Manacor – so much more than pearls and furniture

Small, shiny, white pearls have made Manacor famous far beyond the borders of Majorca. Jewellery from Perlas Majorica is among the most famous souvenirs from the island. These are not cultured pearls. On the contrary, they are artificial pearls – manufactured using a special process devised at the end of the 19th century. The exact process remains the secret of the manufacturer, which has been located in Manacor since 1902. Ultimately, these little orbs are an excellent imitation that at first glance can hardly be distinguished from the real thing.

100 per cent made in Majorca

No longer do the Majorcan pearls come only in the form of the classical necklaces, strung in nice, neat rows – not by a long shot. They also adorn pendants, brooches, earrings, bracelets and rings. However, Manacor does not live on its pearls alone. Agriculture and the furniture industry are other economically important factors in Manacor in the east of Majorca. And many a good wine is bottled here too – in the vineyards of Vins Miquel Gelabert and Pere Seda, for instance, or in young bodegas such as Mandia Vell some five kilometres away, where they press vegan wines.

Chartered for 800 years

Manacor, with approximately 43,000 inhabitants, is one of the few cities in Majorca and was granted a town charter way back in 1300. Its unusual coat of arms shows a hand clasping a red heart. Hence “Man a cor” – hand to heart – and this is where the name comes from, or so says a folk story. However, it’s not historically documented. Manacor is the third-largest municipality on the island. It has 27 kilometres of coastline, with Manacor’s harbour, Porto Cristo, and numerous beaches, from Cala Anguila, Cala Murada and Cala Murta, to Cala Mendia, to Cales de Mallorca.

Long-established shops, haute cuisine

The centre of Manacor, with its narrow streets and shops, cafés and bars is well worth seeing. Long-established shops have survived here, like the menswear shop Casa Salvadoras that can be found on Plaça Weyler – so it’s in the best location. In this spot, you’ll also find the modern Factoría Gastrobar, where chef Tomeu Bauzà has dedicated himself to haute cuisine. He himself calls his restaurant “a culinary creativity factory”. Meanwhile, the Plaça Sa Bassa is an appealing place to take a breather and have a vino or a café con leche. And on the Plaça Constitució, you’ll find a typical fruit and vegetable market every working day, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Do you need still more bustling market life? Then you could also drop in to Plaça Ramon Llull on a Monday morning.

Towering over the middle of the city is the neo-Gothic church of Nostra Senyora dels Dolors, with its remarkable bell tower soaring to a height of 75 metres. This is a true highlight! It is the highest in Majorca, topping even Palma’s cathedral. And the former monastery of Sant Vicenç Ferrer from the 16th century is captivating with its beautiful cloister.

Museum in a fortified tower

The historical Museu de Manacor relates the diverse history of the city, displaying its trove of treasures in the Torre dels Enagistes. The origins of this mighty building and fortified tower date back to the 13th century. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the different epochs, including prehistory as well as the periods of Roman rule and Islamic rule. You can find the Manacor Museum on the road from Manacor to Cales de Mallorca. Admission is free of charge.

Manacor’s most athletic ambassador

And then, Manacor also has a brilliant and treasured representative in the sporting arena. After all, one of the best tennis players in the world was born in Manacor – Rafael Nadal. And not least with his Rafa Nadal Sports Centre, the tennis star has created his own local monument. In addition to tennis courts and other sports and fitness facilities, this also includes a sports hotel, a shop and the Museum Xperience, where you can see the exceptionally talented player’s shirts, trophies, medals and tennis rackets. It goes without saying that Nadal, born in 1986, is something of the undisputed local hero. He didn’t achieve his success by chance… his credo is “Work hard, have fun and make it happen”.

Horse racing and properties

Fans of the turf – and there are many in Majorca – can pursue their passion at the Hipòdrom. Back in 1960 was when the first harness trotting races in Manacor took place. The Hipòdrom was the first ever in Majorca.

Manacor is also accessible by public transport, thanks to its good bus and train connections. And if you’re on the lookout for a property, you will find a wide variety of choice in Manacor and its rural surroundings – from apartments in the city centre to the finest of villas by the sea.