The first inhabitants of Felanitx and its surrounding areas arrived about 2000 years before the birth of Christ. Within the region it seems that there were two nucleus of inhabitants from the Bronze Age, one in the Castle of Santueri, the other in the "Puig de sa Mola". In both regions caves can be found, one of them is natural, the others fabricated, where those primitive tribes lived and where they also buried their dead. Later we can find the culture of the 'navetas', so called because of the buildings of large stones, which had the form of an inverted ship. The remains of importance can be found in "Son Mayol" and "Ca'n Gaià". Towards the year 1000 B.C. a rich and powerful population occupied Mallorca. It was the culture of "Talaiots", the building of living quarters, walls and defence towers, of those which are to be found within the boundaries of Felanitx the ones called "Rossels" stand out.
Antique History 3500 BC - 900 DC
It was in the year 700 B.C. when the decadence of the Talaiotic culture began. It seems that the attacks from the Greek and Phoenicians pirates ruined the Mallorcans and they joined the forces of the Carthaginians, making the "Foners" (Honderos or stone slingers) of the Balearic Islands famous, who played an important part in nearly all the big battles in the Punic wars against the Romans.
In the year 127 B.C., Quintus Cecilius Metelus, Roman General, conquered the Balearic Islands. Colonies of veteran soldiers that lived together with the indigenous descendants of the Talaiotic culture. Some Roman remains have been found in the region. It is thought that Santueri had a garrison of Romans for many years. When the Roman Empire collapsed, Mallorca was occupied by the Vandals and then by the Byzantines. In the year 902 of our age, the Muslims conquered the island, and their domination lasted until the year 1229. In Felanitx there was a nucleus of the population with a mosque where nowadays "El Sitjar" is to be found. The castle of Santueri was also a Muslim fortress.
The Middle Ages (IV - XV)
In the year 1114 the Catalans conquered Mallorca, but the following year the Muslims returned to occupy the island once again, and until the year 1229 it was not to be reconquered by the Catalans. The young Jaime I, Count of Barcelona, was in command of the troops. The first Christian in command of Felanitx and its regions was "Nunyo Sanç", Count of Rosselló. In the year 1300, the King Rey Jaime II granted charter endowment to Felanitx, together with other towns of Mallorca. The 25th of October of the year 1349 Jaime III died, the King of Mallorca, in a fight with his brother-in-law "Pere el Cerimoniós", and the kingdom of Mallorca was incorporated into the Catalan-Aragonese Federation, thus finishing in this way the Mallorcan dynasty. In the year 1410, Mallorca became part of the Crown of Castilla, and with the marriage of the Catholic King and Queen, the two branches of the dynasty (Castilla and Aragon) were unified. When Carlos I of Spain became the Spanish King and then the Emperor of Germany too, the rebellion broke out of the 'hermandades' (brotherhoods), which was a social cause against the governing class and their monopoly of privileges. In Felanitx, the assassination of "Onofre Ferrandell", the Royal Mayor, marked a crucial point in the violent acts of the "hermanados", but Felanitx, just as the rest of Mallorca, was governed for two years by the 'Hermandades'. The castle of Santueri was loyal to the King. The ring-leader of the rebellion was "Joanot Colom", who was killed when the rebellion came to an end. In the XVI, Felanitx had 4000 inhabitants, the population was mainly occupied with cultivating the land and other trades such as carders, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters amongst others.
The Modern Age (XVIII - XX)
At the end of the XIX century, the economic life of Felanitx had a lot of vitality, more than ever. A number of Public Works were done such as the Syndicate, the Ethnological Station, the Electricity Factory, the Bank of Felanitx, etc. The main source of income was wine, for this reason the train was brought to the village, to bring the grapes from other regions to the Island. In the year 1886, the Regent Queen Maria Cristina, granted the title of 'City' to Felanitx, this was the third case in Mallorca after Palma and Alcudia. The Phylloxera in the year 1890 killed off our grapes which in turn meant the loss of the French market for our wines; these resulted in the decadence of the city of Felanitx. Nowadays the people of Felanitx work in agriculture, industry and tourism.
Felanitx can be found in the central part of Mallorca, towards the east, in the flat part which is agriculturally productive.
Places of Interest
The Hermit of San Salvador is a monastery in the mountains which is situated on a summit at 509m of height. On a day of good visibility from the watching spot it is even possible to make out the neighbouring island of Menorca. The locals also visit this place at the week-ends. Their visits are a symbol for the municipality.
Portocolom is a traditional port of Mallorca, it is very tranquil and a fishing village with colourful boat shelters. It is to be found at 10 Km. to the south east, it is very picturesque thanks to the well-kept fishermen's houses and the boat shelters and the many traditional Mallorcan fishing boats that there are there.
The castle of Santueri has registered the passing of many cultures, the pre-historical, the Roman and the Arabic. But above all, it reminds us of the splendour of the Mallorcan Kings that used it as a residence. It was built in the XIV century over a Muslim fortress, which in turn, had been built over a Roman one.
Nowadays the people of Felanitx work in agriculture, industry and in tourism. It is certainly worth mentioning that its reappeared vine activity has taken the name of Felanitx to important competitions, thanks to the wine cellar ÁN Negra.
A local motorway connects Felanitx with Manacor. From Manacor, the road with doubling goes to Palma de Mallorca and another towards Inca. To see timetables and the services offered, please click here.