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The Quanat in Randa

One of the most peaceful villages in Mallorca has to be Randa. The small pueblo nestles on the slopes of the Puig de Randa which in itself is the home for three sanctuaries, the Santuari de Nostra Senyora de la Gràcia, the Oratori de Sant Honorat and the largest of the threesome right on top of the 548 m elevation, the Santuari de Nostra Senyora de Cura.

Randa is not a busy place during the week. I guess that less than 100 people inhabit this pueblo during the week, a number that swells to perhaps 300 over most weekends. A large part of its residents live and work in Palma and return to the solitude and tranquility of their home village during the cap de setmana (weekend). So it happened last weekend when Randa celebrated its village patrons, Sant Isidre and the Beat, Ramon Llull. The parish church was still adorned yesterday, five days after the festivities.

Even though Randa has its own batle (mayor), the pueblo comes under the administration of the town of Algaïda, some 14 km away. This was not so during the time of the Moorish rule when Rufassa was built near here thanks to an abundance of water, an important Alqueria settlement which much later developed into the village of Randa. Here, the Moors built an array of hydraulic structures to collect water, a Qanat system of water ducts which extends 299.89 metres underground and is the longest of its kind in Mallorca. The underground installation is in operation to this day. The underground channels eventually continue above ground where the water flows into a few troughs for animals to drink and, finally, into a rentadors building containing an arrangement of water basins where ladies and their servants would launder their linen (see photo below).

The photos were taken in Randa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 1st, 2011. The time was 13:57:55 and 13:25:44, respectively.

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