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Sanctuary of Lluc

Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 7
Sanctuary of Lluc
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 1
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 2
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 3
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 4
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 5
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 6
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 7
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 8
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 9
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 10
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 11
  • Sanctuary of Lluc: Foto 12

The Sanctuary of Lluc, spiritual centre of the island of Mallorca, is to be found in the municipality of Escorca, in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, some 500 metros above sea level. The valley that shelters the sanctuary is surrounded by mountains 1000 metres high, such as the Puig de Massanella or the Puig Tomir. This monumental framework of mountains, their thick holm oak woods and the abundant rain and snow in the winter, make the valley of Lluc an extraordinary and attractive natural landscape. Since olden times, Lluc has been an area dedicated to religious cult, and the main example of this fact is the prehistoric remains of the Cometa dels Morts (IV century BC), situated near the sanctuary. The Roman settlers consecrated the woods of holm oak to the cult of a divinity, calling the place Lucus, a Latin word that means sacred wood. Later the Moslems who dominated the island respected the name in the form Al-luc and in the first written documents on the Catalan conquest in the XIII century, the place is called Luc. Finally in later centuries the present form o Lluc was adopted.

The origin of the actual sanctuary are to be found in the chapel of the XIII century dedicated to the Virgin, where they revered an image that according to the legend was found by a shepherd boy. Due to the large number of pilgrims who went up to Lluc to adore the statue, in the XIV the first lodgings were built and in the XV century, a Presbyterian college was created, and they lived in community under the presidency of a prior. At this same time, the sanctuary became the parish church for Escorca, substituting the ancient church of Sant Pere. Later, in the XVI century, the Escolania de Blauets (college of boys) was founded and they built the Plaza del Pelegrins and the cells known as Els Porxets to house and give free lodging to the pilgrims. The present basilica, with its Renaissance style, was built between the XVII and XVIII centuries. The statue of the Virgin of Lluc, patron of Mallorcca, presides the reredos of the main altar, although via a rotation system it can be turned towards the rear chapel where she can be visited by the pilgrims. Since the end of the XIX century, the congregation of the Sacred Heart is the religious community that is in charge of the administration of the sanctuary.

One of the most remarkable events in the history of the sanctuary was the pontifical coronation of the Virgin in 1884, with over a thousand people concentrated in the Plaza dels Pelegrins. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of that event, between 1909 and 1913 the monumental walk way for the Mysteries of the Rosary was built. It starts in the Plaza del Lledoner and climbs up the Pujol de la Trobada, which dominates the valleys of Lluc and Albarca. This is a walk via the five stone monuments of modernist style, that represent the mysteries of the Rosary, inspired by the architect Antoni Gaudí and designed by the architects Joan Rubió and Guillem Reinés. Distributed between these five monuments are fifteen bronze medallions carried out by the sculptor Josep Llimona.

In the last hundred years, the sanctuary has been progressively adapted to more recent times and new buildings have been added to extend the accommodation and the areas dedicated to the community and the school. At the same time, areas have been adapted for camping and to be able to light bonfires, and also a covered area of over 2,000 m2 was built to house large concentrations of pilgrims. Some restaurants have also been opened, a café and several shops. In 1952 the Museum of Lluc was opened where there are several different halls dedicated basically to archeology, traditional jewelery and religious objects, holy images, ceramics, paintings by Josep Coll Bardolet and the collection of paintings mainly from the XIX and beginning of the XX centuries. In the 80s a Botanical Garden was also opened which now has over 200 varieties of plants, plus an area dedicated to aromatic medicinal plants and examples of fruit trees.

One of the principal attractions of the sanctuary is its permanent choir formed by the pupils of Lluc, known popularly as the "Blauets" because of the blue colour of their soutane worn for celebrations. Nowadays the school boys and girls sing the salve in public daily, morning and evening, before the image of the Virgin. They also sing for special celebrations such as in Holy Week or Christmas Eve in the Christmas midnight mass, when one of the blauets peforms the Chant of the Sibil·la. This chant, that is only preserved in Alguer (Sardinia) and on Mallorca, prophesises the end of the world and is a very important ceremony.

Video:

Video of the Lluc Sanctuary by MallorcaWeb / BalearWeb

Audio:

Cant de la Sibil·la (11:14) in Real Audio format. Version performed by Pere Antoni Canyelles Pons of Els Blauets de Lluc. It forms part of the record "Els Blavets" (Blau, 1993).

Cant de la Sibil·la, fragment (3:26) in MP3 format. Version that forms part of the record by Els Blauets de Lluc "Nadal Blau" (Ona Digital, 2001).

More information:

In the web page www.lluc.net full information about the sanctuary, accommodation, natural areas, Els Blauets and about the devotion by the Mallorcan people to the Virgen de Lluc can be found.

 
Last update: 21/05/2009

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