The Alaró is located on the hilltop of Alaró at 815 m above the sea level. It is one of the three rocky castles of Mallorca (with the Castell del Santuari in Felanitx, and Castell del Rei in Pollença) that served as defense and protection of the island. Thanks to its strategic location ensures early detection of attackers.
HISTORY OF ALARO’S CASTLE
The first reference
It is a construction for military purposes which no historical record since 902, d following the Muslim invasion , when the Saracens came to the island. we can find the information in the Arab chronic Kitab tarih Mayurqa quoted the Castle as Hisn Alarün.
An impregnable castle
At that time there was already a fortification where the besieged resisted eight years and six months after the invasion. In fact, chronic narrates that could not conquer the castle until the inhabitants of the castle exhausted their food and surrendered.
The Catalonian Conquest
In 1229 during the Catalan conquest by King Jaume I (the Conqueror) some Majorcan Muslim groups fleeing to the mountains after the King Jaume entered Madina Mayurqa .
In 1231 remaining outbreaks of Islamic population took refuge in the three rocky castles ( Alaró , Santueri Castle and Castell del Rei).Upon hearing the King Jaume I that the King of Tunisia will not try to reconquer Mallorca, he came back to Majorca with more boats and troops determined to the final conquest of the island.
E, quan venc al quinzèn dia, sabem que el rei de Tunis no vendria, ni aquell estol, sobre la terra de Mallorques. E llaores metem mà a conquerir les muntanyes e els castells que ells tenien, per nom Oloró, e Pollença, e Santueri!
(Epígrafe 113 del “Llibre dels Feits” o Crònica del Rei En Jaume)
Read King Jaume I horse's tread legend
Alfonso El Liberal encroachs Mallorca
Another remarkable fact about the history of the castle, occurs in 1285.
After the death of King Pere III d' Aragó The Great, his son Alfonso III of Aragon El Liberal begins the invasion of Mallorca to try again annexing the Kingdom of Mallorca to the Crown of Aragon after the disconnection initiated by his uncle Jaume II, King of Mallorca. This occupation occurs without any altercation with the exception of the "battle" in Alaró, who had remained faithful to the Majorcan king.
See Legend d'en Cabrit i en Bassa
Abandonment of the castle
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was gradually abandoned although one military garrison remained until 1741. From this date was only religious use, since in 1622 had built an oratory.
Five towers preserved the castle walls. At the entrance of the enclosure are a first gateway, located in the bulwarks. Some steps up arrive at a second gate, embedded in a defense tower The upper part is partly protected by a parapet raised on machicolations. It is the Donjon, popularly knowed as Constipador. At one of the end of the cliff , we also find another popular tower, called the the Moors Prison or the Torre de la Cueva, below which, there is the Cave of Sant Antoni, a vestige of an old hermit occupation of the seventeenth century.
KING JAUME I Horse's tread
The onslaught to the fortification considered "le plus fort kingdom's castle" by Jaume and his men went by the current way up , since there is no other point of attack.
Watchtowers thought they could take over the monarch and down to capture him.
Legend says…. In the steepest point where the stairs start in one of the stones near the portal rampart there is a round mark popularly attributed to King James I horse's tread when he rose and advanced against the enemy so hard that the hoof marks are still visible today in the stone.
King moved killing all who get ahead, filling the walls of the cliffs so much blood of the Saracens, which at sunset they reflect an intense orange color that reminds all these spilled blood that has not been able to remove from the rocks.
... i des puig de So'n Cos de Marratxí amb un llongo se tirà an es Coscois de Santa Maria, i amb un altre an es castell d'Alaró.
... espasada va, espasada ve, a dreta i a esquerra; i caps de moro a l'aire, i cossos xapats en creu, i sang per llarg que brufava aquelles penyes i s'herba que s'hi congriava, que encara n'està clapada de la sang dels moros...
Saracens climbed the stairs of the castle to get lock inside. But the King came so close that prevented it.
We find references to this legend in Rondalles Mallorquines, Antoni M. Alcover, Volume V.
En Cabrit i en Bassa
After the disconnection of the Kingdom of Mallorca from the Crown of Aragon held by the King of Mallorca, Jaume II, his nephew Alfonso III of Aragon " The Liberal " landed on the island in 1285, with the intention to annex the island to the Crown of Aragon.
Guillem Cabrit and Guillem Bassa, two faithful captains of the Mallorcan King Jaume II, organized the castle defens against imminent attack by Alfonso III troops.
Legend says that when King Alfonso besiege the castle, his royal official, asked to the defenders surrender the castle. The captains refused and the king promised them that they would be roasted.
A esta petición de rendición, Guillem Cabrit respondió a la solicitud:
-No conocemos en el reino, otro rey que no sea En Jaume.
Alfonso “El Liberal” enrabiado preguntó quién osaba a insultar al Rey de Aragón.
- Dos leales Cabrit y Bassa
A lo que el rey contestó:
¿Cabrit, decís? Buena caza!
Pues, como cabrits (cabritos) juro asaros.
Alfonso finally fulfilled his threat in January 1286 when both captains were roasted in the square named Lledoner de los Damunt.
Their ashes were buried in the Seu de Mallorca.
We will find references in the poem “El Comte Mal”, Guillem Colom.
The Alcadena's witches
Legend narrows that on the night of San Juan, the Alcadena's witches wander from the castle from summit to summit. Without demystify, an unusual weather event occurs during the summer solstice. Humidity and hot currents create threads of fog between the two mountains.
We find references in the Rondalles Mallorquines, Antoni M. Alcover
- Quan ja tenien tota s'estesa de fils d'un lloc a s'altre, com si fos un pont,hi anaven per damunt fent mil equilibris o, per davall,aferrades amb ses mans.I venga bons balls i jutipiris! I venga una bona cridória que les sentien més enllá des Tossals Verds!
Legend says that an alaroner called En Fenoi, a brave man bet he would somersaults for an hour on the rock edge the rock.
His opponent, seeing that he would lose the bet, pushed him to the depth.
We find references in Rondalles Mallorquines de Antoni M. Alcover Vol. XXIV