CULTURE AND HERITAGE
S'ALBUFERA DE MALLORCA NATURAL PARK
In our municipality you can find the "Parc Natural de s'Albufera de Mallorca". This naturalpark is the largest wetland area in the Balearic Islands. It is also an area of special protection for birds. This wetland area has always been very important for Sa Pobla, since it became the largest irrigated farm in Europe.
Formerly, the extension of the Albufera was much larger and occupied much of the land surrounding the town of Sa Pobla. For this reason, the presence of mosquitoes made the area a major focus of disease. As a result, during the 19th century there were many attempts to dry up the water in the area. It was not until 1862 when the English company "New Majorica Land Company" took over the drainage and exploitation of the land in the Albufera.
The drainage involved the construction of most of the current infrastructure: more than 40 kilometers of roads, 11 bridges, a 300-meter-long seawall and the Grand Canal, which carried the water from the streams that flow into the Albufera to the sea. The drainage of this was a huge civil work, since everything was done manually and more than 1,500 workers worked on it.
The Albufera of Mallorca is a Natural Park since 1988 and has an Interpretation Center, which is the starting point for four itineraries that can be done on foot or by bicycle.
If you are a birdwatching enthusiast, this natural space will offer you a wide range of possibilities to enjoy your hobby. There are more than 200 species of birds that can be seen here. Furthermore, it is very well prepared for the practice of birdwatching, since it has several observation stations, signposted itineraries and an information center.
The historical heritage of Sa Pobla is one of the most important manifestations of the culture of the town. The municipality has a large number of cultural and heritage resources that tourists can visit.
The most important buildings of the municipality of Sa Pobla are the rural "possessions" and the stately homes in the interior of the village. These buildings represent the place of residence from centuries ago of the wealthy classes of the village. The "possessions" and the stately houses are a key element to understand the history and culture of Mallorca. Thanks to them, we can understand how society was structured and what social and political power was like in the past.
The "possessions" are constructions that were converted into small rural villages, since all the agricultural and livestock work in the area was done in them. Inside, there were large living areas (the house of the lords, the house of the masters, the cloister, the chapel, etc.) and other facilities for the agricultural and livestock activities such as "tafona" (oil mill in catalan), the wine cellar, the mill, the dairy, etc. In Mallorca there were more than 1,300 "possessions" distributed throughout the island according to the map of Cardinal Despuig in 1785.
Many "possessions" have their origin long before the conquest of Mallorca by King Jaume I in 1229. In fact, you can find prehistoric and Roman sites in some of them, which show us that they were already strategic spaces for many centuries before. Also, during the Islamic period (902-1229) took place the creation of the alquerías (farmsteads) that later became possessions. The original owners of the "possessions" were the knights and nobles who participated in the conquest of Mallorca in 1229. Thus, in most cases, the old names of the Arab farmsteads were replaced by the names and lineages of their new owners.
With the passing of time, due to the partitioning of inheritances or the economic needs of the owners, the "possessions" were segregated. As a result, the bourgeoisie and the wealthier peasants slowly acquired land, increased their social status and built stately homes in the town. Currently, many possessions are being restored and some are being conditioned for tourist use such as Talapi, Son Ferragut, Son Cladera, Sa Llebre, Son Sabater, etc.
Did you know that most of the names of the "possessions" have the same structure? Almost all the "possessions" have the name or the lineage of the original owner preceded by the particle "Son" (contracted form of "açò d'en" or "això d'en" in Catalan; "esto de " or "lo de" in Spanish), meaning “ that belongs to”, so it denotes property. Therefore, when you see for example "Son Ferragut", it means "the possession of Ferragut"
In Sa Pobla there are 15 religious architectural elements protected for their historical and artistic value. These religious elements are of different categories: small rural oratories located in "possessions", the municipal cemetery or the Parish Church of Sant Antoni Abat. These constructions have managed to stand up for centuries, more or less transformed, due to the fact of having had a continuous use in time and been places of devotion.
Inside the village, very close to the Plaza Mayor, you can find the jewel of the town, the Parish Church of Sant Antoni Abat. Apart from the Church, you can also visit the Municipal Cemetery, the Crestatx Oratory and all the crosses in the municipality.
The goods of ethnological character are the sets of material and immaterial goods that represent or express cultures and own characteristics of a region or a community. Thanks to the conservation of these, it is possible to know how the habits, the place names, the suits or the works have developed from the past until nowadays. Sa Pobla is very rich in this type of heritage. There is a large number of ethnological elements of high historical value. These assets are an important part of the cultural legacy of Sa Pobla´s population.
In the center of the village, you find buildings where you can still see the towers of the flour mills. These, thanks to the energy of the wind, served in the past to grind the wheat grain to then make flour.
On the other hand, in the rural zone of the municipality it is usual to find many watering windmills and some waterwheels. Today, almost all of these mills are in disuse, which means that only the stone tower remains. These mills were used at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century to extract water from the ground and thus irrigate the land in abundance. Sa Pobla was able to improve economically and became the main agricultural producer on the island of Mallorca to this day.
The mills and their towers have become an essential element in the agricultural landscape of Sa Pobla.
FIESTAS, MUSEOS Y TRADICIONES
CELEBRATIONS OF SANT ANTONI
The celebration of Sant Antoni is the most important of those held in Sa Pobla and the most eagerly awaited by its citizens. It is specifically celebrated on the 16th and 17th of January, but other religious celebrations and activities of all kinds take place a few days before.
As mentioned above, the Sant Antoni festivity is celebrated over a period of weeks. A week before January 16, some outstanding events begin, such as the "Ximbomba" (zambomba in catalan, an original musical instrument with a peculiar sound); the Toni Socias Tauler memorial, with the election of the "clamater" (the crier)and the evening of glosses; the popular "Sa Llego" race and the "Nit Bruixa" (night of witches) with the celebration of the "Correfoc" (a street show in which the audience interacts with fire and the devil) with the demons and drummers of "Albopàs" of Sa Pobla.
Most of the programmed events take place during the 16th of January. In the morning , the tradition is that the youngest ones (boys and girls between 6-12 years old) go to the farm called "Sa Llebre" to look for firewood for the bonfires of the parish and the town hall. In the evening, the devils, Sant Antoni and the singers go out in the street. The demons are characterized by chasing the youngest ones with broomsticks. At 8:00 pm, the most important religious ceremony takes place: the celebration of the Solemn Complete Masses. At the same time, it is also a tradition to light all the bonfires in the village. The most symbolic act that takes place during the mass is when the "clamater" (the crier)announces with honor a "Visca Sant Antoni i Visca sa Pobla" ("Long live Saint Anthony and Long live Sa Pobla").
Once the mass is over, the parade and the traditional dance of the "caparrots" (big-heads in Catalan) with the Municipal Band of Sa Pobla takes place. When the dance of the "caparrots" is finished, the famous pyro-musical show is carried out. Afterwards, the assistants have dinner at the bonfires with roast sausages, "botifarrons", bacon, loin, which are also accompanied by "cocas" (pies)of vegetables or roasted peppers and the unique "espinagadas" of eels or cabbage. Later that night, in the Plaza Mayor, the party continues with the meeting of singers and "ximbombers" (zambomberos in catalan, the players of this musical intrument).
The next day, January 17, during the morning, another religious act takes place and the golden "Tau" (a holy cross with a shape of a T) is released. If, due to the large number of people, it has not been possible to enjoy the dance of the "caparrots", at 12:30h in the Plaza Mayor the "caparrots" perform their popular dance again. Finally, at dusk, the traditional "beneïdes" of the village animals (blessing of animals) are celebrated and a draw is made for the aspirants to "caparrots" for the next Sant Antoni celebration.
Finally, it should be mentioned that during these weeks, within the program of Sant Antoni, the Gastronomic Exhibition of the Eel is held. Thus, during these days the majority of bars and restaurants in town offer a varied sample of dishes made with this very special fish.
MALLORCA JAZZ SA POBLA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
In August, Sa Pobla is synonymous with jazz music. The Mallorca Jazz Sa Pobla International Festival is already a historical landmark and a must for lovers of this musical genre. During the festival, internationally renowned jazz figures visit Sa Pobla to give concerts that are remembered for years. The acceptance and participation of those attending is extraordinary and increases year after year.
The festival is committed both to the present of the jazz scene and to the revision and reinterpretation of the legacy of the genre and its masters. The concerts take place over five days at the beginning of August. The festival has a very complete program of concerts and parallel cultural activities, such as exhibitions, workshops or seminars.
The most outstanding cultural activity is the "Traveling School Playjazz", a Jazz Seminar by artists Jimmy Weinstein, Lilly Santon, Toni Miranda and Pere Dàvila. During some intense days, drumming, guitar and jazz singing lessons are given. To finish, the students and teachers of the seminar perform the last concert on the stage of the Mallorca Jazz Sa Pobla International Festival.
It is definately a unique opportunity to taste one of the best gastronomies of the island while enjoying national and international renowned artists.
PATRON SAINT FESTIVITIES AND THE AUTUMN FAIR
In July, in the middle of summer, the Patron Saint's Festivities of "Sant Jaume" and "Santa Margalida" are celebrated. Many sport, popular and cultural activities such as conferences, painting exhibitions and even a poetry festival take place during more than fifteen days.
During the weekends, the traditional musical festivals “Verbenas”, take place in the town's Plaza Mayor. Among the latest additions to the festival are the Brutal Running sports event and the "Cap de Bou de Talapi".
One of the most important cultural activities that take place during the local festivities is the celebration of the "Crestatx Poètic" ("Poetic Crestatx"). This festival aims to bring poetry closer to the people and raise awareness. During its celebration, poetry, music and painting merge in harmony.
The last weekend of November the Pobler (domonyn of Sa Pobla people) Rice Fair is held, which revolves around the world of rice and agriculture, among other themes. In addition to the presence of agricultural companies, you can find a large number of commercial companies, both local and from all over the island. Besides, for several days there are sports, cultural and musical activities.
During two weeks ,the program "Menjar bé a sa Pobla" ("Eating well in sa Pobla" in Catalan) is carried out, which includes the offer of the best rice dishes from the different bars and restaurants of the municipality. On the other hand, the weekend before the fair, there is the traditional meeting of Giants, the meeting of "Xeremiers" (the musicians that play an instrument of the horn family, a bagpipe typical of the Balearic Islands) and the Fair of Luthiers.
MUSEUM OF "SANT ANTONI I EL DIMONI"
This small museum is located in the old house of Can Planes (19th century) and is dedicated to the iconography of the festivity of Sant Antoni in Sa Pobla, patron saint of the town. There we can find all the main elements that make up the festival, such as the "caparrots", the demons, the giants and other complementary elements, which only come out on January 16 and 17 during the festival
The visit can be guided by the museum staff to better understand the origin of the festival and all the elements that make it up. In addition, you can enjoy a spectacular audiovisual presentation that explains the passion that this festival arouses among all the citizens of Sa Pobla. You can also see old photographs, all the promotional posters created until today, drawings and other symbols.
In the rest of the Can Planes building you can find temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, a conference room and an outdoor garden with sculptures.