Arts anc Culture
Artà has a rich cultural life and historic heritage of great value. Both of these two characteristics can be found in centres such as Na Batlessa, which is owned by the town hall. Today, this ancient manor home serves multiple purposes; it houses the public library, a youth centre and two exhibition halls, as well as documentation on painter Miguel Barceló.
The talayotic settlement of Ses Païses, whose wall dates from 1000 BC, can be found on the outskirts of the village of Artà. Set on a hill amidst a Holm oak grove, this archaeological enclosure houses various talayots and megalithic monuments and is the most striking example in eastern Mallorca.
Also of interest is the round talaiot at Sa Canova - popularly known as Cueva de Es Xot (the sheep cave) - which was built between 1300 and 1000 BC and is located close to the Artà - Colònia de Sant Pere road.
Not far from there, close to Es Maresos, is the dolmen of S'Aigua Dolça, one of the island's oldest monuments.
In addition to the eighteenth-century Franciscan cloister of Sant Antoni de Pàdua, Artà is the site of the church of the Transfiguració del Senyor and the church of Sant Salvador, its main examples of religious architecture.
3 km from the village is the Monastery of Bellpuig, built in the mid-thirteenth century and a little further on, 10 km from the village, is Betlem Hermitage, founded in 1805. The neighbouring lookout point offers a beautiful view of Alcúdia Bay.
The ancient village of Artà also has a fine array of civil buildings, vestiges of a distinguished past. Cas Marquès, Can Cardaix, Can Ragalat, Can Sureda - with its spectacular seventeenth-century stone portal - or Els Olors Inn, from the nineteenth century, are some notable examples.
Albarca Tower formed part of the island's system of defence against pirate raids and boasts a beautiful view of the largest islet off the artanenca coast: Es Faralló d'Albarca.
Arta, natural park and beatiful lonely beaches
The village of Artà, the municipality's main population center, is located inland on an elevation that reaches 170 metres above sea level. The rest of the municipality's inhabitants can be found in the villages of Betlem, Montferrux, Sestanyol, Sant Pere and Colònia de Sant Pere.
Addresses and telephone numbers of interest
- Ajuntament Plaça d'Espanya, 1Artà Tel. 971 829 595
- Local police Tel. 971 829 595
- Centre de Salut Nuredduna Carrer de Trespolet, 3 Artà Tel. 971 835 001
- Urgències Tel. 971 836 700
- Dispensari mèdic de la Colònia de Sant Pere Tel. 971 589 297
- Teatre Municipal d'Artà Tel. 971 82 97 00
- Biblioteca Municipal Carrer de Ciutat, 1 Artà Tel. 971 835 267
- Casa de Cultura de na Batlessa (Fons documental Miquel Barceló)
Carrer de Ciutat, Artà Tel. 971 829 199
- Centre Cultural de Sant Pere Carrer de Sant Mateu, Colònia de Sant Pere Tel. 971 589 379
- Poblat talaiòtic de les Païsses Tel. 619 070 010
- Escola Municipal de Música Tel. 971 562 008
- Museu Regional d'Artà Tel. 971 836 157 / 971 829 595
Cultural events of interest
- Popular fiesta of the convent of Sant Antoni de Pàdua in Artà: a Sunday between May and June
- Patron saint's day of Sant Pere in Colònia de Sant Pere: June 29
- Patron saint's day of Sant Salvador in Artà: August 6
- Summer Fair in Artà: the second Sunday in September
- Classical music festival in Na Batlessa (Artà): July and August
- Artà Fair and Horse Show: the second Sunday in September
"Some history and economic data"
During the Muslim period (the tenth to the twelfth century), the municipality of Artà also included the municipalities of Capdepera and Son Servera and was known as the peninsula of Yartan.
Yartan residents mounted vigorous opposition to the troops of Jaime I from the artanenca mountains during the Catalan conquest of the island, from 1229 on. Finally reduced, hundreds of Mallorcans that had sought refuge in caves were smoked out, according to a chronicle of events written by the king himself.
Once the area was conquered in 1230, Jaime I granted eight Arab farmsteads to a group of monks from the order of San Norberto, who established the priory of Santa Maria de Bellpuig there. Thus, the source of what would later become the village of Artà was born.
The Gothic style, which reached its zenith in the thirteenth century, was captured in the manor homes and religious buildings that were erected in the village.
However, despite the comfortable economic situation of the rich sectors of the population, the disproportionate distribution of wealth and resources caused reactions such as banditry (bandolerismo), which was particularly prevalent in this zone.
A sharp demographic rise between the sixteenth and eighteenth century reinforced the already productive agricultural activity, which was based on large areas of land held by absentee landowners, and led to the origin of the textile industry.
Traditionally, the municipality of Artà lived off crops that cultivated on irrigated land (cereals, legumes and vegetables ), forestry (olive, carob, fruit, almond trees and vineyards) and livestock-raising. From the nineteenth century onwards, a productive industry grew up around basket making, based on the manufacture of wickerwork and palmito tree leaves.
The twentieth century brought the railway train in 1921, although the Manacor-Artà line stopped operating in 1977, and the 1960s brought the affluence of European tourism, two elements that transformed the municipal economy and caused sectors such as construction and services to expand.
At present, the tertiary sector, based fundamentally on tourism, provides employment for over half the municipality's residents and is the driving force behind its economy. Apartments, camping sites, hotels and in recent decades, rural tourism centres, as well as the leisure and restaurant industries, are the basis of the municipality's tourism offer.