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Since the opening of the new Palma to Inca motorway, Binissalem is now bypassed by almost all of the lorries and coaches heading
north, which makes the journey along the old Ma-13a north road, which links the town to Palma, quite a relaxed drive.
Looking to the west on a clear day, there's also quite spectacular views over the plains of central Majorca towards the Sierra Tramuntana mountain ranges that dominate the western coast of the island.
A detailed version of this route, complete with links to maps where appropriate, is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page.
The first regonisable landmark when driving into the town, will undoubtedly be the magnificent Gothic church of Santa Maria of Robines, which sits proudly in the "Placa de L’esglesia" or Church Square, and is clearly visible for many miles around Binissalem.
Construction of the church originally began in the 15th Century, although in typical Mallorcan tradition the addition of the neo-Gothic bell tower wasn't actually completed until 1908. Since the year 2000, the church as also been the site of the local parish museum.
The town’s name was first recorded in its present form in the 16th Century. In fact, the area has been settled since Roman times and it was the Romans that we have to thanks for the construction of the Palma to Pollensa road, which made Binissalem an important stop on the north/south trade route that traversed the island.
It was also the Romans who recognised that the gently rolling hills of the area would be ideal for wine production, particularly because the mountains, which border the municipality to the north, protect the area from the cold northerly winds. Thanks to the presence of underground water, the area is also extremely fertile and lends itself well to grape growing.
Over the ensuing 2000 years, wine production became a staple of the local economy and Binissalem has grown to be recognised as being at the heart of the Majorcan wine industry. Although the number of vineyards began to decrease in the early 20th Century, the local wine trade has since been reinvigorated by tourist demand for genuine Majorcan wines, and vineyards currently cover an area of almost 400 hectares in the municipality.
Aside from excellent wine, one of the chief reasons for visiting the area is undoubtedly the magnificent buildings that abound in Binissalem town. The majority are constructed with the local Binissalem stone and the town is rightly famed for its architecture - it is reputedly home to more small palaces than anywhere else on the island, with the exception of Palma.
Many of the buildings in the ancient town centre actually date back to the 18th and 19th Century and, in recognition of this unique cultural heritage, in 1983 the Municipal Government of the Balearic Islands declared Binissalem a historic-artistic site, thus affording it special protection from future development.
Today Binissalem is home to around 5,000 people, known on the island as "Binissalamers", who make few, if any, concessions from their traditional Majorcan way of life to the small numbers of tourists who venture out there.
In fact, tourism has had very little impact on the town over the last 40 years, and, although a small numbers of visitors do arrive during the summer months, they are generally older tourists who use the town as a convenient base to see what still remains of the undiscovered south of Majorca, away from the over developed beach resorts and all night karaoke bars along the popular south coast.
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