Culture & History
Alcúdia - A cultural and historical experience
The first glimpse of Alcúdia is only a fraction of what you will see once you step through the ancient walls that encircle the old town and provide its current physiognomy.
The first vestiges of human presence in the municipality date back to around 6000 BC. Ancient settlers - Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and much later, the Catalans - left a rich collective legacy that has imbued each and every one of our monuments over the centuries and can still be seen today in many parts of the island. There is a historical map available in the various tourist offices that will guide you through our fascinating heritage. You can also download an audio guide: Experience Alcúdia app, for both iOS and Android.
Alcúdia took its name from the old Islamic farmhouse of Alqudya, meaning "El Pujol" and could have been located on "de n'Amorós" street, which is on the highest point of the historical centre, as well as coinciding with the oldest square in Alcúdia, originally called "de la Carnisseria", and currently unnamed.
After the Catalan conquest of Jaume I, in what is known as the Repartiment of 1232, the island’s territories were distributed amongst the King and his vassals and Alcúdia became royal land. According to several documents from the time, it seems that in 1279 Alcúdia already had a certain degree of importance as a geographic and population center, although the city would not acquire its current shape until the city walls were built in the year 1300, in the reign of Jaume II.
The Roman city of Pol·lèntia
Thanks to a series of propitious findings that would inspire decades of research and study, we have the bust of Augusto Velado and the first mention of Pol·lèntia dating back to the 16th century.
The first systematic excavations began in the 1920’s under the auspices of Professor Gabriel Llabrés Quintana and Rafel Issassi. In 1936 the Civil War put a temporary stop to the investigations, which were later resumed and have carried on to this day, with prominent names like Almagro, Tarradell, Arribas and Wood. This coincides with the creation of the Hispano-American Archaeological Centre in the 50’s, under the patronage of the William Bryant Foundation, which ran the works until the end of the 90’s when the site was taken over by the City Council of Pol·lèntia.
Sa Bassa Blanca Museum
Art, nature and architecture coexist in harmony in a museum designed to awaken the senses
The most outstanding architectural detail of the Sa Bassa Blanca Museum (msbb) is, without a doubt, the building designed by Hassan Fathy, a Spanish-Moorish construction known as a “ribat” (fortified building) with majestic vaults and white crenellated walls.
The msbb has 4 exhibition spaces: The old existing water tank or underground cistern was transformed into an exhibition space to house the NINS collection; children's portraits from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The Sokrates space; a “Miracle Chamber” housing a collection of artifacts from all corners of the world, representing different historical moments. The Zoo, a magnificent sculpture park of monumental animals reminiscent of the great civilizations of the past, and the Hassan Fathy building, a space dedicated for temporary exhibitions.
As a clear reflection of the passion to combine art and nature, the museum also houses a walled rose garden, designed by Yannick Vu that has more than one hundred varieties of old and English roses. It is conceived as a “Hortus Conclusus” or medieval garden, a space that combines garden plants and aromatic plants.
Services: Coffe shop, disabled access, cloakroom service, parking, audio guide
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday free admission from 2 pm to 6 pm only for NINS and gardens. Sundays and holidays closed.