Festivals and popular traditions
Handicrafts made from palmito leaves are Artà's most important point of artisan reference. Baskets, hats and other products delight tourists, who visit the municipality to discover how tradition is harmoniously combined with modernity.
The holiday season begins with a celebration in honour of Sant Antoni de Pàdua on June 13. Various events are held around this date: children strung with little bells run through the village, Els cavallets i la Dama, a dance of uncertain origin and tremendous visual attractive, is performed and the villagers go on a pilgrimage.
On June 29, Colònia de Sant Pere's patron saint's day, popular activities are held over several days and a singular maritime procession takes place.
Artà celebrates its patron saint's day, Sant Salvador, on August 6, with a series of most unusual events, like the marathon that climbs up and down the stairs of Puig de Sant Salvador at midnight or the watermelon-eating competition.
The winter holiday cycle begins on January 16 and 17, with the fiesta of Sant Antoni. Masked devils come out on the street in the morning, a symbol of the temptations that pursued the saint. Criticism and irony are present both in its folksongs as well as at the S'Argument recital.
Bonfires are lit at night that last until dawn. Villagers gather around them to eat botifarrons, or blood sausages, and laugh at the verses the singers compose, which aer humorous, erotic and scatological. A procession and the traditional animal blessing take place the next day in the morning.
- Arts and Culture
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.
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