Antique History 3500 BC - 900 AD
The Romans also left their mark in Santanyí. Remains have been found such as a variety of types of images and pottery in the burial cave of the sa Mare de Déu, in Cas Traginer or in Son Cosme Ponç, where the Roman village more than likely settled. The archaeological research indicates that they could possibly have been here for two centuries, one group in the area of Son Danús and another in the zone of Calonge.
The Middle Ages (IV - XV)
There is written evidence that in the Islamic era, Santanyí formed part of the district of Manacor, with the name of Adeia. There is also written evidence that in Alqueria Blanca there was a mosque and in the farmhouse of Santanyí they talked about houses of the Saracen style in the last quarter of the XIII century. Nowadays we still conserve some place names such as Albocora, S?Almunia, Benilassar (Son Danús), Binigebidi (es Rafal donis Porcs) or Mandalmar (es Llombards).
After the Catalan conquest by the King Jaume I, in the year 1229, Santanyí was given in the sharing out to Nunó Sanç, Count of Roussillon and Sardinia, and on his death it was returned to the King. In the year 1242 reference is made of the municipality and the parish of Santanyí. It is believed that the first church was built between 1248 and 1265. A few years later, in the year 1300, the King Jaume II granted the methodical arrangements for the foundation of the village and the way the village should be built.
Between the XIV and XVII century, the coast of Santanyí was the scene of numerous attacks by corsair pirates, originating from the north of Africa, who were taking refuge in Cabrera. In defence, they organized a system of watchtowers, defence towers and sentries, especially between the months of April and September, when the raids were more frequent. In case of danger, they communicated from the watchtowers with smoke (and fire) signals. The interior villages, such as Porreres, Montuïri and Felanitx, also contributed to the defence of the coast, because they also felt they were in danger. Of the numerous raids, it is worth giving a mention to the one that took place on the 3rd of October of the year 1531, when after ransacking the village, the Muslims captured a number of the inhabitants. As a result, about forty families decided to abandon the municipality. Some years later, in 1546, the pirates captured 36 people, that were later returned to their families, after paying a ransom of 2.050 escudos. The fear of these raids still continued in the XVIII century with the result that they decided to build the fort of Cala Llonga to confront these attacks with more guarantees.
From the Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment (XVI - XVIII)
The administrative side of the municipality was consolidated in the XIV century. The representative of the King was the Royal Mayor, and the first one that appears documented on paper is Ramon Albert, of the year 1311. Santanyí was represented in the 'Consejo del Sindicato' and in the 'Grande y General Consejo'. The year 1329 the population of Santanyí was of 570 inhabitants, as well as some slaves that in the year 1427 were 4'8% of the population.
The Modern Age (XIX ? XX)
During the XIX, century the cacique period, the terrible conditions of the population in the year 1868 resulted in a popular revolt against the public treasury which ended in a fire and the burning of the files of the municipality. During the first half of the XIX century the population increased greatly and went from 4.436 inhabitants in 1825 to 5.439 in 1845. In the middle of the century, the population became stagnate. During this century there were strong demographic crises and, as from the year 1860, a notable immigration to Algeria began, towards the interior of Mallorca and even to Menorca. The reason was that Santanyí, in those days, was a poor municipality. In the year 1897 the construction of the 'Casa de la Villa' was approved and is the same one as today, but with an added extension due to the buying of the neighbouring property. Everything changed as from the second half of the XX century with the arrival of tourism.
As from the 1950s the first visitors began to arrive. Tourism was to change all the demographic structures of the municipality, which changed from being a transmitter of immigration to a receiver of immigrants. It was about, people from the Peninsula, especially from the south, who were attracted by the job offer which tourism generates. This demographic increase is very accentuated as from the l980s. It is about an increase based on the necessity of a work force to cover the necessities of the tourist industry and all the economic activity that it generates.