Menorca is an exceptional place to go on vacation and get to know its varied popular culture that has been passed from parents to children throughout history. In addition, the numerous British influences have marked the customs, traditions and the way of life of the Menorcan inhabitants. If you want to discover the route that hides on the island, how to get there, what to see or do, read on. British Menorca awaits you!
British Menorca, know its history
During the 18th century, during the Spanish War of Succession, and as a consequence of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Menorca passed into the hands of the British Empire. After 71 years in British hands, and several dominations, in 1802 it became part of the Spanish sovereignty.
In addition, today you can see the large number of influences that the island has received from that time when it belong to the British Empire. A clear example would be in the multitude of Anglicism that still remains on the island, people use words such as chair (in Menorcan “siti” and in English “sitte”) or chalk (in Menorcan “xoc” and in English “chalk”). Although is not only that, we can also find influences in gastronomy, such as the name “grevi”, which use it to refer to a sauce that accompanies meat (in English called “gravy”).
This small island of the Mediterranean Sea became, because of its geographical location, a clear target for continuous invasions by pirates into the Mediterranean during the Medieval Period. In those times several towers and fortifications were built to protect the population from the enemy.
Most of these buildings are currently preserved in good condition and maintain the essence of that British era. Among them we find:
Bastion of the Governor: Walls that are located in Citadel since the fourteenth century, which are currently preserved in two bastions: Sa Font and the Governor.
Torre d’en Quart: It is a rare construction on the island since it is not located on the coast. It served to protect the most vulnerable areas from pirate attacks.
Torre de la Princesa: It is located on the cliff of La Mola and was built to prevent landings in Es Freus. At first, it was divided into three floors. On the ground floor was stored gunpowder and food. On the middle floor the garrison was kept. And finally, in the one above, the terrace, is where the cannons were shot and the tower was defended so that the enemy could not enter. Today it serves as a museum because of a blast suffered by lightning.
Lanzarote: It was a health centre where they took quarantined patients who had suffered bubonic plague in the 18th century. Currently, it is declared a Cultural Interest Property and there they concentrate to host national and international meetings and congresses. It is also open to the public to discover the history of British Menorca in greater depth.
Fort Marlborough: It was built between 1720-1726 by the British to protect the Port of Mahon. Although it was eventually demolished by the Spaniards, it was subsequently rebuilt. Its name is due to British general John Churchill, who was very famous at the time.
Camino d’en Kane: the name honours the Irish military man Richard Kane, who ruled between 1712 and 1717. It was built to facilitate military and agricultural communication between Ciutadella and San Felipe Castle. Currently, you can rent bicycles and go along the field-lined road, so you can enjoy the scenery and see the small houses located along the way.
The Headquarters of the Military Government: For many years it was the King’s house, but after the British invasion they turned it into the Governor’s Palace. Today it is used as the seat of the Government of Menorca.
Isla del Rey: The British called it The Bloody Island and built a hospital where they treated the wounded in naval battles. In addition, it is said that Alfonso II arrived there for the first time in 1287, hence the name.
It is located between Mahón (capital of the island) and Es Castell, a small town located at the mouth of the port of Mahón. There, in the town square, they recreate dressed in clothes of the time, the historical representation of how the English returned through the Treaty of Amiens, the island to the Spaniards. In addition, this port has about 6 km of promenade and is considered one of the best natural harbours in the Mediterranean.
And to be able to visit all these places, what better option than to stay in an all-inclusive hotel in Menorca?
Both at our Insotel Punta Prima Resort & Spa and at Insotel Punta Prima Prestige Suites & Spa, you can find all the amenities to enjoy the island at its best and relax with our best services. Both are located next to the sea and in strategic areas to visit Menorca.
Enjoy the holidays you deserve with us, we are waiting for you!