© Frank Nürnberger
© Hans Braxmeier
Mallorca's most sacred site - a former monastery in a spectacular setting in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains to the north west of Mallorca.
Lluc has been a centre of pilgrimage since the 13th century when an Arab shepherd boy, newly converted to Christianity, discovered a dark wooden statue of the Virgin in a cleft in the rock. The image was placed in the local church but three times it returned miraculously to its cave, whereupon the villagers recognised a message from God and built a shrine to house it.
La Moreneta ('the Little Dark One') is now encrusted with precious stones, and sits in a chapel decorated with the arms of every Mallorcan town. Pilgrims and tourists queue to pay homage, especialy on Sundays and at 11am before the daily concerts by Es Blauets choir. The choir, named after their blue cassocks, was established in 1531 comprising 40 boys, 'natives of Mallorca, of pure blood, sound in grammar and song'. The service is marred by the whirring and flashing of cameras, and if it's meditation you seek, come back instead for the evening Mass.
The monastery complex includes Els Porxerets, the former pilgrims' quarters with stabling beneath the rooms, and the Way of the Rosary, with touches by Antoni Gaudi. A very charming rockery & botanical garden is featured in the grounds. From the hilltop cross you look down over an unexpected farm and valley and up into the pinecovered mountains.
You can stay at Lluc but it is more like a hotel than a hermitage the 100 'cells' have en-suite bathrooms and there are several restaurants and bars. There is also a museum - among the displays of ceramics, chalices and coins is a collection of paintings by the 20th-century Mallorcan artist Josep Coll Bardolet, with scenes from Deia, Valldemossa and Fornalutx.
- "We took a car from Pollensa. Road trip was amazing with beautiful views of Sierra de Tramuntana. We arrived at a very big parking lot, clean, organized and well maintained. Once in Lluc we were amazed at the amount of different activities possible. Various visitor centers, one including a 15 minute movie about Mallorca presented by Michael Douglas. Very good art museum including art work by Picasso and Miro. Fantastic botanical gardens taken care off by the local monks. Impressive were also the choir boys who sing daily. We were very pleasantly surprised by this unforgettable visit." - Trip Advisor
- "In low season I enjoyed the couple of hours I spend here with my mom. For just 4,50 euros per person you get to enter the Monastery and free parking. Do visit their 12 minute documentary at the beginning of your tour. Very informative and beautifully done! Their Chapel is beautiful but a little dark. However I made a great picture of it. There's more than enough places to have a drink or eat something around this area. I never visited a Monastry before but the whole vibe is inviting to me even though I'm not Catholic. Their museum is quite big and everything is in perfect state. I'd consider a few days of spending time here, to meditate, sleep over and enjoy the amazing scenery." - Trip Advisor
When to come
You can visit the museum from 10:00 to 14:00 (except Saturdays), while the botanical gardens are open from 10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00.
How to get passes
Tickets cost 5€.