Palma de Mallorca stad med operascen

Nattvy över Palma

Palma de Mallorca stad med operascen

Mallorca är en spansk ö i Medelhavet öster om Iberiska halvön och är den största ön i ögruppen Balearerna med en area på 3 640 km². Det fasta invånarantalet uppgår till cirka 862 000, varav cirka 375 800 bor i huvudstaden Palma.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Palma, in full Palma de Mallorca,  is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain.  It is situated on the south coast of the island Majorca on the Bay of Palma. As of the 2009 census, the population of the city of P proper was 401,270, and the population of the entire urban area was 621,000,  ranking as the twelfth largest urban area of Spain. Almost half of the total population of Majorca live in P . The Cabrera Archipelago, though widely separated from P proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. Its airport, Son Sant Joan, serves over 22 million passengers each year. The Marivent Palace was offered by the city to King Felipe VI of Spain. The royals have since spent their summer holidays in P .

History

Palma was founded as a Roman camp upon the remains of a Talaiotic settlement. The city was subjected to several Vandal sackings during the fall of the Western Roman Empire, then reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, then colonised by the Moors (who called it Medina Mayurqa) and, in the 13th century, by James I of Aragon.

Roman period

After the conquest of Majorca, it was loosely incorporated into the province of Tarraconensis by 123 BC; the Romans founded two new cities: Palma on the south of the island, and Pollentia in the northeast – on the site of a Phoenician settlement. Whilst Pollentia acted as port to Roman cities on the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, Palma was the port used for destinations in Africa, such as Carthage, and Hispania, such as Saguntum, Gades, and Carthago Nova. Though present-day Palma has no significant remains from this period, occasional archaeological finds are made in city-centre excavations.

Byzantine period

Though the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Muslim conquest is not well understood (due to lack of documents), there is clear evidence of a Byzantine presence in the city, as indicated by mosaics found in the oldest parts of the Cathedral, which was in early medieval times a paleo-Christian temple.

Muslim period

Between 902 and 1229, the city was under Islamic control. It remained the capital of the island and it was known as Medina Mayurqa, which in Arab means “City of Majorca”.

Under the Caliphate

The arrival of Moors in the Balearic Islands occurred at the beginning of the 8th century. During this period, the population developed an economy based on self-sufficiency and piracy, and even showed evidence of a relative hierarchy. The dominant groups took advantage of the Byzantine withdrawal due to Islamic expansion, to reinforce their domination upon the rest of the population, thus ensuring their power and the gradual abandonment of Imperial structures.

In 707, a Muslim fleet, under the command of Abd Allgaht ibn Musa, son of the governor of Ifriqiya, Musa ibn Nusayr, stopped at the island. It appears that Abd Allah convinced the factional powers of the city to accept a peace treaty. This treaty granted, in exchange for a tax, respect for social, economic and political structures to the communities that subscribed it, as well as the continuity of their religious beliefs..

After 707, the city was inhabited by Christians who were nominally in allegiance to the sovereignty of the Caliphate of Damascus, yet who, de facto, enjoyed an absolute autonomy. The city, being in Majorca, constituted an enclave between western Christian and Islamic territories, and this attracted and encouraged increased levels of piracy in the surrounding waters. For wide sectors of the city’s population, the sacking of ships (whether Muslim or Christian) which passed through Balearic waters, was the first source of riches during the next fifteen decades. Eventually, the continued piracy in the region lead to retaliation by Al-Andalus which launched its naval power against the city and the whole of the Islands. The Islands were defended by the emperor Charlemagne in 799 from a Saracen pirate incursion.

In 848 (maybe 849), four years after the first Viking incursions had sacked the whole island, an attack from Córdoba forced the authorities to ratify the treaty to which the city had submitted in 707. As the city still occupied an eccentric position regarding the commerce network established by the Caliph in the western Mediterranean, the enclave was not immediately incorporated into Al-Andalus.

While the Caliphate of Córdoba reinforced its influence upon the Mediterranean, the interest of Al-Andalus for the city increased. The logical consequence of this evolution was the substitution of the submission treaty by the effective incorporation of the islands to the Islamic state. This incorporation took place in the last years of the Emirate. a squad under the command of Isam al-Jawlani took advantage of the instability caused by several Viking incursions and disembarked in Majorca, and after destroying any resistance, incorporated Majorca, with Palma as its capital, to the Cordoban dominions.

The incorporation of the city to the Emirate sets the basis for a new social organisation, far more articulated and complex than before. Commerce and manufacture developed in a manner that was unknown previously. This caused a considerable demographic growth, thereby establishing Medina Mayurqa as one of the major ports for trading goods in and out of the Caliphate of Córdoba.

Dénia—Balearic taifa (1015–1087)

The Umayyad regime, despite its administrative centralisation, mercenary army and struggle to gain wider social support, could neither harmonise the various ethnic groups inside al-Andalus nor dissolve the old tribal bounds which still organised sporadic ethnic in-fighting. During the 11th century, the Caliphate’s control waned considerably. Provinces broke free from the central Cordoban administration, and became effectively sovereign states – taifas – under the same governors that had been named by the last Umayyad Caliphs. According to their origin, these “taifas” can be grouped under three broad categories: Arabian, Berber, or Slavic origin.

Palma was part of the taifa of Dénia. The founder of this state was a client of the Al-Mansur family, Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, who could take profit from the progressive crumbling of the Caliphate’s superstructure to gain control over the province of Dénia. Subsequently, Muyahid organised a campaign throughout the Balearic Islands to consolidate this district and incorporated them to its “taifa” in early 1015.

During the following years Palma became the main port from where attacks on Christian vessels and coasts could be launched. Palma was the base from where a campaign against Sardinia was launched between 1016 and 1017, which caused the intervention of Pisans and Genoese forces. Later, this intervention set the basis for Italian mercantile penetration of the city.

The Denian dominion lasted until 1087, a period during which the city, as well as the rest of the islands, was relatively peaceful. Their supremacy at sea was still not rivalled by the Italian merchant republics, thus there were few external threats.

Balearic Taifa (1087 – 1115) and Western Mediterranean

The Banu Hud conquest of Dénia and the incorporation of this to the Eastern district of the taifa of Zaragoza meant the destruction of the work of Muyahid. The islands were freed from mainland dominion and briefly enjoyed independence, during which Medina Mayurqa was the capital.

The economy during this period depended on both agriculture and piracy. In the latter 11th century, Christian commercial powers took the initiative at sea against the Muslims. After centuries of fighting defensively in the face of Islamic pressure, Italians, Catalans and Occitans took offensive action. Consequently, the benefits of piracy diminished causing severe economic stress on the city.

The clearest proof of the new ruling relation of forces, from 1090, is the Crusade organised by the most important mercantile cities of the Christian states against the Islands. This effort was destined to finally eradicate Muslim piracy mainly based in Palma and surrounding havens. In 1115, Palma was sacked and later abandoned by an expedition commanded by Ramon Berenguer III the Great, count of Barcelona and Provence, which comprised Catalans, Pisans and other Italians, and soldiers from Provence, Corsica, and Sardinia, in a struggle to end Almoravid control.

After this, the Islands became part of the Almoravid Caliphate. The inglobement of all the taifa to a larger state helped to re-establish a balance along the frontier that separated western Christian states from the Muslim world.

Period of the Banu Ganiya (1157 – 1203)

The situation changed in the mid-12th century, when the Almoravids, were displaced from al-Andalus and western Maghreb by the Almohad. Almoravid dominions, from 1157 on, were restricted to the Balearic Islands, with Palma again acting as the capital, governed by Muhammad ibn Ganiya. Massive arrival of al-Andalus refugees contributed to reinforce the positions of the last Almoravid legitimatists, the Banu Ganiya, who, conscious of their weakness in the Western Mediterranean context, started to get closer to the growing powers represented by Italian maritime republics. Genoa and Pisans obtained in this period their first commercial concessions in the city and the rest of the islands.

The Banu Ganiya, taking advantage of the great loss suffered by Abu Yuqub Yusuf in the Siege of Santarém (1184), attacked Ifriqiya, where the Almohad dominion had not been consolidated yet, in the same year. However, this attack was repelled and the Almohad authorities encouraged anti-Almoravid revolts in the Islands. The city was captured by the Almohads in 1203.

Christian reconquest and late Middle Ages

On December 31, 1229, after three months of siege, the city was reconquered by James I of Aragon and was renamed Palma de Mallorca. In addition to being kept as capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, it was given a municipality that comprised the whole island. The governing organ was the University of the City and Kingdom of Majorca. After the death of James I of Aragon, Palma was joint capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, together with Perpignan. His son, James II of Majorca, championed the construction of statues and monuments in the city: Bellver Castle, the churches of St. Francesc and St. Domingo, reformed the Palace of Almudaina and began the construction of the Cathedral of Majorca.

Abraham Cresques was a 14th-century Jewish cartographer of the Majorcan cartographic school from Palma; Cresques is credited with the authorship of the famous Catalan Atlas.

The river that cut through the city gave rise to two distinct areas within the city; “Upper town” and “Lower town”, depending upon which side of the river they were situated.

The city’s privileged geographical location allowed it to keep extensive commerce with Catalonia, Valencia, Provence, the Maghreb, the Italian republics and the dominions of the Great Turk, which heralded a golden age for the city.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Rebellion of the Brotherhoods (a peasant uprising against Charles V’s administration) and the frequent attack of Turkish and Berber pirates caused a reduction of commercial activities and a huge inversion in defensive structures. As a consequence, the city entered a period of decadence that would last till the end of the 17th century.

17th to 19th centuries

The 17th century is characterised by the division of the city in two sides or gangs, named Canamunts and Canavalls (from Majorcan Catalan “the ones from the upper/lower side”), with severe social and economical repercussions. During this period the port became a haven for corsairs. During the last quarter of the century, the Inquisition reinforced its prosecution of the Jews, locally named xuetes.

The fall of Barcelona in 1714 meant the end of the War of the Spanish Succession and the defeat and destruction of the Crown of Aragon, and this was reflected on the Nueva Planta decrees, issued by Philip V of Spain in 1715. These occupation decrees changed the government of the island and separated it from the municipality’s government of Palma, which became the official city name. By the end of the 19th century, the name Palma de Mallorca was generalised in written Spanish, although it is still colloquially named Ciutat (“city”) in Catalan. In the 18th century Charles III of Spain removed interdiction of commerce with Spanish colonies in America and the port and commercial activity of the city grew once again.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Palma became the refuge of many who had exiled themselves from the Napoleonic occupation of Catalonia and Valencia; during this period freedom flourished, until the absolutist restoration. With the establishing of the contemporary Spanish state administrative organization, Palma became the capital of the new province of Balearic Islands in the 1833 territorial division of Spain. The French occupation of Algeria in the 19th century ended the fear of Maghrebi attacks in Majorca, which favoured the expansion of new maritime lines, and consequently, the economic growth of the city, which suffered a demographic increase, with the birth of a new nucleus of population.

Modern period

Since the 1950s, the advent of mass tourism radically changed the face of both the city and island, transforming it into a centre of attraction for visitors and attracting workers from mainland Spain. This contributed to a huge change in the traditions, the sociolinguistic map, urbanisation and acquisitive power.

The boom in tourism caused Palma to grow significantly, with repercussions on immigration. In 1960, Majorca received 500,000 visitors, in 1997 it received more than 6,739,700. In 2001 more than 19,200,000 people passed through Son Sant Joan airport near Palma, with an additional 1.5 million coming by sea.

In the 21st century, urban redevelopment, by the so-called Pla Mirall (English “Mirror Plan”), attracted important groups of immigrant workers from outside the European Union, especially from Africa and South America.

Länktips

In English

Länk till Teatre Principal de Palma

 

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