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Since the opening of the new Palma to Inca motorway, Marratxi 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.
On a good day an experienced driver should be able to complete the journey from Palma in around 10 - 15 minutes, however, as in the UK if you get stuck behind a lorry or tractor, this may increase the driving time substantially.
Overall the municipal district of Marratxi has several large, at least by Majorcan standards, centres of population. These are Pont d'Inca (16,518 people), Pla de na Tesa (3,304), Pòrtol (2,640) and sa Cabaneta (5,748). The population has increased rapidly since the mid 1990's due to the proliferation of new developments that offer good road and rail links to Palma. The local economy is dominated by agriculture, although significant employment is also provided by traditional pottery manufacture and large shopping complexes.
Marratxi is also the location of the first civilian airfield on the island, the Aeródromo de Son Bonet. This was originally built during the 1920's as an alternative to the military airport at Son Sant Joan, and the first commercial flight took off in 1927.
Despite being developed for civilian use, the airport was used but the Italians during the Spanish Civil War as a base for bombing missions to the mainland. In the late 1940's the airport was equipped to receive international and civilian domestic flights but the airport could not accommodate larger aircraft, or extend its runway, and the majority of services were transferred to Majorca’s main airport in July 1959. However, it is still in operation today and deals with around 8,000 flights a year.
The archaeological remains found in the municipality of Marratxi prove that the area was populated by almost all the civilizations that have inhabited Mallorca, including the Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Medieval Christian cultures. In 1229 the Catalan conquered Mallorca which had been under Muslim rule for 300 years. King Jaume I divided the conquered land and gave Marratxi to Berenguer de Palou, the Bishop of Barcelona.
The first parish church to be built in the municipality was Santa Maria de Marratxi, and was founded in the 13th Century, with the Church of Sant Marcal in Sa Cabaneta following almost 400 years later at the end of the 17th Century, this being a place of pilgrimage that united the people in their devotion to the patron saint of Marratxi.
A walk around any of the villages or town in the municipality today, is likely reveal large number of pepper pods drying outside the houses. These are used to produce the spice known as "Peore board", a vital ingredient of the traditional Sobrassada sausage.
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