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Sant Elm

Sant Elm: Foto 1
Sant Elm
  • Sant Elm: Foto 1
  • Sant Elm: Foto 2
  • Sant Elm: Foto 3
  • Sant Elm: Foto 4
  • Sant Elm: Foto 5
  • Sant Elm: Foto 6
  • Sant Elm: Foto 7
  • Sant Elm: Foto 8

Sant Elm is a small coastal resort in the municipality of Andratx, that faces the small island Es Pantaleu, and the larger one, Sa Dragonera. Originally it was a small nucleus for fishermen, called sa Palomera, but with the arrival of tourism as from the second half of the XX century it became a tourist resort with summer houses, flats, restaurants and a few hotels. Now there is a population of about 500 people who live mainly from tourism. In spite of the urban development in the last decade, Sant Elm still preserves its small fishing village charm as it was. The sandy beach, Cala Conills and Cala en Basset, the islet Es Pantaleu and sa Dragonera all form an extraordinarily attractive natural land seascape.

High on a hill behind the village, there is an outstanding building called the Torre de Sant Elm, catalogued in 1985 as Cultural Interest Heritage. This is a chapel and hospital founded in the XIII century by king Jaime II. Later a defence and watch tower was added. Because of the frequent invasions by pirates, in the XVI its use as a hospital was abandoned, although the church and tower remained active. At the end of the XIX century the property was bought by the Archduke Ludwig Salvatore and now is owned by the Fundación Illes Balears. Another important ancient building is the Tower of Cala en Basset which was built in the XVI century to increase the coastal vigilance. The most remarkable historical event for this area took place on September 7 in 1229 when the Catalan vessels in King Jaime I's fleet anchored between Sa Dragonera and Sant Elm, preparing their landing on the beach of Santa Ponça which started the conquest of Mallorca.

Sant Elm, like the neighbouring village of s'Arracó, is an excellent starting point for different walks such as the way up to la Trapa that goes via Cami de Can Tomeuí and offers sensational views over Cala en Basset, its tower and the Dragonera island. A visit to Sa Dragonera also permits several walks to enjoy the extraordinary views along the coast.

The village festivities are held at the beginning of August with a maritime procession, mass in the church and dancing. The most awaited event is the traditional Moors and Christians battle that takes place on the beach (pictures). On Easter Monday, an important date for the villagers, the Pancaritat celebration is held in the Torre de Sant Elm.

Last update: 22/11/2004

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