of income. Mallorca rebounded tremendously 60 years later when the tourist industry began booming. People now looking for facts on Mallorca will most certainly come up with almost all tourist related information. But Cadiz and Madrid and other such places in Spain are not the only centers of history in this great country. The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean also have significance in the history of Spain and its cultural development. The history of the island of Mallorca is a long and fascinating one.

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