The Serra de Tramuntana in July
Olive trees, the most symbolic crop on the Serra
Olive groves occupy almost 95% of the terraced fields on slopes, and tend to be combined with carob and almond trees. Orange trees, despite the economic importance they took on in the 19th century, today only occupy 3.2% of croplands, and are located on low-laying fields that have deeper and more fertile soil.
The Serra de Tramuntana olive tree not only fights the traditional common enemies of agriculture, but also suffers a specific disadvantage due to being planted on hard-to-reach terraced slopes that make it difficult to mechanise farming activities, vital for the survival of olive trees as a livelihood.
The Serra de Tramuntana by scenic viewpoints
This area, perfect for trekking and cycling, attracts travellers every spring who climb and bike the paved trails, go to the viewpoints and coves and visit the sites frequented by the island’s first illustrious guests: George Sand and Frederic Chopin, Robert Graves, and Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria.
Their names and part of their lives are linked to towns on the sierra that—due to being so close to the coast—have the very best of both the sea and the mountain.
The Balmes School’s experience in the Serra de Tramuntana APS
During the 2016-2017 academic year, the classes of year five and six, along with their tutors, did a Serra de Tramuntana APS project with another 20 schools from around Majorca.
Our project was concretely aimed at cleaning and reusing the Serra.
Developing habits of working hard and responsibility when working, maximising teamwork, fostering the search for information, raising the awareness of the entire student body of the value of our Serra de Tramuntana were all some of the objectives to develop.
Heritage interest of the marjades on the Serra de Tramuntana
These dry stone retaining walls represent first order heritage, both for the wealth of techniques used in building them and the large number of items integrated into the wall, whether to reinforce them (elbow joints, layout of the terraces, etc.) or to facilitate access (stairs, ramps, etc.).
Other constructions linked to farming activities are also common, such as porches, wells and threshing floors.
These retaining walls also have interesting naturalist value, as they are home to numerous plant and animal species, and contribute to conserving the diversity of the natural environment.
The marger trade in Majorca
The dry-stone building trade—or marger—is deeply rooted in Majorcan culture. This profession, which started slipping into decline in the mid-20th century, in parallel with the agricultural crisis, has been revived thanks to the involvement of many different institutions.
Dry-stone constructions are made without any mortar (material used to glue the stones together). The dry stone technique is universal. It is used in Machu Pichu, for example. In Majorca the most well-known constructions are dry stone walls and terraces, used to delimit lands.