I have a confession to make: I like monasteries. I am not a devout person but I seem to react in a particular way to the spiritual vibrations that most places of worship have, wherever in the world and whatever the confession.
The Santuario de la Mare de Déu de Sant Salvador is going back to 1348; the current buildings date from the 18th Century.
Amongst the many monasteries and convents in Mallorca, this one is particularly dear to me. For a start, the monastery at an altitude of 509 m affords a grand panoramic view over much of the island, once you have reached the top. But getting to the top is also a rewarding challenge, in my mind. The drive up, by car, is quite daring. Many a driver gets all sweaty as a reaction to the many serpentine bends and curves. Not surprisingly, the road up to the monastery converts into a track for car races, once a year, for its challenging characteristics.
Even better, I think, is a ride up on a bicycle. But you have to be fit and healthy, or else, you might need to turn back half way up. Many cyclists rise to the endeavour; you can spot two of them in today’s photograph.
The best option to reach the top, however, is simply to walk up. Again, you would have to be on quite good terms with yourself to take up the gauntlet but, I imagine, you might be ever so proud you made it, once you have successfully reached the summit.
Franciscan monks lived at the monastery until perhaps ten years ago, but not now. All the monasteries and convents in Mallorca suffer from a lack of novices and probationers and thus had to recently agglomerate the now somehow diminished manpower into a small number of monasteries. But a church service is still held every Sunday and at special holidays.
The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 13th, 2008. The time was 14:25:31.