MENORCA or MINORCA (/mɪˈnɔːrkə/ ; Catalan : _Menorca_ ; Spanish
: _Menorca_ ; from
Menorca has a population of approximately 94,383 (2010). It is located 39°47' to 40°00'N, 3°52' to 4°24'E. Its highest point, called El Toro or Monte Toro, is 358 metres (1,175 feet) above sea level .
* 1 History
* 2 Climate
* 3 Culture
* 3.1 Traditional celebrations * 3.2 Sports
* 4 Language * 5 Food and drink
* 6 Wildlife
* 6.1 Flowers * 6.2 Insects * 6.3 Reptiles and amphibians * 6.4 Birds * 6.5 Mammals
* 7 Municipalities * 8 Gallery * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links
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The island is known for its collection of megalithic stone monuments:
_navetes_ , _taules_ and _talaiots _, which speak of a very early
prehistoric human activity. Some of the earliest culture on Menorca
was influenced by other
The end of the
Punic wars saw an increase in piracy in the western
Mediterranean. The Roman occupation of
In 13 BC Roman emperor
JEWS OF MENORCA
The island had a Jewish population. The _Letter on the Conversion of
the Jews_ by a 5th century bishop named Severus tells of the forced
conversion of the island's 540 Jewish men and women in AD 418.
Several Jews, including Theodore, a rich representative Jew who stood
high in the estimation of his coreligionists and of Christians alike,
underwent baptism. The act of conversion brought about, within a
previously peaceful coexisting community, the expulsion of the ruling
Jewish elite into the bleak hinterlands, the burning of synagogues,
and the gradual reinstatement of certain Jewish families after the
forced acceptance of Christianity, allowing the survival of those
Jewish families who had not already perished. Many
Menorca became a British possession in 1713, they actively
encouraged the immigration of foreign non-Catholics, which included
Until 1344 the island was part of the Kingdom of
Battle of Menorca, 1756
Invaded by Britain\'s Royal Navy in 1708 during the War of the
Spanish Succession ,
Menorca temporarily became a British possession.
Great Britain took possession in 1713, under the terms of Article XI
Treaty of Utrecht
In 1756, during the Seven Years\' War , France captured the island
after the Siege of Fort St Philip and a failed British relief attempt
. Thanks to the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the British returned to the
island again following Britain\'s victory in the Seven Years\' War .
In 1781, during the
American War of Independence , the British were
defeated for a second time , in this instance by a combination of
French and Spanish forces, and on 5 January 1782 the Spanish regained
control of the island, after a long siege of St. Philip\'s Castle in
Port Mahon. On the feast of the Epiphany , as an expression of joy,
King Charles III of
Spanish Civil War
In October 1993,
Menorca was designated by
As the rest of the Balearics, Menorca has a mediterranean climate (Köppen : _Csa _), with mild winters and long, hot summers.
CLIMATE DATA FOR MAHóN – MENORCA AIRPORT 91M (1981–2010)
MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 14.1 (57.4) 14.2 (57.6) 15.9 (60.6) 18.0 (64.4) 21.6 (70.9) 25.8 (78.4) 28.9 (84) 29.2 (84.6) 26.2 (79.2) 22.7 (72.9) 18.1 (64.6) 15.2 (59.4) 20.8 (69.4)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 10.8 (51.4) 10.8 (51.4) 12.3 (54.1) 14.3 (57.7) 17.8 (64) 21.8 (71.2) 24.9 (76.8) 25.4 (77.7) 22.6 (72.7) 19.4 (66.9) 14.9 (58.8) 12.1 (53.8) 17.2 (63)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 7.5 (45.5) 7.4 (45.3) 8.6 (47.5) 10.6 (51.1) 13.9 (57) 17.8 (64) 20.8 (69.4) 21.5 (70.7) 18.9 (66) 16.1 (61) 11.6 (52.9) 9.0 (48.2) 13.6 (56.5)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 52 (2.05) 54 (2.13) 38 (1.5) 45 (1.77) 37 (1.46) 14 (0.55) 3 (0.12) 20 (0.79) 61 (2.4) 78 (3.07) 88 (3.46) 61 (2.4) 546 (21.5)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 1 MM) 7 7 6 6 4 2 1 2 5 7 8 9 64
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 144 146 202 222 270 311 347 312 225 183 142 130 2,632
Port de Maó (Mahón)
The location of Menorca in the middle of the western Mediterranean was a staging point for the different cultures since prehistoric times. This Balearic Island has a mix of colonial and local architecture.
The festes take place throughout the summer in different towns around
the island, and have their origins in the early 14th century. The
international opera week and international organ festival in Mahon,
and the summer music festival and Capella Davidica concerts in
Menorca's cuisine is dominated by the
Menorquín horse ridden by caixer at festes
Menorca is especially well known for its traditional summer fiestas, which intrigue many visitors. The 'Festes de Sant Joan' are held annually in Ciutadella, during 23–25 June. The festes last for three days. On the first day, a man bears a well-groomed sheep upon his shoulders and parades around the local streets. In the late evening, main streets are closed and bonfires held upon them.
On the second day, locally bred black horses are dressed with ribbons and rosettes. The riders, or "caixers", ride the horses through the streets and, along with a tumultuous crowd of people, encourage them to rear up on their hind legs. The brave can be found running underneath them in an attempt to touch the horses hearts for good luck.
The third day sees intense competition between the riders in a harmless form of jousting that involves spearing a suspended ring with a lance at considerable speed. The festes are brought to a close with a firework display.
As a small island, it is very seldom that there is a chance to see top level sport competitions in Menorca. In football, CF Sporting Mahonés managed to play in Segunda División B , the third level of the Spanish football league system, between 1987–1993 and between 2009–2012. In basketball, Menorca Bàsquet played in the Liga ACB , the first tier level men's professional basketball league in Spain, between 2005–2009 and in 2010–2011. Incidentally, both clubs dissolved in 2012 due to financial problems.
In the last years, some sport events that gather hundreds of
participants are successfully held on a yearly basis, such as the
triathlon race Extreme Man
Menorca or the single-staged ultramarathon
Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls . In 2014 it was announced that
the island would host the 18th editions of the
The two official languages are Catalan and Spanish. Natives to the island speak the variety of Catalan called _Menorquí_, and they typically speak Spanish fluently as a second language ; many immigrants are monolingual in Spanish.
Between Menorquí and standard Catalan proper, as with most Balearic
dialects , the most distinctive difference is the different word used
for the article "the", where _Menorquí_ uses "es" for masculine and
"sa" for feminine. Menorquí thus shares the source of its article
with many Sardinian varieties (masc. sing. _su_, fem sing. _sa_),
rather than the standard Catalan "el" and "la", common to other
Romance languages (e.g. Spanish _el_, _la_, Italian _il_, _la_),
corresponding to a form which was historically used along the Costa
FOOD AND DRINK
Wine production has been known on the island since ancient times, but it went into a heavy decline over the last century. Now, several new, small wineries have started up, producing wines locally.
Lingering British influence is seen in the Menorcans' taste for gin ,
which during local _festes_ honoring towns' patron saints is mixed
with lemonade (or bitter lemon ) to make a golden liquid known as
Also famous is Mahón cheese , a cheese typical of the island.
One origin story of mayonnaise is that it was brought back to France from Mahon, Menorca, after Louis-François-Armand du Plessis de Richelieu 's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756.
Sweets known as flaons are one of the typical gastronomic products of Menorca.
Menorca is rich in wild flowers with over 900 species of flowering
plants recorded. Many are those typical of the
Cleopatra, Algendar gorge.
30 species of butterflies have been recorded on Menorca and most are on the wing from March to late September. The species that occur include the Cleopatra , Lang\'s short tailed blue and the two-tailed pasha . Despite not having many large wetlands dragonflies abound on Menorca. Seventeen species have been recorded including the emperor dragonfly .
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
There are three species of _amphibia_: green toad (_Bufo viridis_),
marsh frog and stripeless tree frog (_Hyla meridionalis_). The common
lizard seen all over the island is the
Italian wall lizard (_Podarcis
siculus_) although the
Moroccan rock lizard (_Scelaris perspicillata_)
also occurs. The Balearic endemic Lilford\'s wall lizard (_Podarcis
lilfordi_) can be found on many of the offshore islands. Two species
of gecko can be found on Menorca, the Moorish (_Tarentola
mauritanica_) and the Turkish (_Hemidactylus turcicus_) also called
Hermann\'s tortoise (_Testudo hermanni_) is quite common and can be found all over the island. Two terrapin species are also found, the native European pond terrapin (_Emys orbicularis_) and the introduced American red-eared slider _(Trachemys scripta_).
The birdlife of
Menorca is very well known.
Menorca is a well watched
island which is on the migration route of many species and good number
of passage migrants can be seen in spring. Residents include
Audouin\'s gull , blue rock thrush and
Thekla lark . booted eagle and
red kite are easy to see as is
Municipal boundaries in Menorca
* Fornells , which belongs to the municipality of Es Mercadal. Famous for its lobster stew .
* Es Migjorn Gran (or _Es Mitjorn Gran_) – hometown of Joan Riudavets .
* Cala En Porter – a tourist and residential area
* Port Mahon (officially _Maó_ in Catalan, _Mahón_ in Spanish) – became the capital in 1722 during the British domination, thanks to its strategic natural harbour.
* Llucmassanes – a small hamlet which belongs to the municipality of Maó. * Sant Climent, which belongs to the municipality of Maó.
The areas and populations of the municipalities (according to the _Instituto Nacional de Estadística_, Spain) are:
MUNICIPALITY Area (km2) Census Population 1 November 2001 Actual Population 1 January 2010
Ferreries 66.1 4,048 4,620
Es Mercadal 138.3 3,089 5,398
Es Migjorn Gran 31.4 1,167 1,539
Alaior 109.9 7,108 9,399
Port Mahon (_Maó_) 117.2 23,315 29,050
Es Castell 11.7 6,424 7,926
Sant Lluís 34.8 3,270 7,204
TOTALS 695.7 71,524 94,383
Taula from the site of Talatí de Dalt about 4 km (2 mi) west of Maó. *
_Cales Coves_ of Menorca. Note the hand-hewn entrances to the caves. *
Menorcan countryside *
Cala Trebalúger *
Martello tower, Alcaufar with Illa de l'aire lighthouse in the distance. *