Mahón

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About Mahón

Maó stretches along the shore of one of the best and largest natural ports in the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of Minorca still preserves a number of churches, ancestral buildings and palaces,...

Maó stretches along the shore of one of the best and largest natural ports in the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of Minorca still preserves a number of churches, ancestral buildings and palaces, lining streets of deep Mediterranean flavour.

But Mahón is also the silent witness to the presence of many diverse cultures that populated it throughout history. In the outskirts, archaeological sites like Trepucó can be visited, where one of the best collections of prehistoric art in the island is preserved.Another thing that makes the capital attractive is, in addition to the neighbouring coves, its location next to the S’Albufera des Grau, I’lla d’en Colomi i el Cap de Favàritx Nature Reserve, one of the most important ecosystems in the Balearic Islands.Legend has it that Mahón was founded by Carthaginian general Magón, brother of Hannibal. However, one thing is certain: both the present site of the city and the rest of the island of Minorca have been settled, throughout history, for many different civilisations. There were human settlements in the Island as far back as 2000 BC, leaving an important archaeological patrimony, which include the Talaiots (tower-shaped megaliths) and the Navetas (funeral constructions in the shape of an upside-down vessel). Under the Roman Empire, from 123 BC, the city became very important strategically, so that in 73-74 BC Emperor Vespasian declared the colony of Mago (present Mahón) a municipality. With the arrival of the Arabs, the city would become a remarkable Mediterranean commercial port, until the Christian king Alfonso III conquered the island in 1287. Centuries later, in the 1700s, the city would regain its lost splendour, becoming the administrative capital of the island during British rule.The cityAlong the streets that make up the historic quarter of Mahón, a good number of bourgeois houses can be observed, as well as historic buildings, especially around the squares of Colón, Sant Francesc, Conquesta and Miranda.

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