The region of Alcudia is in the north west of Mallorca just over 50 kilometres from Palma the island’s capital. Alcudia is in two parts, the modern part of the town near the coast, and the older historic area which is about two miles inland.
The earliest archaeological remains which have been discovered in Alcudia are pre-bronze age , and of these, the earliest structures which still remain are monolithic talaiots, of which the Son Sim Talaiots are probably the best known of these.
The Romans probably had the biggest early influence on the area of Alcudia, Pollensa and Palma because it was in this area – in fact pretty much where Alcudia is today, that Roman Consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus founded the town of ‘Pol. Lentia’ in AD 123. Being a Roman from Rome, he built structures in this new town to try and form a mini Rome if you will, temples, palaces, theatre and houses, and it wasn’t until the invasion of the Vandals in the 5th Century AD that Pol. Lentia ceased to be the capital and started to fall into ruin.
The walls that surround the town were originally built in the 14th Century, and although much of this fell into decay over the years, in the early 20th Century it was decided to rebuild them to show their glory. There are 26 towers built into these walls, and it is now possible to take a guided tour around them every Wednesday. At various times during their existence the walled enclosure here has served as a refuge – in the 16th Century in particular during the ‘les Germanies’ revolt Mallorcan nobility sought refuge inside the walls until the troops of Emperor Charles V put a stop to the rebellion. It was then that the village was elevated to the rank of ‘faithful city’ as a thank you for providing this refuge.
Now, Alcudia Town and the archaeological area of Pollensa have been monument listed by decree which means that various projects have been carried out to conserve and protect the area and more projects are on going. The best Roman building still visible is the 2000 seat Teatre Roma auditorium which is just to the south of the town. It is the only surviving roman theatre on Mallorca, and it’s also the smallest amphitheatre in Spain as well. Sadly although much is being done to protect what remains of the Roman structures, many of them are now just ruins, but the Museu Monografic – a simple single roomed museum – has images which are interpretations of what these remains might once have looked like. Many people find a look at these before going to see the ruins helpful in picturing what these once magnificent buildings may have looked like.