Lloseta & Biniamar
The village of Lloseta nestles on the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains next to the Cocó Stream. People have lived in the area since prehistoric times and there are a number of burial caves and a fortified Talayotic area around Lloseta. There is very little evidence of Roman settlements in the area, although the name could date from their occupation. The next sign of life dates from the Moorish era when the area was called after the Qanarusha tribe and a few local names, including Es Morull or Sa Cova des Moros (the Moors Cave), date from this era.
Jaime the Conqueror awarded the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains to Guillem de Montcada's widow and son following the conquest in 1229. She in turn divided the area between knights who had taken part in the conquest and it was renamed Canarossa. Lloseta was granted to Don Arnoldo Togores and, like the rest of the knights across the island, his descendants had the right to dispense justice over the community.
In 1578 Canarossa was split into three estates, Lloseta, s'Estorell and Son Pelai and in 1634 Miquel Ballester i de Togores was appointed Count of Ayamans and Baron of Lloseta. The Count used his income to build Ayamans Palace in the centre the village and he also acquired a large property in the centre of Palma (now home to the museum of Mallorca). Two years later he became a member of the Order of the Calatrava. When the Count died, his son immediately made it clear what his views on law and order were by setting up a gallows on the village square to execute criminals and stocks and a pillory to put minor criminals on show.
Lloseta's Parish Church stands in the centre of the village and the first structure was built in the 13th Century, soon after the conquest. Although the building was enlarged in 1582, a new one was built in 1760 to reflect the size of the growing community. In 1814 Lloseta split with Binissalem and work started on a third larger parish church 30 years later.
Ayamans Palace and its gardens cover around 3.75 acres and the house dominates the town centre. Each Count extended and renovated the structure, turning it into the palatial building and gardens we see today. The March family bought the palace in 1927 and refurbished it in 1940, filling it with their art collection while the architect Gabriel Alomar redesigned the façade and gardens. The estate was sold to the company Lloseta S.A. in 1975 and it is now an event centre. It was made a building of cultural interest in 1988 and the high perimeter wall was demolished to open up the gardens.
The building between the parish church and the count's palace was originally the Count's house in the 17th Century but it was turned into the servants' quarters when the main building was completed. In recent years it has been restored and turned into a hotel.
The Chapel of el Cocó
Just beyond the southwest edge of Lloseta, alongside Cocó Stream (Coconut Stream), is the Chapel of el Cocó. Legend tells us that a shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary alongside the stream while watching his sheep. At the time there was no chapel in Lloseta so the village people took the figure to a nearby church. They found it back at the stream the following morning and after several attempts to keep the statue locked in the church, it kept returning to the stream. The finally villagers took the hint that it wanted to be worshipped where it had been found.
The Chapel of el Cocó was the result and while the Count of Ayamans funded the building, Mateu Alcover Bennàssar left the proceeds of the nearby olive grove to pay for its upkeep. The chapel was completed by 1878 and people of Lloseta come to worship the statue of the Mare de Déu every 8th September. The original statue is now in Lloseta Church but the locals still make their annual pilgrimage to the replica figure.
More information about Lloseta can be found on the council website at www.ajlloseta.net
Biniamar hamlet is to the northeast of Lloseta dates back to Moorish times and the group of farms were possibly known as 'Bani Ahmar' or the Children of the Red.
The area was given to the Bishop of Tarragona following the conquest in 1229 and when the church was built in the 17th Century, it was dedicated to Santa Tecla , the patron saint of Tarragona; the tiny building was extended in the 19th Century.
Antonio Maura i Montaner obtained a grant to build a new church a short distance away at the start of the 20th Century. He originated from Palma and while he had connections Biniamar, he was famous for serving five terms as Spain's Prime Minister during turbulent times between 1903 and 1922. His statue stands in the Plaza Mercat in the centre of Palma. The building was designed by Guillem Reinés and work had started when events on the mainland brought work to a halt. In 1909 Maura had to put down an uprising in Barcelona and his order to execute the leader, Francesc Ferrer, resulted in it being called the Tragic Week and an outcry across Europe followed. Maura fell from power and funds for Biniamar's new church stopped. The new church is only a few metres from the old one and it is now used for cultural events and sports court.
Biniamar was known for its lime kilns in the past and two large examples have been preserved. Son Pond and Can Siren can be found on the road, heading to Mancor, to the east. The tall cone shaped buildings are now houses.
Back to Raiguer (North) Page | Go to Mallorca Days Out home page
www.mallorcadaysout.com is the property of Andrew Rawson and all content is his copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without his permission. Webmaster: Ian Morrison, Apartado 59, Porto Colom 07670, Felanitx, Mallorca.