History and Tradition
Although important remains of the age of the Talaiot culture such as the settlement of Es Claper des Gegant can be seen, our history begins in 1300 when King Jaume II ordered the foundation of the village of Capdepera. This foundation began with the construction of a church surrounded by a wall. Behind this wall the houses of the first settlers were built. Both the church and the wall with the towers have survived and are now one of the most important historical buildings on the island of Majorca, especially in Llevant area.
At that time, as Capdepera was a strategic point of uppermost importance, the castle walls were the best defence for the Gabellins (citizens of Capdepera) in times of danger and the inhabitants who lived outside the walls sought protection there during the attacks by Berbers.
There is another important building that deserves mention, la Torre de Canyamel (Tower of Canyamel), of Muslim origin and whose most peculiar characteristic is its square floor plan. It was used as refuge by the settlers of the valley of Canyamel in times of danger.
Back to the town of Capdepera and already in Bourbon times, the defence of the village was entrusted to a detachment of Dragoons. It was then that the Governors Home was built, which can still be seen, behind the protection of the castle walls.
Little by little, the village grew beyond the walls and in the 19th century it became a municipality in its own right. It was more specifically in 1885 when the segregation from the neighbouring municipalities occurred.
The life and economy of Gabellin society changed as Cala Rajada went from being a place where some fishermen lived to becoming an increasingly important summer resort. By the mid-19th century the Lighthouse had been built at one of the most beautiful spots in the municipality, from where the whole valley of Capdepera can be seen and, on clear days, the view reaches as far as the island of Minorca.
As time passed, it became a privileged spot to spend the summer. In fact, at the beginning of the 20th century some of the richest proprietors in the area began to spend the summer in Cala Rajada. It was then that the Es Carregador, the Paseo Colón and the Palace of the March family were built.
The strong growth of both the population and the economy, partly due to the construction of the port as we know it today and the commercial activity that took place there, contributed to the transformation of Cala Rajada. By the late sixties, with the tourist boom, our coastal resort had already become one of the most important tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
We cannot ignore the fact that as the coastal area underwent a transformation, the same was true of the socioeconomic atmosphere of Capdepera as an inland administrative centre. The economy was not only based on agriculture and the palm-leaf crafts, but also on tourism and commercial activity at the port of Cala Rajada.
Special mention should be made of the palm-leaf work, a handicraft which by the middle of the last century had become an important industry that contributed to the economic development of our municipality. With a view to recovering and promoting the handicraft of the palm leaf the Town Council named 2005 the Any de la Llata (the Year of the Palmetto Fronds).