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A climb up the hill from Capdepera to the castle is well worth the effort, after the villagers moved out it was largely forgotten and suffered from nearly 200 years of neglect and decay before it was acquired by the municipal authorities in 1983. After this, the property was fully restored and it is now a popular tourist attraction.
It is very interesting to walk inside the castle to get a taste of what life must have been like living behind the walls of this impressive fortress. In the castle’s interior one can find the Casa del Gobernador, one of the few original dwellings still preserved inside the castle and there is also the church of San Juan to explore, which was extended many times as the local community grew. Inside the church there is a carving of Christ dating from the 14th or 15th Century and the Gothic statue of the Verge de l'Esperança, the patron saint of Capdepera, which has been venerated since the 16th Century.
Perched as it is on the top of a hill, the castle affords excellent views of the surrounding area. After you walk back down into the village you might like to stop for refreshments at the beautiful little Café El Sitjar in the town square.
A fiesta is held at the castle during the third weekend of May, which features a colourful medieval style market. Fiestas are also held in the town itself, the most significant being held in late August in honour of Sant Bartomeu. A day of sporting activities, processions and horse races is followed by some truly spectacular evening entertainment known as "The Night of Fire". This consists of a huge firework display, which is accompanied by groups of dancers dressed up as demons, who run through the large crowds of tourists and locals performing dances and waving sparklers.
If you happen to be in the municipality in the week before Christmas then be sure not to miss the festival of "Nuestra Senyora de Esperanca" which is held in the town on December 18th each year. This winter warmer features parades, singing and dancing and open bonfires, where meat is roasted over the flames. Given the lack of tourists at this time of the year, if you are lucky enough to attend then you know you are experiencing a slice of real Majorca.
Fiestas aside, there is plenty more of interest within the municipality and golf lovers will find one of the best courses on the island just outside the town. Capdepera golf course is set in stunning countryside and its 15th hole was recently voted as the best hole on the island by Majorca magazine. The course is also home to the Roca Viva restaurant, which is renowned for its excellent Majorcan cuisine. The course is located on the road between Capdepera and Arta.
An organisation based in Magaluf in the south of the island called "Mallorca Golf Connection", are the
official TUI Thomson golf booking agency for Majorca. If approached, they can organise on your behalf
tee-off times, transport to and from the course and discounted green fees. Contract details for more
Mallorca Golf Connection
Avenida Solivera 5
Telephone: +34 971 221 973
Fax: +34 971 221 974
Web site: www.mallorcagolfholidays.com
If you are visiting the municipality then hiring a car is worthwhile as the region has a beautiful coastline which stretches to around 25km. It abounds with small rocky coves and fine sandy beaches and the small seaside village of Canyamel, just south of Capdepera village, is particularly lovely and holds its own little fiesta at the end of July.
The nearby Regional Museum of Arta is also well worth a visit. It was founded in 1927 by a group of scholars from the town who were committed
to the study of the cultural, historical and archaeological features of the region. The museum is split into three distinct areas:
an ethnological section which displays diverse objects such as Majorcan textiles, implements for spinning,
and an extensive collection of articles made out of palm fibre; the natural history section, which has displays of birds, insects, and fossils etc,
and the archaeological section - with displays of pottery, bronze, iron, and bone from different periods of Majorcan prehistory.
Many of the exhibits on show have either been donated from private collections, or were found during archaeological digs that the museum
has carried out over the years. Contact details for more information are:
The Regional Museum of Arta Foundation
Calle de l'Estel 4
Tel: +34 971 829 778
A visit to the Cave of Arta is another must. The entrance to the cave is set into a cliff face and has spectacular views over the sea. Many famous people have visited in the past and left their signature in the guest book in the entrance - these include the writers Jules Verne, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas and the actress Sarah Bernhardt.
The most famous feature of the caves is the impressive 22m "Palm Trunk" stalagmite - it was widely reported that in 1941 the British Museum
was so impressed by the stalagmite that it tried to buy it for £25,000! The caves are open throughout the year from 10am each day,
and a guided tour is available, with commentaries in Spanish, French, English and German, which normally last between 25 and 40 minutes.
For more information and admission prices contact details for the caves are:
Cuevas de Arta
Carretera de las Cuevas
Tel: +34 971 841 293
Web site: www.cuevasdearta.com
However, perhaps the most impressive attraction in Arta is a visit the Sanctuary of Sant Salvador. The Sanctuary dates back to the 14th Century, and today is the home to an small effigy of the seated Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her lap, which is believed to be one of the oldest figures in Majorca that is still used for worship.
The walled grounds that surround the Sanctuary, were added during the 16th Century to defend against the frequent attacks from marauding pirates, although much of what you see today is the results of restoration works carried out in during the late 1960’s.
A trip to Sant Salvador is certainly not recommended for those with mobility problems, as there are 180 steps leading up to the Sanctuary which begin at the Parish Church of Transfiguració in Arta. The views from the top are well worth the climb and the Sanctuary is widely recognised as being one of the most impressive sights in Majorca.
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