Churches / Cathedrals, Palma de Mallorca
The Monastery is an amazing place and definitely worth a day trip from the bustle of Port Alcudia. Monestir de Nostra Senyora de Lluc (Monastery of Our Lady of Lluc) will surprise you when you see it first time standing out against the greens and grays of surrounding mountains.
Prehistoric inhabitants deified the local oak woods, and the Romans named it from Lucus (sacred forest). Lluc has been a center of pilgrimage since the 13th Century when an Arab shepherd boy called Lluc (Luca), newly converted to Christianity, discovered a 61 cm high dark wooden statue of the Virgin in a cleft in the rock. The image was placed in the local church but three times it returned miraculously to its cave, whereupon the villagers recognized a message from God and built a shape to house it. Today’s home to the statue, the Basilica de la Mare de Deu de Luc is graced by an elegant Baroque façade. The statue has been known as La Moreneta (the Dark Skinned One or the Little Dark One).
Every day , during the 11 AM mass, the Escolania de Lluc, a boys’ choir founded in the 16th C, performs in the basilica. The choir, named after their blue cassocks, was established in 1531 comprising 40 boys, 'natives of Mallorca, of pure blood sound in grammar and song'.
The monastery complex includes Els Porxerets, the former pilgrims' quarters with stabling beneath the rooms, and the Way of the Rosary, with touches by the famous Antoni Gaudi. You can stay at Lluc, but it is more like a hotel than a hermitage the 100 'cells' have en-suite bathrooms and there are several restaurants and bars.
There is also a museum - among the displays of ceramics, chalices and coins is a collection of paintings by the 20th Century Mallorcan artist Josep Coll Bardolet.
From courtyard walk through the arch to rough-hewn column at the start of the Camni dels Misteris del Rosari (Ways of Mysteries of the Rosary), a pilgrimage path to the rocky hillside to the crucifix (10 min.).
Monastery open 10–18:30, free, museum 10 – 13:30, 14:30-17:30 2 €.
Castello de Belmonte is a very original and different castle. (far over the trees in the picture)
It's unique architecture makes it a must visit and it's a tour often neglected and well worth the time.