Revisiting History in Mahon

"Port Mahon Menorca" © 2008 eGuide Travel, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

There are few places that combine the history, island setting, beaches, and walkability that you can find in Menorca. Holidays to the smaller sister of Majorca are great for relaxing on the beaches but you can also have the pleasure of strolling around the capital city, Mahon, soaking up the history of one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

Though Port Mahon (as it is also known) has a shorter history than its northern neighbour, Cuitadella (which was the capital of the island until the 18th century), it certainly offers plenty of architectural and historical food for thought to ponder on your Menorca holidays.

As you enter the old city, be sure to locate the Arch de San Roque, which is all that remains of the old town wall and is where the old road that stretches to Alaior passes. From the old gate, head to the Placa de S’Esplanada, which is essentially the centre of the city, before strolling around the streets of the capital. Seek out the Town Hall, a lovely building built in the 1600s in a style that was typically Menorcan. On your Menorca holidays, while you may be tempted to spend all your time on the beach, you really should pay a visit, if just for a few hours, to Cuitadella. That will give you ample time to visit the harbour and enjoy the wonderful architecture; the English influence in the Georgian style of some of the houses is evident. Those who are true history buffs may be interested to learn Lord Nelson stayed right here in Port Mahon, and the San Antoni mansion on the north side of the harbour still showcases a variety of Nelson memorabilia.

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