Sineu

Source and photos: The Sineu Town Hall

 

INTERESTING VISITS

 

A- The religious itinerary

 

The itinerary starts at carrer de Sant Francesc, where you will find the old Convent of the Minims. Even though it was founded in 1667, the convent was largely restored in 1722. The restoration works included the construction of the cloister, among other elements. In 1835 it passed into secular hands due to the expulsion of the Order of the Minims. Since 1877 it houses the Town Hall. The main facade has two floors and a Baroque main door.
The ground floor windows are splayed and the top floor windows are quadrangular with corbels and frames. There are also several tiles with pictorial motifs.

 

 

 

 

The cloister is Baroque and has a quadrangular or slightly trapezoidal ground plan. The columns rest on plinths and support segmental arches. The capitals present small volutes of Ionic tradition at the top while at the base they present small rings with interesting relieves alternately representing the mitre and the star of the coast of arms of the Bishop Estela. In the centre there is an octagonal cistern neck bearing the inscription Charitas, the motto of the Minims, dating from 1693.

 

AAdmire the octagonal dome on pendentives decorated with small angel heads on the facade that contains the flight of stairs leading to the top floor. The library and municipal archives are located on the same floor. The archives house the “barcella de Sineu”. It is the official measure used in Mallorca to weigh cereals and other grain. This bronze tapered container dates from the 12th century. It has two handles and three legs and engravings of the coats of arms of Sineu and the old kingdom of Mallorca. Carrer del vent leads to the Cross of els Morts (cross of the dead) or Cross of en Rapó as it was known in the past. There are documents referring to this cross as “Creu de la Placeta d’en Rapó”.

 

 

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The cross was built in 1585 and has Gothic and Renaissance elements. It is a Latin cross. The arms end in star-shaped medallions and are decorated with vegetable motifs in the middle section. There are four symbols that appear alternately on the capital: two coats of arms of Sineu, the anagram of Jesus and the year of construction. The cross was built by Rafel Guitard and it is located in the junction of carrer Creu and carrer Bous and the beginning of carrer del Cementiri. Its current name is due to its location, since in the past it was customary to carry the dead to this site.

 
Take carrer de Sant Francesc to reach the old Convent of the Minims. Even though it was founded in 1667, the convent was largely restored in 1722. The restoration work included the construction of the cloister, among other elements. In 1835 it passed into secular hands due to the expulsion of the Order of the Minims.

 

Since 1877 it houses the Town Hall. The main facade has two floors and a Baroque main door. The ground floor windows are splayed and the top floor windows are quadrangular with corbels and frames. There are also several tiles with pictorial motifs. The cloister is Baroque and has a quadrangular or slightly trapezoidal ground plan. The columns rest on plinths and support segmental arches. The capitals present small volutes of Ionic tradition at the top while on the base they present small rings with interesting relieves alternately representing the mitre and the star of the coast of arms of the Bishop Estela. In the centre there is an octagonal cistern neck bearing the inscription Charitas, the motto of the Minims, dating from 1693.
 

Admire the octagonal dome on pendentives decorated with small angel heads on the facade that contains the flight of stairs leading to the top floor. The library and municipal archives are located on the same floor. The archives house the “barcella de Sineu”. It is the official measure used in Mallorca to weigh cereals and other grain. This bronze tapered container dates from the 12th century. It has two handles and three legs and engravings of the coats of arms of Sineu and the old kingdom of Mallorca.

 

Walk up carrer Major to get to the main square, where you can admire the Church of Santa Maria de Sineu. It is the most important monument of Sineu’s architectural heritage. The old church was destroyed by fire in 1505 and the construction of the new church, which is also Gothic, began immediately afterwards.

 

 

 

 

In 1880-1881 the church was expanded. The expansion works included the head of the church and the crossing, with an impressive dome resting on an octagonal base with pendentives. The ribs of the dome form a lively star shape. The main facade has an austere Gothic style and the cornice is triangular with an opening where the belfry stood in the past. The lateral facade is divided into two sections.
 

The church is formed by a single nave with a transverse crossing. It has five chapels on each side. The nave is covered by a ribbed vault. The church is dominated by the Gothic statue of the Virgin of Sineu. It is one of the so-called tabernacle virgins. The statue was created by Gabriel Mòger in 1509. The fourth chapel on the left is the “Capella Fonda”, which is covered by a ceiling with shells. It contains the beautiful Baroque altarpiece of the Virgin of “el Roser”, from 1672, with paintings by Rafel Guitard. The church has been closed for 7 years. It has been totally restored, windows have been installed and the pieces of the old altarpiece have been restored. It is also worth noting that a museum has been opened in the rectory. It displays an important collection of traditional pottery.
 

The bell tower was built in 1549. It is not attached to the church but the buildings are connected by an enclosed bridge called “pontet de Santa Bàrbara”. It has a square ground plan and 7 sections separated by mouldings ending in a pyramid. Access to the top is through a spiral staircase.

 

 

 

 

Admire the monument of Sant Marc in front of the rectory. The sculpture is a copper cast from 1945. It was created by Joan Maimó in the Can Seguí workshops. In this case, the lion, which is the symbol of the Evangelist, is represented with wings and the coat of arms of Sineu. It is very possible that King Jaume II was responsible for the worship of Sant Marc, because the king had already devoted the royal chapel of Bellver Castle to the same evangelist saint. It seems he passed on his devotion to the local farmers. They implored the saint for rain in spring. This is how he became the town’s patron saint. The festival takes place on 25 April.

 

 

Monument a sant Marc
Monument a sant Marc

 

 

Follow the itinerary to reach the house of the conceptionist nuns, who occupy the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, a symbol of the old splendour of Sineu. The palace was commissioned by King Jaume II in 1309. His orders were to build it on the foundations of an old Islamic building. It was quite probably the fortress of the Emir Mubaxir, who died in 1114. Between 1319 and 1523 it housed the “veguer de fora”, a local institution. The dissolution of the Kingdom of Mallorca had very adverse effects on the institution. In 1583, King Felipe II gave the building to the Conceptionist Nuns. It underwent important restorations (they were especially intense in the 17th century) to transform the building into a convent. The homage tower was restored in 1987.

 

 

Palace of the Kings of Majorca
Palace of the Kings of Majorca

 

 

The present building includes elements from the fortified palace and the cloister. It is a very heterogeneous site and the traditional church is the most outstanding building. It has a square ground plan divided into four sections. The first section contains the gallery and the presbytery. The church is covered by a groin vault; expect the presbytery, which is covered by a barrel vault. The presbytery is situated behind the grille and is dominated by the statue of the Immaculada, created in 1590 by Gaspar Gener. The main chapel is situated in the third section of the nave, on the left. The entrance has a segmental arch with helicoid fluting.
 

The chapel contains a painting of Santa Teresa, a rococo altarpiece and a 17th century statue of Sant Francesc Xavier on the predella. The second section contains the organ, which was built in 1882. The porter’s lodge is situated to the left of the convent church, forming a right angle. The door is crowned by a Franciscan coat of arms. It opens into the hall, which has a rectangular ground plan and is covered by two sections of groin vault. The centres of the vaults carry two keystones with religious motifs and six columns with thin shafts resting on a cobbled paving. On the right wall there is a rounded arch door and a turnstile, which is proof of the claustral rules of the convent.
 

The Convent of the Sisters of Charity is located in carrer Rev. Arnau Ramis. The congregation settled in Sineu in 1864. The chapel of the convent is a neo-Gothic building that opened in 1892.
The door has a lancet arch with four plain archivolts. The archivolts and the jambs are not ornamented. The lower parts are made of limestone. Above the door you can see the impost line and a rose window. The glasswork forms the letter M, the anagram of the Virgin Mary. The cornice has vegetable motifs, two lateral pinnacles and a belfry crowned by a cross.
 

The chapel is located in number 19 and the convent is situated to the right. The facade of the convent has three floors and a lintelled door. The school building, which was built on 19 June 1927, is located to the left of the chapel. The classrooms are now empty and occupy three floors. The nuns stopped teaching a short while ago, when their school was integrated into the public school. Admire the rear portion of the palace and the magnificent view of the stone steps, which constitutes a bucolic and attractive corner.

 
Turn onto carrer Hospital to get to the old hospital. Sineu hospital was quite probably founded in 1240 by the royal concession of King Jaume II. It now houses the old people’s home. The first stone of the home was placed in 1918. At present a project has been launched to build a day centre. The hospital contains the Chapel of Sant Josep, which was originally devoted to Sant Jordi, until 1630 when it was devoted to Sant Josep.
 

It contains many valuable pieces, including a Renaissance painting on board representing the Virgin el Roser and la Sang, (work by Gaspar Gener), two baptismal fonts (one on a pedestal and the other one attached to the wall), a 17th century wooden sculpture that is paraded on the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday processions and another 16th century wooden sculpture that is also paraded during the Holy Week.
 

The walk ends at plaça Es Fossar, where as the name implies the cemetery once stood nearby. Since the 14th century the livestock market takes place in the square. The indoor market is located at the top of the market. It was built in 1956 and it is where the livestock was weighed.

 

 

 

B- Other places of interest

 

Cross of en Rebassa: This 16th century Renaissance cross is located in placeta d’en Rebassa. The base, shaft and capital are octagonal. It is a Latin cross with straight arms. The capital bears two coats of arms of the Sabater family and several saints. The cross shows Christ crucified, the Virgin Mary, Saint John, Mary Magdalene and the symbols of the four Evangelists.
 

Cross of en Pastor: it is located in the junction of the Palma and Llubí roads. The cross was built in 1884 based on a project by Bartomeu Ferrà. The neo-Gothic cross has octagonal characters on the base, shaft and capital. It is a Latin cross with straight arms. It bears the coat of arms of Sineu and what seems to be the coat of arms of the Barberini family, as well as engravings of the Apostles. The cross shows Christ crucified and the Virgin Mary. The cross appears to be the exact copy of the original cross that already existed in the 16th century and that was restored in 1632.

 

 

 

C- The anthropologic itinerary

 

Anthropology is the study of humans in all their dimensions and characteristics. The footprints left by mankind in a town with so much history are many and varied. You will see them as you walk around Sineu, regardless of how much attention you put into it. The less informed visitors would never guess that Sineu preserves a rich heritage. It contains stately houses of an unprecedented monumentality and simplicity. The most outstanding houses are:

 

 

Son Torelló

It is one of the most singular buildings of Sineu. The two-floor facade has a round arched voussoired door and a magnificent mullioned window bearing the coat of arms of the Torelló Family. The house preserves outstandingly old sections, such as the cellar in the basement.

 

Can Dameto

The facade of the building has two floors and stands on a wide paving. The door has a voussoired round arch with exactly seven limestone voussoirs. The two-piece jambs and the spandrels framing the arch are also made of limestone. The keystone is decorated with the coat of arms of the Dameto family. The workmanship of the door is very refined. It is made of holm oak wood and is decorated with studs and a doorknocker.

 

 

Son Garriga

The facade has two floors, a round arched voussoired door made of sandstone and a Renaissance window with broken jambs on the first floor.

As stated by the Archduke Louis Salvator of Austria, Sineu was dotted with flour windmills. Some of them have been restored and contribute to the idyllic landscape of Sineu. Most of the windmills of Sineu are windmills towers with a round base or base platform. One of the most characteristic windmills is the windmill of en Pau (previously known as Windmill of en Ros). It is a good example of the flour windmills of the Mallorcan plains.

It was restored in 1992 and it now houses a restaurant. It is formed by a cylindrical tower resting on an irregular rectangular base that used to be the house of the miller. It has two floors with several rooms covered by a half-barrel vault. Inside the windmill you can admire the segmental arch, several rooms covered by barrel vaults and several other details such as a cistern of quadrangular neck attached to the wall and the troughs for the livestock.

 

 

The “cellers” (cellars) have been places to meet and eat since old times and they were used to keep the must produced in the vineyards of the Mallorcan plains. The following are some of the most outstanding “cellers” in Sineu:

 

 

Celler de Can Font

Access from the square is through a lintelled door and access from carrer de les Roses is through a segmental arch. The first door leads to a hall with a beamed ceiling. The main halls of the “celler” are large and consist of two naves with four sections each. The naves are supported by three large square columns. The bar of the restaurant occupies the first section of the left nave, while the remaining space is still decorated by the spectacular barrels bound with iron hoops, thirteen barrels in all.

Another interesting “celler” is Celler Es Grop.

 

 

 

Fountains were very important in times of drought because they covered the needs of the population. The following fountains are located in Sineu:

 

El Pou dels Horts

It is located in carrer Concòrdia. The first mention of the fountain dates from 1392. Originally it was probably used to water the neighbouring fields. It was later adapted to serve as a public washing place. People washed their clothes in the fountain and nowadays you can still see the washing basins. The cistern has a rectangular neck. It is built using sandstone blocks for the longer sides and limestone for the shorter ones. It has four jambs formed by three sandstone blocks connected in twos by wooden crossbeams. The fountain is covered by a rectangular porch.

 

 

El Pozo de Na Morera
It is located between placeta de les Germanies and carrer d’Avall. The Pou de Na Morera dates from 1584 and is one of the deepest fountains in Sineu (18 m). The neck is rectangular and is made of sandstone blocks. Four sandstone jambs rise from the neck and connect in twos by means of almond tree wood crossbeams.

 

 

 

FAIRS, FESTIVALS AND MARKETS

 

 

Sineu is the capital of spring fairs. Sineu Fair is the oldest on the island and has more visitors than any other fair in Mallorca. The Fair was a privilege granted by King Sanç in 1318. It takes place every first Sunday of May. It is mainly devoted to agriculture, livestock and handicraft. It has preserved the tradition and concept of a yearly market. The location of the stands does not change from year to year. All kind of products (fruits, vegetables, plants and clothes) are displayed at plaça de l’Església and carrer Major; poultry is displayed on the steps of Sant Marc; chairs, ladders and flower pots lower down; and knives and saddles at carreró de la rectoria. Livestock is exhibited in plaça del Mercat. There are usually animal shows and displays of farming machinery and cars.

 

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Sineu’s weekly market takes place on Wednesdays. It is quite an event. The market was established in 1306 by King Jaume II. It is the only livestock market of Mallorca. Many farmers come to Sineu to sell their animals and eat a “frit”. Nowadays the market is part of the visit to Sineu and many visitors come to our town to see the market.
Our patron saint festival is held on 15 August. It includes games, fireworks, festivals, open-air concerts, etc.
But the most solemn period of the year in Sineu is Easter Week. Many visitors come to Sineu on Good Friday to see the processions and the penitents accompanying the floats through the town centre.
 

Sineu also celebrates the festivals of Sant Marc (patron saint) on 25 April and Sant Antoni with the typical bonfires on 17 January. We would like to highlight the new fair organized by the Town Hall to promote “sobrassada” (pork sausage), a typical product of Sineu.
 

Sant Tomas Fair is held on the second Sunday of December.

 

GUIDE: CULTURAL ROUTES IN THE TOWN OF SINEU

 

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