The island of Menorca is located next to Mallorca and Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea. The territory also belongs to Spain. Wide sandy beaches, rocky bays with clear turquoise water, surrounded by emerald pine forests, attract millions of tourists every year. In addition to sandy beaches, there are also pebble beaches, more than 50 of them in total. Menorca pleases with its mild climate; there are rarely rainy or cloudy days here.
History of the island
Menorca is called an open-air museum. The island has preserved mysterious monuments - slander, left over from the ancient culture of the Talayots, whose history goes back more than 3 thousand years. The ancient necropolis consists of 14 caves. Navetas are burials that look like overturned boats.
The island, like Mallorca, has an important strategic location, which pirates took advantage of to attack Roman traders. The Roman Empire sent its army to fight them. In 121 BC. e. both islands were already under the rule of Roman emperors.
In the 5th century. The island was captured by Vandals at the beginning of the 10th century. The Moors already ruled here and named the island Manurka. In 1231 the Crusaders occupied Majorca, but Minorca remained Islamic and became an independent state. True, she paid tribute to King Jaime of Aragon. In 1287, on January 17, Minorca became Aragonese. Muslims were turned into slaves and sold in slave markets.
In the 16th century. The Turks destroyed Mahon and Ciutadella. In 1708, Minorca was captured by Great Britain, making Mahon the capital and building a military base in the harbor. Only in 1802 did Minorca become Spanish.
The island's frequently changing conquerors left their mark on both architecture and cultural traditions, adding their own flavor. There are more than 1.5 thousand historical monuments on the island.
In terms of area, Menorca ranks 2nd among the Balearic Islands. The ancient Phoenicians called Menorca "Nura" - the island of fire. As they approached the island, they saw hundreds of lights. The nature of their occurrence has not been clarified to this day. It is prohibited to build houses higher than 3 floors here. By decision of UNESCO in 1993, the island was classified as a biosphere resource and declared a nature reserve. Thanks to this, the nature of the island has an untouched, pristine appearance. The main cities of the island are Mahon - the official capital of the island, and Ciutadella - the historical capital.
It is located on a cliff overlooking the harbor. The mansions of the city are made in the Georgian architectural style, the main differences of which are the absence or very modest decoration, brickwork, brightly painted door and window openings, pitched roofs with gables and straight, clean lines.
In the city there is a church built in the 13th century. and a monastery. In the 16th century Most of the buildings were destroyed by pirates, so few medieval buildings have survived; the buildings date back to later periods. The preserved ancient port of the city looks very picturesque.
A small cozy town is located in the harbor of the same name. Here is the majestic Cathedral, built in the 14th century. on the site of the mosque. One of the 5 bastions built in the 16th century houses the municipal museum. The city is the center of the diocese.
Menorca is famous for its olives. They are grown on 40% of the territory. Residents of the island are rightfully proud of the excellent local wines.
Horses are bred on the island. Horses are the symbol of Menorca. Enchanting festivals and celebrations are often held here; horse show performances are a tradition.
The island is suitable for lovers of a relaxing beach holiday. There is all the entertainment of the best resort holiday here, but there are no noisy parties until the morning. Magnificent comfortable beaches, countless cafes and restaurants, colorful seascapes, spectacular festivals are the calling card of Menorca.