Mystery and miracles surround the centerpiece of Mallorca’s most sacred site, an authentic 13th-century monastery.
Visit the Lluc Monastery and relax in tranquil gardens, investigate architectural features by Gaudí and learn the amazing story of the statue of the Virgin Mary that prompted the building of this chapel.
Set among the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, Lluc has been a place of pilgrimage since the 1200s, when a Moorish shepherd boy discovered a wooden figure of the Virgin in a cleft in a rock. Despite various people placing the statue in a nearby church, it returned on three separate occasions to the cave. The local people took this as a sign from God and built a separate shrine in which to house the statue.
Make your way through the monastery and see the rooms where pilgrims stayed above stables. Don’t miss the chapel where the statue of the Virgin or La Moreneta (the little dark one) resides. The statue is encrusted with precious stones. Look around the interior of the chapel and you will see the coats of arms of every town in Mallorca carved into the walls. Come to hear a recital by Els Blauets choir, one of the longest-running choirs in the world.
Climb to the first and second floors of the monastery to visit the small museum. As well as rare ceramics and chalices you can view paintings by 20th-century Mallorcan artist, Josep Coll Bardolet.
Stroll along the Way of the Rosaries to witness the spot where the figure of the Virgin is said to have been discovered. On your way up the hill, look for five stone monuments and three bronze reliefs which were created under the guidance of the architect, Antoni Gaudí.
Those looking for somewhere quiet to relax should head to the Botanical Garden. This tranquil oasis holds approximately 200 plant species which are indigenous to the Balearic Islands.
The monastery is located in Escorca in northwest Mallorca, an hour’s drive from the capital, Palma. Simple hotel accommodation and camping are available on the site. The monastery is open all week. There is a small admission fee for the museum and chapel.