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Heart of the island, centre of the world and home of giants…

 

by Jürgen Mayer

The greatest have always lived in Sineu. Giants. Around 2000 years before Christ they built with their own hands the stone monuments called talayots, using incredibly heavy rocks. And what about this: In 1718, behind the church under a gravestone with unknown characters, the skeleton of one of these tall giants was found – three metres big!

 

Nowadays the skeleton and gravestone have disappeared, vanished. And neither has anyone ever seen the axle which keeps our world balanced. Nevertheless the elder Sineuers are absolutely convinced that the axle lies right under their church. It has to be that way. After all, Sineu is the centre of the world. „The burden, all the responsibility for the world’s balance thus lies on us“, they say in Sineu.

 

The town’s biggest treasure is its history.

 

It goes without saying that this story belongs in the realm of myths. But it explains why the Sineuers are so proud. The town’s biggest treasure is its history. For forty years – from 1309 until 1349 – Sineu was the capital of Majorca. At the time king Jaume II ordered that the royal residence should be within easy reach of all citizens and Sineu in the centre of Majorca was just the right place. When the king also granted the village market rights, Sineu became the centre for business and trade. Today the Wednesday market is still the biggest farmers’ market on the island. The spring fair „Sa Fira“ on the first Sunday of May has always attracted more visitors than any other on Majorca, for more than 700 years.

 

Nowhere on the island is Majorca more authentic than here. Nowhere is the history more alive than in Sineu. Strolling through the old alleys of Sineu

you will find traces of history with every step you take. This ambience is particularly noticeable on an August evening when the sweltering heat has eased off and the shadows of the old stone houses have grown long. In this light it seems as though the many crosses and wells in the narrow streets want to bear witness of Sineu’s rich past on every corner.

 

During these evening hours the parish church Santa Maria looks even mightier than in the sharp light of the afternoon, and the bell tower appears to be higher. Seven bells call for mass. In front of the church „El Leòn“, the winged lion, guards the city arms of Sineu. It represents St. Mark, the village’s patron saint, and it holds the city arms firmly in its front paws.

 

Only two alleys away the old palace of the king stands at the top of the village. Nuns have lived there for 400 years, to this very day. And the former convent of the Minims today houses the town hall. Behind its walls you can find a cloister from the 16th century, one of the most beautiful cloisters of Spain.

 

To this day Sineu hasn’t lost any of its old charm. This is where the heart of the island beats. Here you will find an unusual amount of restaurants, bars and cafes. And visitors always want to come back. From all parts of the island. After all, in Sineu you are right in the middle of the island. And right in the middle of Majorca’s history.

 

Jürgen Mayer
born in 1964, Moderator (WDR2, Inselradio), journalist, author, speaker, has lived in Sineu for 9 years.
www.juergenmayer.de