Heritage | Tourist route H405

Traditional town centres: Porreres

What is it?

The municipal district of Porreres spreads over 87 square kilometres and has 5,496 inhabitants (data from 2013).  The large number of windmills and farmhouses are evidence of the district's main economy throughout its history which is, like the other districts in the Pla de Mallorca, agriculture and livestock.  The main crops have always been cereals, almonds and grapes.  Apricot cultivation, which was added later on, has become the star activity in Porreres as it produces the greater part of Mallorca's dried apricots.

Visit

Porreres Town Hall

Pl. de la Vila, 17. 07260 Porreres (Mallorca)

Telephone: +34 971 64 72 21

Web site: http://www.porreres.cat

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Detailed description

The route commences at the Carrer Santa Creu bus stop, at the entrance to Porreres, and goes around the main points of interest in the town.  Optionally, Monti-Sion can be climbed.

1. Casa Bel·la (c/ Hospital, 9)

This was the old scrivener's office in Porreres and was documented in the 15th Century.  It has a very low elevation, with a ground floor and porch (seen through a window on the right of the façade).  The doorway is lintelled, with a pointed arch niche, currently empty, and a quadrangular countersunk window on the right.  It has a stone cantilever supporting two rows of roof tiles.

2. L'Oratori del Hospitalet

This was the chapel to the old hospital in the town, which appears in the records for the first time in 1457.  Before this, however, there is a theory that it was the site of the first church in Porreres, recorded in 1242.  During restoration works in 1879 a gothic tablet was found depicting the old patron saints of the town, Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist.  The building was restored in 1655 and 1879.

The façade has a lintelled, unadorned doorway with a circular window above it.  The building is crowned with a plain frontispiece topped with a cross.  The left side is joined to a modern building.  It has a rectangular floor plan, with a barrel vaulted ceiling.  The sacristy has a rib vaulted ceiling.

3. La Quartera (c/ Nunó Sanç, 1)

This builing is a two storey house of medieval origin.  It has a lintelled doorway with a triangular gable with the Llompart family coat of arms.  On the left there is a window and two wooden crossbeams.  Its name indicates that it was previously used as a grain store.

4. El Centre Catòlic (c/ Bisbe Campins, 13)

This is a regionalist building dating from 1935.  It has two storeys.  On the ground floor there are three large semi-circular archways and the one in the centre gives onto the building's access stairway.  The first floor also has three windows onto the balcony but only the central one is framed in a semi-circular arch which also includes a semi-circular window. The side windows are rectangular with lintels.  The balcony on this floor is balustraded, except for the centre which holds the inscription Centre d'Acció Catòlica.

The top of the façade is decorated with plant motifs on the edges, identical balustrading on the sides and, in the centre, a curved pediment housing three small semi-circular arches.  The Porreres coat of arms appears on the edges.

Inside, it is currently a restaurant and retains the stage for putting on plays.

5. Parish Church

The parish church in Porreres is dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation.  The oldest records (a document dated 1242 and the 1248 papal bull from Pope Innocence IV) mention the church of Sant Joan in Porreres as being suffragant to Felanitx.  In 1277 the church must have already been the parish church as its chaplain, Monsignor Arnau Rossell, appears with the title of rector.  It seems that the first church was built on the land that is now home to L'Oratori del Hospitalet.   The location to the current site, to the east of the old town, dates from the end of the 14th Century when a gothic church with six side chapels was guilt.  Construction of the current building commenced in 1667, following a blueprint by Maestro N. Oliver and on the initiative of the rector, Gaspar Llompart.  The bell tower was begun in 1705 and the nave was completed in 1714.  The side chapels and decoration were finished later.  The vaulting stucco and rebuilding date from 1797.

The main façade has a very plain, quadrangular fascia, divided by four lines of impost, with a rose window with helical moulding on the upper third and a completely flat roof.  The main doorway has moulded jambs and lintel, framed by traditional Corinthian columns on plinths and an entablature with a cornice crowned with a pediment containing a roundel with a relief of Our Lady.  On the right of the doorway, the monument dedicated to Bishop Pere Joan Campins (who died in 1915), who was the rector of Porreres, is noteworthy.

The bell tower rises on the right hand side of the church.  It is square with seven storeys and the top two have two pointed archways on each side.  It is crowned with a pyramid-shaped pinnacle.

Inside it has a single nave with a rectangular floor plan, headed by the apse, a barrel vaulted ceiling divided into eight parts and a groin vaulted ceiling in the vestry.  It has seven side chapels on each side and the choir stalls are at the foot of the nave.  The first level has Corinthian pillars with capitals.  The chancel has a baroque altarpiece, dated 1762, which was the work of Josep Sastre, and has depictions of Our Lady of Consolation, Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, a painting of Saint Paul on the attic and is crowned with the town's coat of arms.

The chapels on the right, or the Epístola chapels, are: the Betlem, where well known characters from everyday life are featured, dating from around 1790; Our Lady of Carmen, with various paintings around the sides; the Les Ànimes chapel (All Souls), presided over by a Baroque Christ and a 1752 altarpiece.  We pass the side door, with the organ above it and can then see the Sant Antoni Abat chapel, with a very austere Baroque altarpiece, possibly from the old church; that of Sant Crist, in the baroque style, and that of the Tres Arcàngels (the three Archangels) with a Baroque altarpiece dating from the beginning of the 18th Century which was the work of Domigo Ferrer.

The chapels to the left, or Evangeli chapels, are: Baptisteri, dated 1894; the Sagrada Família (Holy Family) with a Baroque altarpiece; Sant Sebastià, which has depictions of Sant Bartomeu and San Vicenç de Paül; Sant Josep, which an image of him which was the work of Adrià Ferran at the beginning of the 19th Century, and also an image of Our Lady at Rest in the pradella; the Fonda, or Roser, chapel which is octagonal in shape, with a rectangular domed ceiling and two small side chapels; Sant Roc, with a Baroque altarpiece dated 1726, and the Sant Vicenç Ferrer chapel which may date from the 17th Century and have come from the previous church.  There is also a bell wheel dating from 1701.

The parish treasury holds various highly valuable liturgical objects: a chest for holding the supply of the Holy Eucharist (end of the 14th Century); the Gothic processional cross (15th Century) which was the work of Antoni Oliva; the Gothic reliquary and the Neo-Gothic monstrance, made by Fuster, the goldsmith, in 1864.  Another highlight is the Gothic stonework in the choir, which came from the church of Sant Francesc in Palma and is the work of Macià Bonafè (1447-55).  The church holds a Gothic Madonna, sculptured in wood, which is the work of Gabriel Mòger II and dates from the beginning of the 16th Century.

6. La Rectoria

The Rectory, which dates from the 18th Century, has a two storey façade.  On the ground floor the entrance outside rises over four stairs and has a lintel with linear mouldings, while the jambs have vertical grooves.  As a whole it is framed by a semi-circular arch which may be a remnant of the door prior to the works carried out in the 18th Century.  Apart from rectangular windows, to the left of the door we can see a small chapel with a wooden cross.  On the first floor there is a gallery of three low archways supported by two columns with entasis and two embedded pillars on either side.  There is a roundel with a relief of Saint Francis in the centre of the barrier wall.  Inside, apart from works of religious art, it houses the parish archive.

7. Crosses

There are a total of eleven crosses in Porreres, if we count the crosses of the seven joys on the ascent to Monti-Sion.

All of them have great historical and artistic worth, however, unfortunately, some of them are not as well preserved as one would like.  We can point out the Cruz del Pont (15th Century) or the various joys of Mary on the ascent to Monti-Sion (between 15th and 17th Century).

8. Church of Sant Felip Neri (c/ Sant Roc - c/ Passaratx)

This is the chuch of the Congregation of the Oratory, built between 1886 and 1911, on lands given by Monsignor Joan Barceló Móra.  The church is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.  It was designed by Pere d'Alcàntara Peña, aided by Joan Sureda who made the fascia.

The church has a single nave, a groin vaulted ceiling with lunettes and four side chapels with barrel vaulted ceilings.  There is a dome in the transept.  The San Cristo is the same image that presided over the convent of Sant Domingo de Palma.  Paintings by Vicenç Furió and Llorenç Cerdà are conserved here.

9. Monti-sion (optional)

The sanctuary was founded in 1498 and is dedicated to Our Lady of Monti-Sion.  It was remodelled throughout the 18th Century and this affected the church and the decoration.  The Grammar School, which dates from 1530, taught Latin grammar for the purpose of entering the Estudi General Lul·lià, which later became the Literary University.  It closed in 1835 when the education system changed.  Between 1850 and 1855 there was a community of missionaries here lead by Monsignor Cabrera.  After that the sanctuary was in the custody of a caretaker.  New restoration works were carried out in 1892.  The sanctuary is on the summit of the mountain of the same name, at an altitude of 245 metres, and is a part of the Randa massif, specifically the Serra de Sa Mesquida.  A stairway leads from the outside to the eastern side, where the entrance, a low arch, leads to the hall, with low vaulting.  In the hall a lintelled doorway crowned with a niche with a depiction of Our Lady communicates with the inside door and the cloister, which is porticoed and has an irregular pentagonal floor plan, which is unique in Mallorca.  In the centre of the patio there is a quadrangular platform which marks where the water deposit, or cistern, is.  In the middle of it the hexagonal cistern head stands out, with a font and an iron arch.

The church is in the north wing and has a lintelled doorway in the façade.  The upper part has a rose window and three semi-circular openings, with a wall belfry on the top.  The interior is single nave, with two aisles and chancel (erected on three steps) and has two side chapels.  The ceiling is fan vaulted, supported by corbels, with the parts separated by pointed arches.  The high altar has a reredos with a small Neo-Gothic tableau inserted in a wide round arch containing a Gothic image of Our Lady of Monti-Sion, in marble, with a coat of arms underneath that may be the Dusai family's, as they were the church's benefactors.  The sacristy is on the left, which still preserves votive offerings or promises to Our Lady.

The old grammar classroom is preserved in the west wing.  It has a lintelled doorway and, nearby, a relief of an inkwell with the inscription Dilicit Diis portas Sion dil. Diis portas studiosorum. The Porreres coat of arms is above the lintel.  The interior is a rectangular room with a barrel vaulted ceiling, with three arches with smooth pilasters and stone benches against the wall.  On the right of the church, through a hallway with the kitchen on the right, is the refectory, or dining room, which conserves three rows of groin vaulting.  On the left, there is a water font supported by a hand.

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