1.1 Prehistoric Times
The archaeological remains show that the human occupation of Artá began in the pre-talaiotic period although the majority of findings that can be seen today correspond to the megalithic talaiotic period (the town of 'Ses Païsses' and 'talaiot de sa Canova').
1.2 Antique History (3500 BC - 900 AD)
Without a doubt, the Roman domination also left its mark and during the Muslims period, the peninsula of Artá (Yartan) was one of the thirteen districts into which the island of Mallorca had been divided. This district included what are today the municipalities of Capdepera and Son Servera.
1.3 The Middle Ages (IV - XV)
The foundation of the village is connected to the arrival of some monks who, during the Christian reconquest founded the priory of Santa María de Bellpuig. Until the XV century, the name of the village was "Almudaina" and the name of Artá designated all the territory of the district.
1.4 The Modern Age (XVIII - XX)
Between the XVI and XVIII century, the population increased considerably. The main economic activities were agricultural although there was also a considerable amount of activity in the textile industry.
In the year 1820 the town of Artá suffered the terrible consequences of the plague which caused more than 1.200 victims. In the XIX century the separation of Capdepera and Son Servera took place. Artá still functioned under the one man land ownership system where the landowners were the owners of the best part of the lands of the municipality. At the end of the century, the manufacture of the 'palmito' craft work made from the leaves of the palm tree acquired importance and which employed mainly women workers, which became an indispensable complementary income for the livelihood of many peasant families. In the year 1880, the division in plots of the northwest lands of the estate of "Ferrutx" gave way to the urban nucleus called "Colònia de Sant Pere". This was an agricultural colony which throughout the XX century has acquired a touristic function without losing its traditional character.
In the year 1921 the railway line which connects Artá with Manacor was inaugurated, and as from the sixties, the economy of the municipality varied owing to the touristic boom.
2. Its place on the map
To see the whereabouts of Arta on the map, please click on the link.
3. Outstanding Features
Talaiotic remains of Ses Païses. The territory of Artà was inhabited since a long time ago as the numerous archaeological findings go to show. Of all these, the most outstanding is the talaiotic town of 'Ses Païses', which is the most important and characteristic of the oriental zone of the island of Mallorca.
San Salvador. San Salvador is, without doubt, the most emblematic place of Artà. It is an architectural place surrounded by a wall and in its interior there is a sanctuary. It is possible to arrive there by climbing the 180 steps which begin at the parish church. Its elevated position gives the visitor a privileged view of the town of Artà and all the municipality.
Parish Church of the transfiguration. The present church is of a Gothic style with one nave with a cross vault. The building began in the year 1573 and replaced the antique parish temple. At the beginning of the XVII century the main part of the building was finished, although the complete work was not finished until the beginning of the XIX century (1816).
Regional Museum of Artà. This museum was founded in the year 1927 through the initiative of a group of learned men of Artà, people interested in the study of the historic, archaeological and cultural events of the region.
Priory of Santa María of Bellpuig. In the territory of Bellpuig, at about 3 km to the southeast of the village, the origins of the priory of Santa María de Bellpuig date back to the XIII, when due to the Catalonian conquest, Jaime I gave to the canons (in 1230) of the Catalonian abbey of Bellpuig de les Avellanes, eight farmhouses situated to the north oriental side of Mallorca.
Hermit of Belén. At about 10 km of the nucleus of the population, the 'ermita de Belén' is situated within the antique estate of Ferrutx. It was founded in the year 1805 by members of the hermit communities of Randa and Valldemossa, with the donation of a small plot of land by Jaume Morey to the hermits and with the economic help of other benefactors such as the Cardinal Antoni Despuig.
Na Alcaldesa. This mansion was given to the Town Hall in the year 1986 and has become a public building with a variety of functions. Its rooms include two exhibition halls, a centre of information for youths and a library. At present it also has deposited the documentary of the artist Miquel Barceló. Next to it is the Municipal Theatre.
Franciscan Convent of San Antonio de Padua. The construction of this convent dates back to the XVII century. The church is of one nave only, with tunnel vault and of moderate proportions. It has five chapels on each side. The cloister has the form of a square with twenty four columns and twenty arches made from sandstone. The cistern is in the centre.
To see some interesting facts about its demography and others about its population, please, click here.
Artà is a town with an agricultural and touristic nature. It has fruit crops such as almond nuts, oranges, lemons, medlars, vineyards and olives, as well as the craft work from the leaves of the palm tree. The touristic centre is concentrated above all in the Colonia de San Pedro.
Look on the link to see the Education Centres of the municipality of Artà and some websites.
In the year 1921 the railway line was inaugurated, it connects Artà with Manacor. Years later, the line was closed. After many protests by the neighbours of the zone of the 'Levante' of Mallorca, as for example, the walk in favour of the train which occurs every year on the old railway line. Since 2009, there is a project for the return of the train on the same route as previously. It would be a tram with a connection to the train of Manacor and would go to Sant Llorenç, Son Servera and finally Artà. The townspeople of Capdepera also want a station, but it is more complicated because there are no anterior rail lines, although several projects are being studied.
Coach and local bus
There is the bus route which has a connection from Cala Rajada with Manacor by train. There is also the bus route Cala Rajada-Palma, bus only.
8. Sport and Entertainment
The main sports installation is the 'Campo Municipal de Ses Pesqueres'. It has a football field of artificial grass, and it is the home ground of the team the 'Club Deportivo Artà'. Since the year l975, Artà has a Municipal Sports Ground with the name 'Na Caragol' and is to be found in the neighbourhood of the same name. It has a court area for playing games of basketball, volleyball and 5 a-side football. However, as at the moment the town does not have a 5 a-side football team, in the case of this sport it is only used for friendly matches and festival tournaments. It also has an outdoor court, 3 tennis courts, a swimming pool and a running/footing track.
8.1 Golf Courses
The nearest installations for playing golf are the Pula Golf, Canyamel Golf, Capdepera Golf and the Club de Golf de Son Servera.
9. Special Events
Artà is considered to be in its area and has a name as being a town of festivities. The active participation in all the main festivals, always respecting tradition, is something characteristic and something which gives it even more splendour . There are a number of special events and celebrations which take place.
Reyes: 5th of January.The 3 Kings day or 3 wise men of the Orient visit the town and give out presents.
Celebrations of Saint Antoni in Artà : This is the most well-loved and popular of the festivities by the locals of Artà. It is in honour of the saint San Antonio Abad, which is also a day celebrated in other parts of the Balearic Islands and in some places in Catalonia. Artà it is one of the towns where more people get together in relation to its number of inhabitants, the celebrations last for two days.
16th of January: In the morning the la Capta takes place. There are two devils which are the protagonists of the celebration and they go all over the town dancing in certain pre-programmed areas. Throughout the morning it is possible to do well over a hundred dances. It is called 'su Capta' because it was the custom for the workers to go around collecting money for the Saint, something which is still done nowadays but it is not considered as important as it used to be, nowadays it is of secondary importance. In the evening, the end of the celebrations, known as 'la ida a Completas', is celebrated (it consists of a walk on foot to the church singing songs which are typical of this festivity) and the actual act of ending the 'Completas' takes place inside the church and as the church is not big enough for so many people, there are many people outside who do not want to miss out on this very emotional ceremony. After this the bonfires are lighted with the two devils dancing again.
17th of January: This is the actual date of the festivity. It is the day that there is a parade on horseback and the blessings. Artà is the only town that makes a difference between the two and separates them. In other places they go round once and this is also the blessing. It is the first act of the festivities where the saint is represented. After this, there is some dancing in front of the Town Hall and then it is the turn of the church where a Mass is celebrated. Having finished the act which is probably the most religious of all the celebration, everyone returns to the church to finish off by singing the 'Argumento'. This is a series of songs which narrate the most important things that occurred in the village the previous year. Artà is the village where this tradition has been conserved for the longest time without stop and is of the few that still conserve it.
Fiestas de San Pedro: These festivities at the end of June are the patron saint celebrations of the Colonia de San Pedro. A variety of events takes place over several days of which the most outstanding is the firework display from the sea.
Fiestas de San Salvador de Artà: This is the most important of all for Artà and it is celebrated during the first week of August. Nowadays it usually lasts a week but, a few years ago they sometimes lasted two weeks. A variety of different events take place of which the most outstanding for percentage of participation the 'correfocs', the dancing, the popular race known as the Marathon, wheelbarrow race, concert for the young, the walking around the streets of the 'Cabezudos' (a large headed figure made of pasteboard), Cycling Track of San Salvador, exhibitions and many others.
The Fair of Artà, the second Sunday of September is another very important date on the calendar of yearly festivities. This fair traditionally an agricultural and livestock fair, with the passing of the years many more events and exhibitions have been incorporated, which in turn has given it a more commercial and managerial character.
There are all types of animal shows organised, as well as craftwork, industrial machines, cars and a number of street stands distributed all over the centre of the village where you can find all types of useful objects. Besides all this, there are other cultural events to complete the day.
The town market takes place every Tuesday of the year, if they are not festivity days, in the square known as the 'Plaza del Conquistador.'
Artá is a lovely village in which stands out the 'ermita de Sant Salvador', as if it were a castle in the middle of the town. Its streets, market squares and people are hospitable and welcoming. The Colonia de San Pedro, as a municipality, is an ideal place to go on holiday and enjoy the sun and beach of Mallorca.
If you wish to see the properties available for sale that Inmobiliaria Nova, your Estate Agency in Mallorca, has drawn up for you in Artà, please click on the link:
Cottages in Arta