Minorca – a jewel in the Balearic Islands

Minorca – a juwel in the Mediterranean with love on second sight!

Discover Menorca in 18th, 19th and 20th century!

Minorca is a surprisingly small island with a huge history, art and heritage. Learn about the island during the 18th to 20th century and today’s tranquility, the many secret beaches and the amazingly fresh air!

When strolling through the capital city MAHON, not far from the Placa Minor, you cannot miss the renovated monumental and representative building made in the beautiful Maré stone. This Maré has an old tradition and is excavated in the north of the island, just around Ciutadella, the other capital of the island.

If you take a glimpsethrough he back door of the building, you will see the elegant, royal stairs  leading to the 1st floor of the three-stories building. The modern entrance you will find around the corner

Opening up into a very modern, contemporary palace built in this precious stone, glass and fine stainless steel pretend a transparency and a cool atmosphere.  This Museum of History had been opened only two years ago (2015)

and is a showcase of the Minorcan History in seven chapters. The owner of this wonderful place was the family Oliver – one of the most important and successful bourgoise family. Llorens Oliver Morillo (1766-1810) started with the diversification of the family business, which was seatrade in the Mediterranean and expanded to more countries as far as in the Atlantic and South America.  The extraordinary port of Mahon  – the world’s second largest natural harbor of 4,5 km length – after Pearl Harbour) was very helpful for this business.

Senor Oliver even had a tower on top floor to be able to watch the harbor from above.

After entering the counter and moving to the original entrance hall, we were asked by Marc if we would need a brief explanation in English or Spanish language. Marc is a very friendly and polite historian in this museum and he explained to us the magnificent wall painting at the end of this amazing staircase. Senor Oliver had asked the Sizilian painter …..to paint on an exclusive basis the wonderful Sicilian land scene for his family in his house. So we can imagine how wealthy the family Oliver has been at that time.

In another chapter we learn about the presence of the British in the 18th century, which has definitely influences the individual character of the island. You even find Minorcan words which are clearly of English origin: here just some samples:

Grevi = gravy  / Estepel = staple / Tornescru   turnscrew / Boi = boy

That is why you shouldn’t be surprised to see so many British tourists coming for their summer holiday or are even resident in their own houses.

I had noticed that more and more French people are visiting the island lately and even purchase summer houses. I welcome this as the taste of the French visitors is definitely more sophisticated. This shows also in more and nicer restaurants, elegant boutiques.

The hotel “Can Faustino” in Ciutadella – a “Relais & Chateaux Resort”,  is owned by French investors. The hotel interior decoration was done by no one less than André Putman from Paris – and it shows! The old noble house has been carefully given a contemporary touch and even the lovely garden has remarkable corners with excellent furniture and al fresco dining.

I am mentioning all this because it is worthwhile to visit Minorca and even Mallorcans come in summertime to escape the noisy and heavy traffic in Palma and not to mention the thousands of low budget tourists from Germany and England.

On a last note: In the same Calle as the Museum opened lately a wonderful hotel with only 12 rooms “LADICO” with a garden and pool. This noble palace had been decorated by the interior architects of !AQUITANIA! the best shop for furniture and decoration, lamp etc in Mahon.

Info:

History Museum, Calle Anuncivay, 2. 07701 Mahon

Tel. +34 971 35 65 23     www.canoliver.menorca.es

opening times Summer May 1 – Oct. 31.

Tuesday – Saturday : 10-13 and 18 – 20 and Sunday: 10 – 13:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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