History & Culture in Andratx
It is likely that the name 'Andratx' has Latin roots, where 'antra' translates into caves - the caves at Son Bosc and Son Fortuny are a couple of examples that were used by humans in prehistoric times. Talayotic cultures (1300-1000 BC) are evident at Son Fortuny (Biniorella Talayot) and Es Castell in s'Arraco. The Romans arrived in 123 BC but there are no significant remains on this part of the island. The Muslim rule from the 10th century brought irrigation techniques.
After the Catalan conquest in 1229, the area was ruled by feudal lords. Pirate raids in the 15th century saw some attempts to build a defensive wall around Andratx, but this was never finished, probably because Andratx is situated several kilometres away from the coast and up a hill - not exactly a pirate's dream we imagine!
The 16th and 17th centuries were blighted by poor harvests, leading to hunger and poverty and an exodus to the city. It was not until the 18th century that a recovery took hold when Sa Coma and s'Arraco were established. The implementation of a centralised state administration promoted agriculture & fishing to provide for the growing population.
The town of Andratx expanded further in the 19th century when industries such as soap manufacture and timber processing plants. This was not to last, however, and by the end of the century, large numbers of the population migrated to the Americas and France. The next major boom was not until the 1960's when tourism began to establish itself. Major construction created residential areas in Port d'Andratx, Camp de Mar and Sant Elm, and tourism remains the main economic force in the area today.
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