Pollença - A history of the old town. Remains have been found suggesting that the area in which Pollença is located today was once occupied as long ago as 2000 BC.
In 123 BC the Romans arrived in Mallorca and set themselves up in an area close to modern day Alcudia. They named their settlement Pollentia from where, many hundreds of years later, Pollença got its name. Today, the ruins of the Pont Romà, a bridge built by the Romans to span the Torrent de Sant Jordi, can still be seen on the outskirts of Pollença.
Any settlement situated on the current site of the Town was presumed to have been ransacked by the Vandals around the year 440 and its inhabitants fled inland.
The Town we know today was founded by Arabs in the late 12th century. In the 13th century, under a campaign headed by King Jaime I, the Arabs were ousted by the Knights Templar, a wealthy and powerful military order of Catholics and the Island of Mallorca was split into regions, with the Knights being given Pollença, by the King.
Plaça Major, the main square of Pollença is dominated by the large church, Parròquia de la Mare de Déu del Àngels (Parish of Our Lady of the Angels) which was partly built by the Knights.
The era of the Knights Templar, as an effective military and religious order came to an end across Europe in the 14th century and as a consequence they left the Island of Mallorca.
There then followed a prolonged period of repeated attacks by pirates, buccaneers and marauding bands, the most famous of which is the Moorish invasion of 1550. History tells us of a local man, Joan Mas, who led a small band of Pollençans against the Moors and being armed with only sticks they were still able to repel the enemy. This event is celebrated annually on the 2nd August by a mock battle which takes place within the Town.
The Jesuits arrived in Pollença in 1697 and constructed a church, Monti Sion, situated close to the foot of the Calvari steps.
Although much of the town dates back to medieval times and Catalan culture coupled with other Christian influences is evident in most of Pollença’s historic buildings, the majority of the houses you see today were built in the 17th and 18th centuries.