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Mysteries and legends of Palma

23/05/2021

Strolling around the streets of central Palma, we can discover some of the city’s mysteries and legends - tales even most of its residents are unaware of. Would you like to find out about some of them? You would? Well, below we set out a suggested route for the legends of Palma, with Rialto Living as the starting point!

Calle Sant Feliu or Carrer de les Carasses

Did you know that the street of Calle de Sant Feliu, where Rialto Living is located, used to be known as Carrer de les Carasses? The story of its origins is a curious one. It so happens that a Genovese lawyer called Pavesi received the building at number 10 as a result of a lawsuit which he won. When he renovated it, he decided to put monstruous masks and a face with its tongue sticking out on the façade (in the Mallorcan language carasses signifies stone or metal faces sculpted on fountains or above doorways).
After Pavesi, the house belonged to some important merchants who were also Genovese, the Bellotto family, who had the word EUNDO meaning “travelling or leaving”, inscribed below the Pavesi coat of arms and above the main face, in reference to the fact that everything is ephemeral, especially wealth.
You can still see these disturbing faces today... 

The neighbourhood centre of celebration

If we carry on walking down Calle Sant Feliu, we come to the intersection with Calle de la Pau which, centuries ago, was the focal point for celebrations in the neighbourhood.
In front of the building of Can Valero, there used to be an old oratory. The chapel is documented in 1606, and at the end of the same century it was the hub for the Fiestas de la Paz. The building was destroyed at the end of the 19th century. 

Today, on the same spot, we can see a tap which used to supply water to all of the residents of the district. According to legend, inside the La Pau cistern there was a painting of the Virgin Mary. It is said that Christians hid it to protect it from the Muslims, and that in 1357 the canvas reappeared and was rescued from the water well. 

A dark legend beside Paseo del Borne

Several sinister events occurred around Paseo del Borne, just a few steps away from Rialto Living. One of them lent its name to what is now Calle de La Mà del Moro, which was the home of a priest who was murdered by his slave, Ahmed. Or the dismal happenings that used to take place in the Torre dels Caps, a tower that divided the city geographically into two districts, ‘high Palma’ and ‘low Palma’. Located between Calle del Conquistador and Costa de la Seu, the torre del Caps (“tower of the heads”) was where the heads of those executed by the judiciary were hung during the Middle Ages. 

An entire section of its own is warranted by the clashes between the Canamunts and Canavalls, that is to say, the Angladas and the Rossinyols, two noble Mallorcan families who were engaged in a fued that is still legendary today in the early 16th century
It all began when, in pure Romeo and Juliet style, Nicolau Rossinyol fell in love with Elisabet Anglada, but her family did not approve of their love. The Rossinyols spoke ill of her and on 20th March 1598 the Angladas attacked the Rossinyols. The battle started in Paseo del Borne and ended below the cathedral. 

The voices in the cathedral and a dragon in the drains 

Several centuries ago in Palma, the belltower of the cathedral was a refuge for destitute people. When they spoke, their voices were magnified through the gargoyles which can still be seen today, creating the illusion that the gargoyles themselves were speaking
This phenomenon led to more than one terrified resident of Palma throwing themselves into the sea.

Not to mention the Drac de na Coca, an enormous crocodile that lived in the drains around the cathedral, terrorising the entire population of the city, until the brave Captain Coc killed it.

All of these legends – true stories accredited in the city’s history books – took place just a short distance away from Rialto Living, your lifestyle store with the most distinctive fashion, furniture, gifts and artworks in Palma.

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