Alcúdia is described by many as one of the most monumental cities of Mallorca, occupying an extension of 60km2. Together with the neighbouring town of Pollença they have both enjoyed times of great splendor throughout the past although most of its history was written over anvils and spears.
The battle of the "Brotherhoods" throughout the sixteenth century is a true reflection of Alcudia`s war ridden past, paving the way for the evolution of the area which began with the construction of the great wall which surrounded the city, remains of which can still be observed today. This wall was built over two periods of time, beginning in 1298 to protect the city from the constant raids from pirates. The second and final phase of construction took place a few centuries later, throughout the seventeenth century. The new wall protected the city until the nineteenth century when the local authorities decided to remove it. The stones from the wall were later used via prisoners from the Spanish Civil War to build the road which nowadays still joins Alcudia to its port.
It was not until 1963, when the remains of the wall were declared a Historical Monument. The architectonic and cultural heritage of Alcudia is vast. Walking down the windy streets and alleys of the old medieval town is like a journey to the past despite traditions being kept very much alive through to the present day.
The greatest historical legacy of this town, as well as its walls, is the Roman city of Pollentia, founded by the Roman Quinto Cecilio Metelo in 123 BC and built over the ruins of an ancient talayotic village. This city was destroyed by the vandals on the fifth century AC. The dimensions of Pollentia were and are impressive. The remains have been relatively well preserved, especially around the Roman theatre, located 1 km from the town. Close to the theatre plenty of graves dug into the rocks were discovered, since this area was previously used as a cemetery by the Saracens. From the tenth to the thirteenth century the Moors ruled over Alcudia and Pollença which passed on to form part of the Albûlansa District. This was so until the Christian King James I ended his quest and recovered the island which he then split into eight parts. The Northern area was mostly given to the Temple Knights Order.
The best way to get to know the historical remains of Alcudia, as well as strolling down its streets, is to visit the Monographic Museum of Pollentia, located in a fifteenth century building which was once a hospital. This is to be found close to St James Church (patron saint of Alcudia), a gothic monument. Despite the temple dating back to the end of the thirteenth century, which was also when the rectory and the cemetery were built, a small oratory had existed there before. There are many other sites to be visited due to their great artistic and historical value. We would like to highlight the Oratory of Saint Ana (one of the most ancient gothic churches in Mallorca, located very close to the Roman theatre), Son Fe Hermitage, Saint Martin’s Oratory (located in an underground cave) and St Victoria´s Sanctuary (found 450 meters above sea level on a likewise named mountain). Close to this last monument the Atalaya of Alcudia (once catalogued as the tallest defensive tower of the island) is found. The Atalaya was built along the sixteenth century, though two centuries later it was destroyed by a storm. Despite some partial reforms, few remains are left. This site however is an excellent view point from which to see the bays of Alcudia and Pollença. Two islets (Alcanada and Es Porros) preside the bay of Alcudia . It is interesting to know that Es Porros was an ancient necropolis from talayotic times which belonged to the now neighbouring town of Santa Margalida.
According to the legend, along the whole coast of Alcudia Roman shipwrecks are to be found. Sometimes myths become real and some ships were discovered and studied thoroughly. What is certainly true is that this area can boast of some of the best beaches on the island which tend to attract both tourists and locals alike. If you are looking for more secluded spaces you will have to discover the many hidden and hard to access coves scattered along the bay.
Another recommended trip would be to visit the Port of Alcudia (the original port dates back to Medieval times). However, the first official registers of a licensed port are first mentioned on some nautical maps belonging to the sailor Angelino Dulcet back in 1327. Once at the port one can make the most of their time by enjoying the wonderful fresh fish and seafood served in many of the local restaurants.
Local festivities take place on the 25th of July in honour of Saint James. The 2nd of July hosts the festival of the Hermitage of Saint Victoria with people walking from Alcudia to the mountain and once there celebrating by eating “panades” (local pastry usually wrapping a vegetable and meat filling). Another tradition which is still kept though no one recalls its origins consists in godfathers giving their godsons/daughters a necklace of sweets on the day of their communion, known as “rotllo”.
An open air market is held every Tuesday and Sunday at Victoria Square.