mallorca was and still is the most important island of the Balearic Islands. Thanks to its strategic location within the Mediterranean, mallorca build up a rich history.
Muslims, Romans and Byzantines are the most important influences on this rich history. Today mallorca is known as a holiday destination and receives as much as 10 million tourists a year.
Administratively mallorca is part of Spain. Million of years ago the island was even connected geographically to Spain. 8 million years ago a part of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) split in Western direction and formed what we know today as the Balearic Islands.
The first civilisation
The oldest proof of civilisation in mallorca date from 6000 BC. Several tribes lived in caves all over mallorca. Remarkably, this civilisation, known as the Talayot civilisation, kept pets.
The first invasion
Around 1200 BC there was the invasion of the Ottomans. The watchtowers along the coast are still a remain of their invasion.
Romans and Byzantines
mallorca was saved for over a millennium of wars and peace reigned over the island. This abruptly changed in 123 BC. The Romans took -leaded by Metelus- the power over mallorca. This all happened pretty easily as the locals were not prepared for any treats from the outside world. Two large camps were built during the Roman period. One of them was called Palma, from which the capital Palma de mallorca originated.
In 534 after Christ major changes happened all over mallorca. The Byzantine, under the lead of General Belisarius took control of mallorca. The Roman Empire was, after multiple attacks of the Vandals severely damaged. However, the reign of the Byzantine was of a short amount of time. The Arabs, buy far the strongest civilisation set their minds on mallorca.
The Islamic Empire
The biggest impact and change in the history of mallorca undoubtedly comes from the Arabs. It is Al-Andalus, a noble Arab, that during a forced stopover during a storm close to mallorca in 902, is convinced that mallorca has to be captured.
Arab museums in mallorca
A lot of the Arab civilisation still remains and can be visited. The most interesting Arab museums in mallorca are The Almudaina Palace and The Arab Baths.
It is not much later that a series of attacks comes from the Muslims. With unprecedented power, they quickly succeed in their aim and they take over mallorca. Administratively mallorca now belongs to the Emirate of Cordoba. All locals are forced to convert to Islam.
With their extensive knowledge in building, mallorca becomes one of the most modern regions in that period. Irrigation canals, farms, a protected shoreline and a castle are built in quick succession.
The Catalan invasion
The more than 300 years the Muslims reign over mallorca can not really be described as free of turbulence. Piracy, looting and keeping slaves are everyday order. In 1229, the Catalan king Juame decides that it's enough and puts up a raid to take over mallorca for once and ever.
A never seen army of more than 16,500 soldiers is dropped in mallorca, with the sole purpose of taking over the island. It is after 3 months of heavy fighting and with a lot of bloodshed mallorca is taken over by the Catalans. Many residents of mallorca still identify themselves as being Catalans.
mallorca has become one of the main holiday destinations in Europe. Every year, over 10 million tourists hop in a plane direction mallorca to enjoy a holiday of sun, culture, exciting nightlife, beautiful beaches and nature.