Located at the west end of the island, Ciutadella is the second largest town of Menorca and it was the capital of the island until 18th century, when the British rule moved the title to Mahon. Today it remains as the ecclesiastical capital, since there are the Cathedral of Menorca and the Menorca bishop's palace.
The vast “Plaça des Born”, where born the streets leading into the old town of Ciutadella, is dominated by an obelisk that commemorates the tragic event that marked the history of Ciutadella - the destruction of the city on July 9, 1558 by Turkish pirates. In the same square there are also the stately neoclassical style palaces “Salort Vivó” and “Torre Saura”, which still belong to the nobility still in force today, the City Hall, that is a palace emblem of power located in the place where once stood the “Real Alcázar de Ciutadella”, and the “Teatre des Born” (theater), one of the most important cultural buildings of the city, where are made numerous events throughout the year.
The narrow stone paved streets of the old town of Ciutadella focus a great historical interest. The white washed houses and the splendor of the stone mansions of the old fortified city become an unmissable event for visitors. These houses or mansions of the nobility of Ciutadella found today his purpose in the very traditional “Fiestas de Sant Joan”. These buildings, built in stone, sandstone, are an attraction in themselves and some of them can be visited.
Within the old town of Ciutadella you can find the emblematic “Calle de Ses Voltes”, characterized by the arcades that run through both sides. This street and the old town is ideal for leisurely walks and visit the many shops in the area, from traditional to modern shopping boutiques, perfectly integrated into the palaces and ancient manor houses of Ciutadella.
The streets and buildings of the old town of Ciutadella were protected by a medieval wall until the late 19th century, when it was demolished to make way for the growth of the city. Instead of the wall now there is a wide boulevard known as “Sa Contramurada”, pointing the perimeter of the ancient Ciutadella. Today part of this old wall can still be seen at City Hall and the “Bastió de Sa Font”, now the Municipal Museum of Ciutadella.
Besides the “Bastió de Sa Font”, other attractions of Ciutadella are the Diocesan Museum, located on Seminary Street, the formidable Menorca Cathedral, built during the 14th century on an ancient Arab mosque and the convent of Santa Clara, central point of one the most familiar moments of the Sant Joan Fiestas.
“Sant Joan Fiestas”, on 23rd and 24th June, are one of the most spectacular festivities in Spain. Horses and riders (called "cavallers") are the main protagonists of the most conservative “fiestas” of Menorca with its traditional events, maintaining the rituals of all its acts, such as “Jocs des Pla”, equestrian-inspired fair knights of the Middle Ages.
The port of Ciutadella is one of the most beautiful and picturesque of the Mediterranean Sea. In summer its capacity is overwhelmed by the luxury yachts and many tourists who stroll the terraces of the restaurants during the day and play in the pubs and clubs at night.
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