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foto_antiga_manacor_histriaThe first indications of human occupation in the territories of the actual township of Manacor go back to the pretalayotic time (2000-1200 B.C.), although the arrival of man to Majorca is located approximately in the fifth millennium B.C. The most outstanding of this period are the artificial caves as burial places (Cova de s'Homonet at Son Ribot, Mitjà de ses Beies at sa Sínia Nova, etc.) and the navetes, constructions which were either isolated or grouped in villages and used as living spaces (sa Marineta, s'Hospitalet Vell, etc.).

At about 1400 B.C., a structural change took place in majorcan prehistory. That was the birth of talayotic culture. It is characterised by its architecture, the talayots, big towers built with enormous stones. The most outstanding talayotic villages of Manacor are those of s'Hospitalet Vell and Boc i Bellver, as well as the constructions of Bendrís, Son Sureda and sa Gruta among others.

The Greek presence in the western Mediterranean and the foundation of Ebusus as a Punic colony in the year 654 B.C. supposed great changes for the talayotic population. From that date it became part of the so-called "colonization world". Contacts to the classic cultures introduced new forms of living as well as beliefs.

When Quintus Caecilius Metellus conquered Majorca in 123 B.C. an irreversible process of romanization began.

There are numerous underwater discoveries of roman objects found in Porto Cristo, which show that it was a quite freeunted spot at that time. Nevertheless most of the facts located in Manacor are corresponding to the late Roman Empire. The basilicas of sa Carrotja and Son Peretó prove the existence of well consolidated Christian communities.

During the 8th and 9th centuries it seems that the main Mediterranean powers (Byzantium, Islam and the Carolinian kingdom) forgot about the Balearic Islands. However some Islamic incursions against the islands were made which finished with the Catalonian conquest by the Cordoba emirate in the year 902.

The different Islamic stages went on up to 1229, the year of the Catalonian conquest of Majorca.

The Islamic world in Manacor is shown by the peasant farmers' communities of that time that were scattered in alqueries (farmsteads) and rafals (smaller farmsteads) and there are only fragments of ceramics as material remains left. Place-names that might have Arab or Berber origin were conserved as well.

The origin of the town of Manacor goes back to the times before the Islamic dominance, as the remains found in the surroundings of the actual church prove.

In the year 1300 Jaume II already granted Manacor the statute of municipality. At that time it had quite an important population and the documents tell us about the existence of a parish in the year 1236. The Torre del Palau and the fortification of some rural houses (Torre de ses Puntes and Torre dels Enagistes) have been preserved of the beginnings of town planning. From the medieval time the important part of Manacor in the social conflicts are to be remembered, which was led by Simó Tort, an outstanding character.

historiaAs for the urban and social evolution the most outstanding facts were the foundation of the convent Sant Vicenç Ferrer and the outlining of the Fartaritx quarter, where there are all the windmills that marked the appearance of this part of the town. In the year 1576 the preachers order founded the aforementioned convent and the construction of the baroque church began. At the beginning of the following century they started the cloister. With the sale of Church lands in the year 1835 the possessions of the order passed to the hands of the state. The buildings of the cloister were assigned to town services and court.

Until the 19th century the economy of Manacor was based on agriculture (cereals and vineyard) and livestock (sheep), although the textile and food sectors as well as pottery were quite important too.

The 19th century marked the beginning of the transformation that turned Manacor into what it is nowadays. The industrial activities dedicated to the elaboration of agricultural product increased, windmills and a liquor distillery appeared. From the second half of the century on the production of furniture became one of the basic economies of Manacor. Pottery and the elaboration of liquors and wines also continued.

In 1879 the railroad line from Inca to Manacor was opened and in 1902 the first factory of artificial pearls was founded. So Manacor became the business and industrial centre of Llevant (majorcan East). Since 1912 Manacor holds the title of town.

The development of the economic activity, in addition of tourism in the 60s, did not only modify the customs of the town but also caused a strong town-planning impact. At the end of last century the new parish church Nostra Senyora dels Dolors was built, located on the same place as the former churches. The most ancient of them had been documented in 1232 and had possibly been built upon an Arab mosque (discovery of a funeral inscription, now to be found in the Museu Diocesà of Palma). The bell tower is the most emblematic elemen.. Some of the manor houses were built in the streets Nou, Major, Pius XII, Bosch, etc. At the same time the historical quarters (Fartaritx and es Barracar) were expanded and consolidated. New urbanisations were created around the railroad station and na Camel·la. Actually the most outstanding town-planning growth is taking place at new areas by the school centres and it extends to the avenues Port, Fartaritx and Ferrocarril.


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