Numerous civilizations have lent their mountains sacred connotations, conferring an aura of mysticism, tradition, culture and mystery on their spiritual centres. While Escorca continued to be a rural estate with an old chapel, Lluc Monastery gradually came to be regarded as the heart and soul of the Tramuntana mountains. The name Lluc is derived from the word Lucus, or «sacred wood». According to legend, a shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary there. This became the object of worship, attracting pilgrims and giving rise to legends from the 13th century through to today, when Lluc continues to be the island’s main spiritual centre.
Basílica de Lluc (Vicenç Sastre)
Lluc Monastery and Son Amer
Lluc Shrine (1) has been a very popular place of worship since the 15th century. In the 17th century it was extended and, in 1908, the basilica was redesigned at the initiative of Bishop Campins, under the instructions of architect Antoni Gaudí and the supervision of J. Rubió and G. Reynés. Inside it, there is a fascinating museum. Ca s’Amitger houses the Tramuntana Interpretation Centre and, in the square, you can see two crosses in gothic style and the early pilgrims’ hostelry, Es Porxets (2).
The Mysteries of the Rosary (3), created in 1909 by Rubió, Llimona and Reynés during the peak period of Antoni Gaudí’s architectural influence, are a series of Modernist bas-reliefs on the climb up to Puig de la Trobada, an important vantage point. Son Amer (4), a former estate house built on a little peak and now a mountain refuge on the Dry Stone Route, can be reached along the access road to the MA-10 road. Beside the track to the refuge is Lluc mill (5), one of the valley’s two water mills.
Molino de Lluc (M. A. Escanelles)
Camí de ses Voltes and Galileu ice stores
Font Coberta (1) stands at the meeting point of the GR 221 hiking route from Tossals Verds and the GR 222 route from Caimari, formerly known as Camí de ses Creus (the Path of the Crosses). A path leads up from Font Coberta to the ice stores on Puig d’en Galileu, a 1,181-metre-high peak with views of most of the surrounding countryside. Ses Voltes is a cobbled track that winds up for 600 metres, passing Son Macip (2), a pit used to store snow, before finally reaching En Galileu Ice Stores (3), restored by the Consell de Mallorca. Puig Massanella-Galileu is the mountain with the highest number of ice stores in the whole of the Tramuntana mountains.
When it used to snow, day labourers would transfer the snow to these stone-lined pits, where it was stored until the summer. Ice from the mountains was a highly-prized commodity, used for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Casa de nieve (Vicenç Sastre)