TOPONOMY OF THE AREA
Between 1920 and 1925 brothers Bernardo and Antonio Ripoll Llompart, and Bartolomé Riutort Sabater acquired a large part of the farm Sa Torre Redona in order to develop the land located between the road and the sea.
The first stone to the new church was solemnly blessed and laid in 1925. From that moment, the new developed area was known as San Antonio de la Playa, however, the people continued to call it Can Pastilla.
This origin of this name came from the fact that there were no houses on this beach at the start of the 20th century, except for a tavern, owned by a mason, where the workers of the nearby quarries used to go, as well as a handful of people who went to swim. In his spare time, the mason most probably sold smuggled tobacco tablets, which gave rise to the name of the area.
Subsequently, the developers tried to change the name of the area they were about to create to San Antonio de la Playa, but to no avail.
Today, the constructed area of Can Pastilla forms a single nucleus with the developments that were subsequently built, including Cala Estància, Son Torres, Son Caios, La Pineda and Ses Fontanelles. The characteristic feature of the neighbourhood is the many hotel businesses that have turned it into one of the most popular areas on the island in the summer.
Why Som Sauló?
Sauló is the Catalan word for the sand and dust produced when carving blocks of sandstone.
Before it was urbanised, the Can Pastilla area was home to quarries dedicated to extracting sandstone, or marès. Nowadays, the remains of these former quarries can still be seen in the Es Carnatge area.
Through the name SOM Sauló, we want to honour a not-so-distant past, when the main industry in the area was quarrying and the resulting sauló was used to construct many of the island’s buildings.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Illot de sa Galera
The Illot de Sa Galera islet, which already appears documented in 18th-century maps, lies around 150 off the coast. It is not clear where its name came from, but it is not unreasonable to assume that it could be due to the shipwreck or running-aground of a ship.
Archaeologists who have worked in the area in recent years have located cabins, probably from the Talayotic period, different objects and wreckage that date to 2000 B.C., ten human bodies from the 1st century A.D. and 1,400 remains of birds inside a water tank.
The vast amount of material found at the site, such as pieces of ceramics, bronze objects, and a burial shaft, date to pre-Talayotic, Talayotic, Punic and Roman times.
Es Carnatge is a natural area of special interest located between Can Pastilla and Es Coll d’en Rabassa. Its name comes from there being several houses in ruins located next to the sea, which were formerly intended for making use of the skin and bones of animals that died from disease.
Fossil dunes can be found in the area, which were used for a long time to extract sandstone from quarries, and some endemic plants threatened with extinction.
Part of the area fell into the hands of the military for several years, which set up anti-aircraft artillery and built small barracks, which were both connected by a network of trenches and tunnels. These constructions are still preserved, albeit in a deteriorated state, including large circular ditches surrounded by a wooden fence, enabling them to be seen from the promenade.
Palma Aquarium, located at Playa de Palma and featuring more than 55 tanks, boasts an accurate recreation of marine habitats. You will descend on an exciting underwater journey through the seas and oceans of the world, where you can see more than 8,000 sea creatures belonging to over 700 different species.
Here, you will also find the largest collection of live coral in Europe, which are home to the most well-known fish including clownfish and the surgeon fish.
You can also visit Big Blue, the deepest shark tank in Europe, which holds more than 3 million litres of water and is nearly 9 metres deep.
5 TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CAN PASTILLA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
- Lose yourself in the old town of Palma and taste an ice cream (or chocolate) with an ensaimada (Majorcan pastry) at Can Joan de s’Aigo.
- Explore the Serra de Tramuntana.
- Stroll through the Mercat de l’Olivar (Palma) and taste traditional cuisine.
- Visit Palma Aquarium.
- Do one of the many water sports on offer at Playa de Palma.