Strolling through the History of Cuitadella

"Port de Ciutadella" © 2008 Joan Martinez, used under a Creative Commons

When it comes time to get away on that perfect island trip where you can combine the beaches, local customs, cuisine and beautiful landscapes with a true taste of history, you just can’t overlook the stunning island of Menorca. Holidays to the smaller of the two major Balearic islands is steeped in history and one of the places that you must not miss while there is the old capital of Cuitadella.

Located on the northwestern part of Menorca, holidays that take you to this ancient city will find inevitably lead you in the main square, Plaça des Born. Around the square you will find the 18th century palaces that absorb the view from within the square. Shooting off from the square are tiny, winding streets that hark back to the ancient history of the city and the time when it was founded (sometime well before the 4th century, when it was made the seat of the Bishop).

Nearby Plaça des Born is the cathedral of Cuitadella, construction of which was begun in 1300. It was built on the site of a mosque, a legacy from when the Arabs ruled the island and Cuitadella was known as Medina Menurqa. The cathedral was completed in 1362 and allowed the city to remain the spiritual home of Menorca. Holidays on the island often include a visit to the current capital of Port Mahon, but the Bishop refused to move when the English governor, Richard Kane, moved the seat of power. Over the years, the cathedral was damaged by the Turks in the 1500s and later in Spanish Civil War, but has always been dutifully restored. As recently as 30 years ago, another plan for further restoration was drafted.

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