The rural property of s’Estalella

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The rural property of s’Estalella dates back to the XIII century, when the island of Majorca was conquered by King Jaume I and the consequent expulsion of Muslims happened. The first settler of the area was Ramón de Stella, and the rural property was subsequently passed down from generation to generation.

The following centuries were times of pirates and fishermen; it was then that a defence system that ran throughout the Majorcan coast with a hundred defence towers was devised. S’Estalella tower, dating from 1577, was the first one built. It was then that the fishermen settled in Punta de S’Estalella.

In early times, those lands were of little value due to the poverty of the farmland and the insecurity and destruction that privateer invasions caused.

The family owns S’Estalella since the eighteenth century and from the very beginning, its members have taken care of the environment in which the property is located. The implication was observed when the family decided to ratify the covenant that the previous owners had with the fishermen. The Fishing Village of Sa Punta de S’Estalella remained inhabited until the early twentieth century. Its abandonment was due to the construction of the neighbouring village of S’Estanyol de Migjorn. After a few years, the family decided to maintain and preserve those fishermen barrack huts already existing in the village and asked for the construction permissions in sea areas: the dry docks.

The early and mid-twentieth century was a time of smugglers, locals that in the face of the shortage of commodities undertook lucrative African adventures and used the southern coasts of Majorca to unload the goods they obtained.

During the early years of the tourist boom, s’Estalella was the object of desire of hoteliers, builders and other speculators. However, the family remained firm in order to protect the property and maintain its natural beauty. A well known example is the project of a power plant that the company GESA tried to carry out during the 70’s to 90’s. The project consisted of a coal power plant, a port for cargoes, an industrial area and a large residential community. Its achievement meant the total destruction of the natural environment in which s’Estalella is located. After many economic and political pressures, the family decided not to give in, and fought for the conservation and preservation of the environment. It is essential to underline the popular mobilization of the city of Llucmajor, as reflected in the 1990 mass demonstration held on the property.

There is a controversy in the etymology of s’Estalella. Catalan-Valencian-Balearic Dictionary attributes it to a “Estadella” or small room of what once was the path of the cheesemakers; it also mentions the possibility of deriving from “Estrella” (“star”), which is the shape that the coastline of the property draws into the sea. Moreover, various sources suggest that perhaps the name comes from Ramón Stella, first settler of this area and owner of the rural property in the thirteenth century.

 

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