One Mountain, Three Monasteries

nuestra_senora_cura

The table mountain of Randa is really more of a large hill with its height of 548 metres.

The location feels like a very powerful place indeed. The mountain is called Puig de Randa and belongs to the municipality of Algaida. Up from the village of Randa, three monasteries are found, interspersing the 5 km distance. The biggest one crowns the puig: Santuari de Nostra Senyora de Cura, a monastery for a small number of Franciscan monks. The premises are open to the public. There is a nice church, a souvenir shop, a Museu Ramon Llull, and a large Bar cum Restaurant, serving lunch or bocadillos. Simple rooms have recently been refurbished and now provide accommodation for nature lovers, hikers or the spiritually inclined. Legend has it that Ramon Llull lived up here as a hermit during the 14th century. It is also said that Llull frequented a small cave nearby for his prayers. This cova can be visited, even though your guide book may say otherwise.

ermita_sant_honorat

Halfway up the Randa mountain, or halfway down if you descend from the Santuari de Nostra Senyora de Cura, you’ll find the Oratori de Sant Honorat. This sanctuary serves as an hermitage for retired clerics. Visitors did not used to be welcome, but I gather that the small oratory chapel now has been opened to the public.

nuestra_senora_gracia

The monastery nearest to the village of Randa and the first one on the ascent is the Santuari de Nostra Senyora de la Gràcia. To my understanding, this sanctuary is nowadays only used for weekly church services and the occasional christening or wedding celebration. The place feels rather special, even magical. For one, the buildings are resting underneath a massive rock formation visually suggesting the threat of impending disaster. But no such calamity has occurred since the first church was built there in 1500, it would seem. And secondly, the views are majestic and stunning, reaching out to the Parc Nacional de l’Arxipèlag de Cabrera in the distant South East.

The photos were taken near Randa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 12th, 2009. The time was 12:19:53, 13:44:43, and 14:15:16, respectively.

One Mountain, Three Monasteries