The rustic beauty of Mallorca was first formed when the island was discovered by the Romans in the 8th century. For five centuries they brought peace and prosperity, along with wine, olives and Christianity, and constructed cities at Pollentia (now Alcudia) and Palmaria (Palma). Further conquests by Vandals, Byzantines and Moors finally saw the Islanders surrender in 902. Early Roman buildings, public baths, historic towns and villages with their houses, churches and windmills dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries are still prominent today.
Leaping forward through time, past further invasions and civil wars; in 1960 the pulse of mass tourism began to beat in Mallorca, with beaches, hotels and the island's airport proving the pull which would see tourism replace agriculture and fishing as Mallorca's main source of income. Since the mass tourism bubble burst, a new, more attractive, greener and more sophisticated face of Mallorca has slowly appeared.
From rustic property and fincas to luxury villas, Mallorca has something for everyone. And celebrities from far and wide now favour Mallorca's exclusive resorts, stunning coastline and peaceful lifestyle.
With such a long and dramatic history, the museums of Mallorca are a must-visit cultural attraction. Below are some of the best:
Housed in the former Episcopal Palace, this treasure trove contains archaeological artifacts, ceramics, coins, books and paintings spanning the 13th to 16th centuries.
The Royal Palace of La Almudaina
The palace that houses this terrific museum dates from 1634. The collections present a full and well-documented range of Mallorcan artifacts, from the prehistoric up to fine examples of Modernista furniture. http://arqueomallorca.com/en/ficha/museu-de-mallorca/
Spotlighting the contributions of Spanish artists to the global art scene, here you'll find works by Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Gris, and also Mallorca's greatest modern painter, Miquel Barceló (see Museu d'Art Espanyol Contemporani, Fundació March). https://www.march.es/arte/palma/?l=2
A museum devoted to Mallorcan-born artist Miró's work; previously inhabited by the artist himself during his final years. https://miromallorca.com/en/
The range of objects on display is vast and eclectic, such as the history of printing in Mallorca, the work of the Austrian Archduke Luis Salvador, paintings inspired by the mountains of the Tramuntana, and important works by modern masters. http://www.visitvalldemossa.com/en/museums/
An interesting hotchpotch of prehistoric artifacts, Roman finds, ceramics (including some lovely majolica), religious pieces, and an exhaustive array of works by 20th century Valdemossan artist Josep Coll Bardolet. https://www.lluc.net/museu/
In a former Dominican convent, the museum includes prehistoric sculptures shaped like bulls and an exquisite Tibetan sand painting given by the Dalai Lama in 1990. https://www.ajpollenca.net/ca/municipi/museu
This small but beautifully designed museum houses all the finds from ancient Roman Pollentia, such as cult figures, weights and measures, surgical instruments, needles, games, jewellery and gladiatorial gear. http://arqueomallorca.com/en/ficha/museu-monografic-de-pollentia/
Fascinating glimpses into Mallorca's past include a recreated traditional kitchen pharmacy. There is a fine collection of siurells (Mallorcan clay whistles) featuring men on horseback. - https://www.artsmallorca.com/en/center-/museu-etnologic-muro
A fine exhibition of how Mallorcan glass is made and a museum dedicated to the history of glassmaking, from ancient Mesopotamia to the very latest high-style creations of the Murano works in Italy or Steuben in the US (see Gordiola Glassworks). http://www.gordiola.com/en/home