Top Historic Sights in Alaior, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Alaior

l'Argentina Navetas

Biniac has two circular burial navetas that were used around 1400 B.C. and are from an earlier period than the long rectangular constructions like the Es Tudons and Rafal Rubí navetas. The east naveta was built on bedrock and has only one oval-shaped chamber, accessed via a perforated stone slab. Several slabs that had fallen over were found inside. The west naveta is also oval-shaped and the wall on the south side has d ...
Founded: 1400 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Santa Eulàlia Church

The Santa Eulàlia church in Alaior is built atop a hill. The village formed around it from the 14th century onwards. There was apparently an earlier church, of which the vaulted arches of the main facade and a part of the side wall may remain. The parish was founded in the early 14th century, and is mentioned as early as the Pariatge of 1301 signed by James II of Majorca. The current building was erected between approxi ...
Founded: 1630-1690 | Location: Alaior, Spain

Torralba d'en Salort Talayotic Settlement

A prehistoric settlement dating from the Naviforme period (1700-1400 B.C.), in which the foundations of a circular cabin can still be seen. The main features are two talaiots, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle room, some caves dug out of the ground and the remains of other buildings used as dwellings. The taula and its enclosure are among the largest and most beautiful on the island. The building dates from the 4th-3rd ce ...
Founded: 1700-1400 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Torre d'en Galmés Talayotic Settlement

Torre d’en Galmés is the largest settlement in Menorca. Its hilltop location made it the ideal spot for keeping watch over the land on most of the island"s south coast. In chronological terms, it was occupied from the Naviforme period (1700-1400 BCE), and you can still see an underground chamber from this period near the area where water was collected, right through until the late Roman era, although some remains ...
Founded: 1700 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Rafal Rubí

The Rafal Rubí navetas are two tombs of the same type as the Naveta des Tudons, but these are smaller and are unusual in that they are very close to one another. They are group burials with a perforated stone slab at the entrance to the inner chamber, which is split into two levels. Of the two navetas, the east one is in better condition, as the front was restored in the late 1960s, when an archaeological dig was also c ...
Founded: 1000 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

So na Caçana

So na Caçana dates from the Talayotic period (1000-700 B.C.) and remained occupied until the arrival of the Romans. It contains up to ten large structures. At first it was thought to be a settlement but archaeological excavation work uncovered up to three taula enclosures, which suggested it was more likely to have been a sanctuary and ceremonial site that may have been used by more than one community.The main features o ...
Founded: 1000-700 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.