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A Village Prison

During the Middle Ages, the pueblo of Santanyí was continuously attacked by pirates and corsairs (privateers) mostly coming from North Africa. The reckless marauders were taking citizens hostage to release them only after a handsome ransom was paid. Finally, in the 16th century a city wall was built in Santanyí including fortifications and a defense tower, the Porta Murada (photo above). Curiously enough, inside this city gate, a small prison (photo below) was built big enough to hold up to a dozen thugs, smugglers, marauders, thieves, robbers and villains of all sorts and kind. The presó (prison) functioned as such for a good three hundred years until bigger ones were built in Manacor where criminals were sent to henceforth.

Not much is left nowadays of Santanyí’s city walls. Parts of it have been converted into small town dwellings. The Porta Murada was restored in 1987 and again, earlier this year.

The photos were taken in Santanyí, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 15th, 2011. The time was 17:34:41 and 14:35:47, respectively.

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