|"right" click on icon to download
|Printer friendly version
Hike F - Around D'alt Vila
The fortress town of Dalt Vila, with over 2,500 years of history, is a World Heritage site and includes the remains of numerous civilizations who have ruled the island throughout this time.
This is a short tour of the town taking in some of the highlights and begins at the 'Puerta del Palomar' (photo 1), below the 'Baluard de Sant Joan' (photo 2).
We pass through the tunnel into the town and at its end turn right up the steps (photo 3) then follow the path alongside the fortress walls as it climbs before you. The drop on the other side of the wall certainly looks insurmountable (photo 4).
The path changes direction at the next 'baluard' (bulwark), which exhibits ferocious fire power (photo 5) and continues upwards offering views over the 'Molins de Rei' (windmills) that sit on top of the adjacent hills (photo 6).
Click on images for larger versions.
The climb continues atop the 16th century Renaissance wall (photo 7) until another 'baluard' marks the high point of your journey with stunning views over Playa d'en Bossa to the Salinas beyond (photo 8), the distant horizon over which lie the lands from whence the Moors arrived over 1,300 years ago (photo 9), the Botafoch lighthouse alongside the new dyke to cater for ever larger ships (photo 10) and the Botafoch Marina with Talamanca beach beyond (photo 11).
Continuing on, the path descends as you approach the cathedral from behind (photo 12). To its left hand side a narrow alleyway (photo 13) takes you through to the 'Plaça de la Catedral' - the cathedral square (photo 14).
From the Plaza, which held a regular slave market in times gone by, the views over the sprawling city show you how much it has grown since the original settlement perched on top of its impregnable hill (photo 15) (photo 16) (photo 17) (photo 18). In front of the cathedral is the Archaeological museum (photo 19), which offers an audio-visual description of the town's development over the centuries.
Our route from the square leads down the Carrer de Major (photo 20) passing aristocratic mansions decorated with the coats of arms of their owners, and the ancient Torre de Cononigno hotel. Immediately on the right after this a steep narrow path leads down to 'Sa Portella' (photo 21). This is the only gate in the Arab part of the city wall that has been preserved intact. From here the ancient cobbled path leads down past the 'El Corsario' hotel (photo 22), a favoured haunt of early celebrity visitors, including Aristotle Onassis.
We carry on downwards following the foot of the towering fortifications, with the cathedral an imposing presence perched above (photo 23) (photo 24).
At the bottom we find the 'Plaça d'España' containing the town hall (photo 25) and opposite that a tunnel called 'Es Soto Fosc', which leads back up through the fortified walls to the cathedral square.
We carry on to the end of the 'Plaça d'España' to a terrace called 'Es Revelli' upon which is a statue commemorating the Catalonian discoverer, Guillermo de Montgri (photo 26).
From here we continue downwards along the city wall, with a view over the ancient Sa Penya fishing district (photo 27), past the church of San Domingo (photo 28) till we reach the 'Baluard de Sant Lucia' (photo 29). This also boasts substantial firepower (photo 30) (photo 31).
From here we descend to the 'Plaça Sa Carrossa' (photo 32), so called because it was the only route for carriages up to the old town (where the carriage owners all lived!) (photo 33). This beautiful Plaça contains huge eucalyptus trees (photo 34) (photo 35) and in their shade sits a bronze statue (photo 36). This is Isidor Macabich who was a famous historian, priest and poet. He has been further venerated by having several of the most important streets around the island named after him.
We head from here towards the Plaça de Vila (photo 37) down a narrow pebbled street (photo 38), passing an unusual gargoyle on the right (photo 39).
The Plaça is the main square of the Renaissance district of the old town (photo 40). This is where traders and farmers from out of town assembled on market days to offer their wares for sale.
We leave the square through the 'Portal de ses Taules' (photo 41) (photo 42) with its drawbridge flanked by decapitated statues of a Roman legionary and the goddess Juno (photo 43). Before us lies the fortress ramp and modern civilization once again. We descend the ramp (photo 44) and at its foot head left following the wall back to our starting point, 'Puerta del Palomar' (photo 45).