Although the Balearic Islands are part of Spain, their history differs significantly from that of the mainland. The history of Mallorca has left its mark on the way of life of the locals and has created a special atmosphere in this province of Spain.
According to GRADPHYSICS.COM, the first inhabitants appeared here more than 7 thousand years BC. Initially, people settled in natural dwellings – caves, eating fruits from nearby forests. Until 3000 BC, the so-called pre-Talayot period begins, when the first dwellings are built – sheds in the form of a boat turned upside down. It was a peaceful people engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. By 1200 BC, the situation changes somewhat and the island is dominated by a highly hierarchical military society of brave Balearic slingers. At this time, dwellings were built – talaiots, which served both as a home for the leaders and as a place for burial. This ancient symbol of a proud Mallorcan, a dexterous warrior and an excellent worker, has survived to this day and now you can visit one of the many talaiots. Warriors were good with slings, the Balearians threw stones at the wooden ships of the invaders and put the remnants of their troops to flight. It is precisely because of this that the island, which occupies such an advantageous strategic position, was not conquered by other cultures until 123 AD. In this year, the Roman consul Caecilius Metella guessed to upholster the bottom of the ship with leather, and his troops were able to land on the shore and conquer the island. Three thousand immigrants from Rome arrived here. They founded the cities of Palmaria and Poencia. Little remains of this era – in the area of the current Poencia, an ancient Roman bridge has been preserved, and in Alcudia – a Roman amphitheater. In this year, the Roman consul Caecilius Metella guessed to upholster the bottom of the ship with leather, and his troops were able to land on the shore and conquer the island. Three thousand immigrants from Rome arrived here. They founded the cities of Palmaria and Poencia. Little remains of this era – in the area of the current Poencia, an ancient Roman bridge has been preserved, and in Alcudia – a Roman amphitheater.
With the fall of the Roman Empire in the 4th century AD. the island literally every century passed into the hands of different peoples. First the Byzantines, then the Visigoths, and finally the little-known period of vandals and piracy. This continued until 903 AD. when the island was captured by the Saracen Arabs, immigrants from Africa. On the site of Palmaria, they build the capital Medina Mayurca, which soon turned into one of the 8 largest cities in Europe. The Arabs were engaged in agriculture, bringing hitherto unknown crops to the island. They built new villages and left the art of terraced farming as a legacy to the local peasants. But besides all this, the Saracen Arabs also engaged in piracy. The island, located at the crossroads of sea trade routes, has become a favorite place for pirates. This also left its mark on the local culture, customs and even architecture. In 1229, tired of pirate raids, the Catalan-Aragonese king Jaime 1 gathers volunteers and heads for the shores of Mallorca. 15,000 foot, 1,500 cavalry armies board 150 ships and land off the coast of Santa Ponsa, the current tourist area. The siege of the capital was held for 3 months, and on December 31, 1229, the island was captured and annexed to the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom. On the site of the Arab capital, the city of Palma is being rebuilt. Mosques are being replaced by Catholic churches. After the death of Jaime 1, Mallorca by inheritance passes into the hands of his son Jaime 2 – In 1276, Mallorca becomes an independent kingdom headed by him. At this time, the construction of the cathedral began, Bellver Castle was built, many new cities appeared, such as Santani, Llucmajor, Felanidzh and others. But after the death of the first Majorcan king, in 1349, his young indirect heir Jaime 3 is defeated in the battle of Llucmajor by his distant relative Pedro the Great, king of the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom, who had long dreamed of regaining power on this island. Since then, the history of Mallorca has been inextricably linked with the history of Catalano-Aragonia, and later with the history of Spain.
With the dominance of the Spaniards on the island, the sea roads became calmer, although corsairs and smugglers used the convenient bays of the islands for their fishing for a long time. The daring raids of Redbeard – Mustafa Piali and other pirates still feed the imagination and plots of local writers. In the 16th century, a new system of protection against enemies was invented – watchtowers were built along the coast, and a sign of danger was given with the help of smoke. This system continued until the early 19th century. Piracy was ended only in 1830, when the capital of Algeria was conquered by the French. From that moment on, peace reigned on the island. A steamboat began to sail regularly from the mainland, and the first travelers, romantics, adventurers, artists, and writers came to the island, drawing their inspiration here.
At the beginning of our century, Mallorca became a place of elite tourism. And, consequently, the number of tourists was very small. The civil war of 1936-1939 did not greatly affect the island, although local troops went over to the side of General Franco. At this time, few people dared to travel. But already at the end of the 50s, transport links with the island were improving. In particular, there are regular air links. New tourist complexes are being built. Thanks to this, in these years Mallorca is experiencing its first tourist boom. Democratic reforms in 1976 benefited the development of tourism on the island. And since 1983, the Balearic Islands have received autonomy, with the capital in the city of Palma de Mallorca.