At the base of a peninsula, this delightful walled town was originally a Phoenician settlement and the capital of the island under the Romans. It was later destroyed by the Vandals, then rebuilt by the Moors, and prospered as a trading centre well into the 19th century. Extensively restored, the town contains many historical sites of interest.
Top 10 Sights
1 City Walls
The walls were added after the Spanish conquest in the 14th century, with a second ring added in the 17th to further defend the town. By the 19th century they had begun to show the decrepitude of age and the vagaries of town and industrial expansion, but they have now been restored almost to their original state. They are pierced with gates and incorporate 26 towers in all.
2 Historic Centre
While modern Alcúdia extends beyond the city walls and has a commercial port town attached to it (see Port d’Alcúdia), most of the sights of historic interest are located within or near the walls. These include churches, mansions, a museum and some of the island’s most significant Roman ruins.
3 Arab Quarter
The narrow streets of the old town are resonant of what life must have been like under Arab rule, long after Roman orderliness had been buried. No one knows quite where the old souk (market) was, but it’s easy to imagine artisan’s shops, with their wares spilling out onto the dusty streets.
The handsome Mediterranean-Revival-style edifice was given its present look in 1929. Above the balcony is a grand tower with clock, belfry and weathervane, its pitched roofs gaily tiled in red and green stripes.
5 Ca’n Torró Library
Opened in 1990, the library is housed in a prime example of aristocratic architecture in the 14th century.
It hosts concerts and expositions.
6 Sant Jaume Church
The 14th-century church collapsed in the winter of 1870 but was recently rebuilt. The rose window is lovely, and the inner recesses feature amazing gold altars.
7 Museu Monogràfic
Just one large room, but full of great finds, especially Roman artifacts and ceramics. Particularly intriguing are the beautiful bone pins and other implements for a Roman lady’s toilette.
8 Pollentia Ruins
The Roman city reached its peak in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. You can see the foundations of what may
have been the forum, and insulae (apartments). A few broken pillars have been propped up, but many of the stones have been removed over the centuries.
9 Teatre Romà
The island’s only intact Roman theatre is also the smallest surviving one in Spain. Even so, it would have held about 2,000 people, and today is sometimes the venue for special concerts.
10 Oratori de Sant Ana
The tiny medieval chapel, on the main road to Port d’Alcúdia, was built in the 13th century and features a stone carving of a very stocky Virgin and Child supported by an angel.