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Llubí

llubí, mallorcaThere are around 30 Pretalayotic and Talayotic sites ranging from caves to Talayotic structures. The best example is En Racons Talayot, south of the village, alongside the road to Sineu. Romans also settled around the village and a Roman villa and farm have been located at Son Mulet, southeast of the village. Moorish occupation of the area is a bit of a mystery because while the area was part of the district of Murûh, there are early references to an Islamic castle which has never been found. The village was referred to as Castell-Llubí until the 19th Century and the name originated from Aben-Lubi, an Arabic farmhouse in the area.

Another puzzle stems from the era immediately after the conquest. Records state that the area was given to Count Hugo de Ampurias in 1232 and he in turn handed it to Bernat de Riparia of Sant Feliu Abbey of Guíxols, northeast of Barcelona. However, Jaime the Conqueror's version adds a twist to the story. The Knights Hospitallers had not been asked to take part in the conquest but when the Master, Hugh de Fullalquier, heard of it, he sailed to Mallorca with fifteen of his knights.

Fullalquier asked the King for a share of the territory so the Order would not be shamed but his request presented a problem because all the lands had been shared out and many barons had returned to the mainland. After speaking with the main beneficiaries, Jaime offered one of his own estates, the estate that is now Llubí, while others donated properties. The Order was also given the navy yard at Port Opi and four of the Emir's galleys.

The Order's full title was the "Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem" and it was also known as the "Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta". It was a charitable organization and founded their first llubí, mallorcahospital around 1023 to help sick pilgrims in Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The Order later a military organization in a similar style to the Knights Templar but it still maintained its original principles of healing during the Crusades in the Holy Land and across the Iberian Peninsula.

llubí, mallorcaYou can still see the Knights Hospitallar's small church in Palma. The Church of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem can be found in Santa Creu close to the Llotja, or Market Hall.

What is known is that a chapel was built in the village not long after the conquest and it was dedicated to Saint Felix, who was martyred by the Romans in Girona in 304. By the 17th Century Llubí was ready for a church and it was completed by 1650 but an extension, added between 1870 and 1888, made the nave proportionally narrow. The combined coats of arms of the Catlar, Fortuny, Pont and Saforteza families are above the main door to remind the parishioners who ruled Llubí. At the beginning of the 20th Century the height of the bell tower was increased with a new ornate section.

The area had always relied on agriculture to survive and vineyards began to appear in the 16th Century. Llubí went from strength to strength and it was finally separated from Muro in 1836. However, the boom years in the second half of the 19th Century came to an abrupt end when the vine pest wiped out the villagers crops. Many turned to almonds and capers to survive while others chose to leave Llubí behind and headed for the Americas in search of their fortune.

One kilometer north of the village is the Chapel of the Holy Christ of Health and Remedy, a small hexagonal building with a ribbed dome roof, which was built in 1896 and blessed by Father Antonio Fornes. Although hermits moved in when it was opened, they only stayed for three years.

Although Llubí is a small, quiet village, it is full of character and history. To find out more check out the council website at www.ajllubi.net


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