History & Culture in Pollensa (Pollenca)
Archaeological remains indicate that humans occcupied the area of Pollenca in pre-Talayotic times (2000-1500BC). The Romans conquered Mallorca in 123 BC and whilst there are important remains in nearby Alcudia (where the Romans based themselves) there are no ruins left in Pollensa, apart from a bridge (see below!).
Any settlement on the current site of Pollenca was likely destroyed by the marauding Vandals in the 5th century and it was not until the Moors arrived in the 12th century that the town as we know it today was formed. The Moors built irrigation systems for agriculture which allowed the village to prosper. A tombstone from this period can be seen in the Museum of Mallorca in Palma.
Pollensa began to grow once the Chrsitians under Jaume I conquered Majorca. The King ceded this area to the Templars, who were at this time very powerful. Pollenca flourished until the Black Death ravaged the town in 1348. Poor harvests followed and Pollensa fell from being an important outpost with triumphal monuments and a university, to a typical Mallorcan medieval village.
During the 16th century, the coast to the north of Pollensa suffered repeated attacks from pirates, who would frequently raid inland aswell. These pirate attacks are commemorated each year on 2nd August where battle re-enactments, fireworks and concerts see the town come alive.
Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dominicans (a Catholic religious order) settled in Pollenca and with them started the construction of grand houses and the introduction of Guilds. The construction of a dock at the Port de Pollensa in 1830 allowed greater trading and helped create more wealth for the town.
The end of the 19th century saw the start of an artistic influx. Michael Costa llobera, a Catalan poet, and other esteemed painters, musicians and historians all descended on Pollensa, and this artistic tradition continues today. The 20th century saw the growth of tourism as a revenue stream for the area, and craft industries such as shoe-making, carpet factories and raffia products established themselves. Agriculture remained the most important employment area of the town until the 1960's when the tourism boom struck the coastal areas.
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