THE ECOMUSEUM> What can we discover? > Mosque
In 903 A.D. Isâm al-Khawlânî conquered Majorca and Minorca , islands of immense strategic value. The caliphate, which began in 930 A.D., was a period of great splendour, both politically and culturally. But the Balearic Islands did not gain a rich Muslim architectural, urbanistic and literary heritage until the taifas kingdoms of the 11th century, known as the Golden Century of al-Andalus. The Christians wrested control of the island of Minorca from the Muslims in 1286 A.D., putting an end to the Moorish period.
In those days, the only city of Minorca was Madina Manurqa or “the city of the island” – ciutat de l'illa – which became modern-day Ciutadella. Most of the population was dispersed in small agricultural and stockbreeding villages. Muslim society was organised along tribal lines and was constituted by a complex ethnic mix of Berbers, Arabs, and descendants of the islanders. There were many black or mixed-race people among the island's inhabitants.
Sanitja: The First Mosque in the Balearic Islands
In Minorca and Majorca , the place name “Sa Mesquida“ indicates the existence of a mosque. Archaeology has yet to give us much information, although it has enabled us to document the first mosque in the Balearic islands as having been built at Sanitja harbour. It consists of a rectangular room with a semicircular minaret located at the central portion of the southern wall. The door has not yet been identified, though in similar constructions it is usually located in the middle of the northern wall. The roof was assumedly flat, made with branches and sand for weatherproofing. Materials from the Roman city were reused to build the mosque. There was probably a farmstead at Sanitja with grain and legume crops as well as pastures for grazing.