TOPONOMY OF THE AREA
Can Picafort lies in the municipality of Santa Margalida, named Hiachat in the Muslim era. The nucleus of Can Picafort occupies land of the possessions that were held by Son Bauló and Santa Eulàlia, already documented as of the thirteenth century and located on a prehistoric archaeological site.
At the end of the 19th century, Can Picafort had only two huts, the residences of two neighbours from Santa Margalida: Llorenç Dalmau “Barret” and Jeroni Fuster “Picafort”. The latter provided the name of the entire area. In around 1890, a medical doctor named Joan Garau purchased the estate where the Picafort hut was located and built the first summer cottage. Later, the Mandilego family became established in the area.
The beginnings of the Can Picafort development process can be traced to 1908, when Bartomeu Cardell, the owner of Son Bauló, began to sub-divide the plots on the seashore. The nucleus quickly took on summer resort status for the affluent residents of the neighbouring villages.
The first hotel in the area, Hotel Alomar, was opened between 1934 and 1935.
Why Som Llaüt?
The llaüt is the traditional Balearic Islands’ boat; a small latin-rig fishing boat, approximately 4 metres in length, which features three masts and can reach speeds of 7 knots. Its consistency and stability in the water make it a perfect vessel for all kinds of activities.
The first people to build llaüts were known as mestres d’aixa, who used local timber. Today, most of the vessels are built using new materials, such as fibreglass.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Public estate of Son Real
The Son Real Public Estate is a possessió located on the north-east coast of Majorca, in the municipality of Santa Margalida. It was purchased by the Balearic Islands’ Government in 2004. The estate has been constantly inhabited from 1900 B.C. to the present day.
Son Real is the most important benchmark in terms of archaeological heritage in the Balearic Islands, with a great many archaeological sites from different prehistoric times. The first evidence of human settlement worth noting dates to the Dolmenic period (1900-1600 B.C.). These include the remains of a dolmen and three hypogea or artificial burial caves. The archaeological site of Es Figueral dates to the proto-Talayotic era (1100-900 B.C.). Lastly, the Talayotic period and the post-Talayotic period (900-125 B.C.) are notable for the sites related to funeral rites. The most prominent site is the Son Real Necropolis, also known as Punta de los Fenicios.
Apart from its archaeological wealth, Son Real is closely linked to rural Majorca and there is a rustic property or possessió made up of buildings from different eras that attest to a not-so-distant past when the economic activity was focused on agricultural and livestock production.
Necropolis of Son Real
The surroundings of Can Picafort and the entire municipality of Santa Margalida comprise Majorca’s most densely populated area in terms of archaeological remains. A large part of these remains are of considerable importance due to their state of preservation and their uniqueness.
This necropolis, in particular, was discovered in the 1950s, protruding from the stones and sand on the beach, and constantly battered by the waves. It is suspected that its current size is just a part of the original magnitude, and that the rest has been “eaten away” by the sea. There are several rounded tombs like micro-talayots (dry stone conical towers), of around 3 m in diameter in this great cemetery. There are also other tombs with square and rectangular micro-talayots from varying periods. The rest are shaped like micro-navetas (a dwelling in the shape of an overturned boat). Almost all the constructions correspond to multiple burials. Many of the tombs feature one or several rectangular holes in the wall for unknown purposes; perhaps they were ritual orifices to enable the “souls to escape”.
Archaeological excavations have been carried out since the start of the 1960s, although they have produced few findings, possibly due to the necropolis being reused and possibly plundered since Talayotic times.
The first signs of the necropolis date to the 7th century B.C., when Talayotic culture had already been around for several centuries, and iron use was becoming more prolific. What was at first an exclusive cemetery for the ruling classes gradually evolved, becoming somewhat overcrowded by the masses, and continued to be used until Roman times. This perpetuation can be seen in several aspects, including the changes of burial rituals: interment, cremations and lime burials.
Parish Church of Santa Margalida
The original church was built on the same site as the current one, on the land of the Hiachat farmstead. It is first documented in 1248, but the construction and expansion extended throughout the whole of the 13th and part of the 14th century.
In 1560 the bishop ordered the construction of a new church, due to the population growth. In the 18th century the works were practically finished; all that was left was the belfry. Work on this began in 1750 and was completed in the mid 19th century.
5 TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CAN PICAFORT AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
- Visit the Calamar Food Fair (in May).
- Discover the Son Real estate and all the sites in the area.
- Take the hiking route towards Son Serra de Marina, via Son Real.
- Visit Rancho Grande and take a ride on horseback in the area.
- Discover the legend of Comte Mal (Count Mal) in Santa Margalida.