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The town of Algaida in Majorca

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General presentationGeneral presentation
The city of Algaida Mallorca - Algaida view from the Puig de Randa (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.Quarrel is an agricultural town - quite picturesque - the center of the island of Majorca, the town has about 2700 inhabitants. With an area of almost 90 km², the municipality of Algaida is the largest town in the county of Pla de Mallorca, for a population of 5300 inhabitants. Besides the town of Algaida The municipality comprises the towns of Pina and Randa.

The village of Algaida is primarily known for its blown glass factory.

EtymologyEtymology and toponymy
The town of Algaida is the site of a former farm (alqueria) Moorish. The name, of Arabic origin, meaning "forest", probably referring to the large forest of Randa south of Algaida. Another Arabic etymology - probably fanciful - want the name comes from the word "al-Qaida", "base", the same name as the Al-Qaeda terrorist movement that became known in the early twenty-first century.

The inhabitants of Algaida are called algaidi for men and algaidina for women.


The city of Algaida Majorca - Situation of the municipality of Algaida Mallorca (author Joan M. Borras). Click to enlarge the image.The city of Algaida is located near the geographical center of the island of Mallorca in the plain which occupies the center of the island, Es Pla de Mallorca.

The municipality of Algaida is part of the county of Pla de Mallorca. It borders five other municipalities in the Pla de Mallorca: Santa Eugenia northwest, north Sencelles, Lloret de Vistalegre northeast, Montuïri east and Llucmajor in the south, the southwest and the the west of Algaida is bordered by the town and county of Palma de Mallorca.

The city of Algaida Mallorca - Algaida view from the Puig de Randa (author Frank Vincentz). Click to enlarge the image.The topography of the town is fairly flat except in the south-east, particularly rough, with six peaks of Randa which includes mounts Randa (543 m) of Son Reus (501 m), Son Roig (420 m) of Galdent, Son Redó and En Bord. The Puig de Randa is most famous for the three isolated sanctuaries therein: Gracia, Sant Honorat and Cura.

The northwest of the town includes highly fragmented land primarily devoted to the cultivation of almond and fig trees, and the north-east around Pina has rich enough land suitable for the cultivation of cereals and vines.

Quarrel is distant 25 km from Palma de Mallorca and it is a little away from the main road that connects Ma-15 Palma to Manacor, then Artà.


ChurchThe Church of Our Lady of Peace (Església de la Mare de Déu de la Pau / Iglesia de la Madre de Dios de la Paz)
The Church of Our Lady of Peace is the area of the old farm (possessió) of Castellitx, about 3 miles southeast of Algaida and 3 miles northeast of Randa. Castellitx was one of the first places of Christian repopulation after the recapture of Mallorca in 1229: it was first mentioned in 1232, the town was located at the crossroads of ancient roads connecting counties Pla and Llevant, and should be an important center. In 1248, Castellitx is mentioned in a bull of Pope Innocent IV, as a parish dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. In 1300, the town is designated as a royal city in orders Jaume II of Majorca.

At the end of the thirteenth century, the population that was previously dispersed over a wide area, began to gather around the large farms. In the fourteenth century, alqueria Algaida became the main center of population, and Pina and Randa, among others, became secondary localities; Until the fifteenth century, Castellitx still remained the capital of the current common Algaida and religious center of the parish, but in 1410, Algaida became the county seat and the Algaida church became the parish church.

The city of Algaida Mallorca - The Chapel of the Pau Castellitx (author GMA). Click to enlarge the image.The Església de la Mare de Déu de la Pau date of the founding of the village of Castellitx the thirteenth century. The building is surrounded by a garden, which was once a cemetery, and enclosed by a wall with two openings. The Church of Our Lady of Peace has a single nave with three sections, separated by pointed arches, and a bedside, the nave is covered by a gable roof. A fourth body building, which seems to date from the sixteenth century, is attached on the right side of the church. Access to the portal of the church, located on the west by a porch, square shape, supported by a double octagonal column. This portal is arched Romanesque-Byzantine style and has a diamond-shaped decoration.

Inside the church, in the choir, you can see a portrait of Our Lady of Peace (Mare de Déu de la Pau), it is a Gothic polychrome sculpture, dating from 1430. The Virgin is shown seated, holding a globe in his right hand and on his left knee, holding the child Jesus, to him, a globe in his right hand. The statue of Our Lady of Peace has been restored several times, most recently in 1976.

Gothic altarpiece (XIV-XV centuries), representing the Apostles Peter and Paul - in which the parish was originally dedicated - who was in the church of Our Lady of Peace is now on display in a chapel of the Church of Algaida.

The statue of Our Lady of Peace is worshiped, and the Ermita de la Pau was, since the sixteenth century, a place of pilgrimage where people went when crops were threatened by drought or pests. Tradition has it that Ramon Llull came to pray before the Marian effigy of Castellitx that was there before the current statue. The pilgrimage to Castellitx always takes place today, on the first Tuesday after Easter.

MuseumThe Glass Museum (Museu del Vidre / Museo del Vidrio)
The Can Gordiola the glassblowing workshop of Gordiola family is on the road Ma-15, 19 km from Palma, just before arriving at the junction towards Algaida, The Can Gordiola looks like a castle but during the 1960s. This glass factory is the oldest of Majorca it was created in 1719 and later, the family sent one of his son, Bernardo Gordiola in Venice in order to study the art of Venetian glass. In 1790, the factory provided Gordiola the Royal House of Spain and noble families of Europe.

The city of Algaida Mallorca - The Museum of Glass Can Gordiola (author Bert N.). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).In large workshop under glass, you can see the glass blowers at work and see a demonstration of making blown glass art pieces: all kinds of pots, vases or figurines small bright animals from the viscous mass glass. Guides explain the techniques used: the fusion of silica, soda and lime at a temperature of 1100 °C.

On the first floor is the Museum of Glass, where glass objects from around the world are exposed. For seven generations, the family has amassed an extraordinary collection of glassware, now exposed in fifty windows, each devoted to a theme or country.

The city of Algaida Majorca - Gordiola Museum (author portrobin1). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The first products of Gordiolas from the early eighteenth century, are exhibited: pitchers of green color of a frothy, containing both sails and trapped air bubbles. Heated with wood and coal ovens beginnings, cylinder-shaped, had holes through which the objects being manufactured could be rotated. With such a limited technique, it was impossible to maintain a constant high temperature, so that the glass could not be clarified, or cleared of air bubbles past. Aware of these shortcomings, the next in line Gordiola, Bernardo Gordiola, spent years in Venice, including studying the techniques of the major glassmakers of the period, the result of what can be seen in the same case heard. He developed pitchers Majorcan style, decorated laticinos, strips of glass wrapped around the object to the Venetian manner, and, in general, it improved the quality of the glass. Among the subsequent products Gordiolas dominate kitchen items and table bottles, vases, pitchers and glasses in a variety of shades, including green remains the most distinctive.

But the production of glassware Gordiola is only part of the collection: other windows feature pieces from all parts of the world, beginning with archaeological discoveries of classical Greece, the Nile and the Euphrates. There is also a sample of exquisite glassware of early Islam, Spanish and Chinese opalescent glass, and beautiful Venetian vases dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The modern rooms include cuts in Germany and Austria, the objects of worship in Poland, the traditional crystal Caithness Scotland, and an amazing blend of Art Nouveau glassware from Norway. The museum also displays decorative objects from cultures where glass was unknown: an eclectic collection of pre-Columbian worked in clay, quartz and obsidian and basalt figures of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic characteristics of the Sahara.

Visit the Museum of Glass:

Can Gordiola before Algaida on the road from Palma to Manacor.

Summer hours (April to October): 9:00 to 20:00, Sundays and holidays until 13:00.

Winter hours (November to March): 9:00 to 13:30 and 15:00 to 19:00, Sundays and holidays until 13:00.

Entry fee: Free admission.

At the store, next to kitsch objects, you can buy a few more cosmetic parts with superb colors, like chandeliers traditional Majorcan style stained glass.

Phone: 00 34 971 665 046

SculptureThe Bull of Algaida
In a more secular kind, one can see on the right, a few kilometers after Algaida in the direction of Manacor, a sculpture of a bull. This sculpture was originally an advertisement for a brand of spirits distillery in Andalusia Osborne, who had scattered throughout Spain such sculptures. The bull of Algaida, originally black, is regularly the target of pseudo-artistic autonomy or diversions.
DanceThe Algaida Cossiers
The Cossiers d’Algaida are a group of dancers whose precise origin is not known, but the similarity with the Cossiers of Montuïri suggests a close relationship between the two groups. The word "cossier" would Mozarabic origin and means "runner" or "courier", the current cossiers accompanied the procession of the medieval feast of Corpus Christi. Later they participated in the traditional village festivals: the feast of St. Honoratus (Sant Honorat), the patron saint of the city, and the Feast of St. James (Sant Jaume).

The city of Algaida Mallorca - The Cossiers Algaida (author Julia Kleiner). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).The group of Cossiers d’Algaida consists of six dancers, called "cossiers" lady and the devil.

  • The cossiers are wearing a straw hat shaped tile - yellow, green or red - decorated with ribbons, flowers and pictures of saints. They wear a cape, decorated with white ribbons and pictures of saints on a white shirt and a wide skirt of the same color as the hat over a wide white trousers, white stockings adorned with bells and are shod with white sandals. In the hands, cossiers hold scarves and twigs of myrtle in winter, in summer basil.
  • The lady (dama) wearing a white hat with a wide brim, wearing a red ribbon, a white blouse decorated with images of saints, a long skirt decorated with ribbons. The lady was once played by a man.
  • The devil (dimoni) is wearing a black dress with red and white decorations evoking the flames of hell, wearing a mask with horns and holding a wooden stick in his hand.

Cossiers dances are usually accompanied by the sound of fifes and drums.

VillageVillage of Pina
In Pina, you can visit the Saints Cosmas and Damian (Sants Cosme i Damià) church. It was replaced in 1838, a seventeenth-century church. The sacristy keeps an altar painting of one of the holy writing and the other with a box drugs. In the church they are represented in the form of wooden statues dating from the last century. And they are as intercessors with the Virgin on the printed sheet "goigs" the typical Catalan songs, sung in their honor:
"… Sant Cosme i Sant Damiá de tot mal lliberau-nos …"

KnowledgeHistory, geography, arts, traditions, flora…

Under Muslim occupation, the territory of the current municipality of Algaida was part of a larger administrative area designated under the name of "Juz of Muntuy". This "juz" included the towns of Algaida of Campos, in Llucmajor, of Montuïri of Santanyí and Ses Salines. The Muslim population did not live in large population centers, such as we know them today, and was installed around farms, called "alqueria" or "rafal", which were built on the most fertile land, with nearby water sources. These settlements would later become the village of Randa, Pina and Algaida.

The Moors built an irrigation system to improve soil fertility, as evidenced by the number of wells, tanks and "qanats" (pipes) of the country. The "qanat" (water) of Son Reus in Randa is among the most notable of such infrastructure: it extends underground for about 300 meters and is the longest underground aqueduct Mallorca.

Following the Catalan conquest in 1229, the lands of Algaida were granted to King Jaume I of Aragon and remained for a time in the royal domain, and then the king distributed to the faithful: the alqueria of Punxuat was given to Prince Peter of Portugal; the Mountain of Randa and the alqueria of Rufassa were given to the Knights Templar, and after the fall of the Templars returned to the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

InformationPractical Information

The area of Algaida is famous for its typical Majorcan cuisine and has a dozen restaurants. The most famous restaurants are Es Reco de Randa restaurant in Randa, established in Majorcan manor house and the restaurant Es 4 Vents in Algaida, located at a crossroads on the road to Manacor.

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