Lluc, the epicentre; Lucus, the forest

    Starting a journey to the island in Lluc is like arriving in the very soul of the island. Getting there also implies touristic spirit, spirit of intentions, mind and depth. It is the spiritual centre of the island where all the islanders have traditionally visited the sanctuary in honour of there patron saint since the 13th century (in 1246 there are records of a chapel dedicated to the ‘Mare de Du de Lluc’.

   In the last few years the emblematic and symbolic value of the place has been emphasised and this has spread the proliferation of clichs about the most emblematic and star of all the Majorcan sanctuaries; but without doubt the Lluc Monastery enjoys a religious tradition as the centre of spirituality since the time of the arrival of the Catalonians on the island and before that as a botanical garden.

    This is the reason that this mystical centre of the Tramutana Mountain range has become known as the ‘heart of Majorca’ or ‘paternal house of all the Majorcans’. Where the great black virgin known by all as the ‘Moreneta’ because she is dark skinned protects the whole island, being the patron saint of Majorca. The religious community, which inhabits the monastery, is the ‘Sacred Heart Missionaries’. Lately they have worked very hard to spread the word about the symbolism and the meaning of the welcome that Lluc gives. In addition to their work as religious people, they also promote musical training among the local youths, in their choir known as the ‘Blauets’. If you are able to attend one of the musical masses or to enjoy one of the religious music concerts performed by these schoolchildren then Lluc will also become, for you, a mystical place that must be visited.

   The Lluc monastery stands alone 400 metres in height surrounded by high mountains. Founded in the 13th century, it has suffered many transformations throughout the years. It is an old property of the Augustines, which nowadays is occupied by the congregation of the above-mentioned missionaries. They direct the school for the study of music and liturgical song.

    The image of the black virgin is conserved in the monastery, as we have mentioned previously, she is the patron saint of Majorca, and tells the legend that in the year 1208 the statue was found hidden among the rocks by a monk and a shepherd who took it to a nearby church. During the night the statue disappeared and was found once again where it had been found originally. The attempts to put in a safe place were futile because miraculously the statue went back again and again to the place where it was originally found.

   The inhabitants therefore decided to build a chapel in above-mentioned place, the origin of the modern day monastery. It is an objective for solemn pilgrimages from all points of the geography of the island where the islanders go on a pilgrimage on foot from their particular starting point to the top of the mountain to venerate their patron saint. The statue wears a crown with 22 diamonds, 25 emeralds with as many rubies and more than 600 pearls offered to the Virgin at the end of the last century.

   The Lluc monastery and its surroundings, without doubt, make up the most important cultural patrimony in the Tramutana Mountain range and has been so since a long time before it ever became a place of Christian worship. Ramon Ballester stated that Lluc was a sacred place and a site worthy of pilgrimages in Roman times when it was a lucus or sacred forest.

   Cells for pilgrims: In the sanctuary there are 129 rooms (cel.les) to sleep in, with bathrooms and heating. There are also apartments with individual kitchens.

   INFORMATION: Tel: 971 871 525 / Fax 971 517 096

Related Articles:
Majorca / Escorca - An excursion to: Cala Tuent, the heart of the Tramutana mountain range and the Lluc Monastery.
Majorca / Caimari - Walking Des Guell a Lluc a Peu
Majorca / Pollensa - The mythical Formentor.

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