Lluc is Mallorca´s spiritual centre, where the Gothic 14th-century image of the island´s patron saint (Mare de Deu de Lluc – Mother of God of Lluc) is worshipped. The name Lluc comes from the Latin word lucus, meaning sacred forest, which has led experts to believe that there must have been a pagan sanctuary here. In 1246, immediately after the Christian conquest of Mallorca, there is documentation of a chapel dedicated to Mare de Déu at this spot. However, the Renaissance-style sanctuary which now lies here dates from the 17th century.
Lluc and the buildings around it represent the administrative and religious centre of the municipality of Escorca, which is situated at the heart of the Tramuntana Mountains, without any real population centre. As you reach the complex of Lluc, next to the car park, where the roads from Caimari and Sóller come together, is the water fountain of La Font Coberta. At the entrance to the grounds is the building of Ca s´Amitger, where the people in charge of the crops lived; it is now an interesting visitor centre providing information on the Serra de Tramuntana, with permanent exhibitions on the black vulture, the Mallorcan midwife toad, rock channels and plant life. In front of Ca s´Amitger there is a small square which contains the cross of La Creu de Barracar, one of the delights of the old Lluc Way, which pilgrims followed. At the square of Plaça de Lluc there is another cross – La Creu de ca s´Amitger – which is a copy of the original Gothic-style cross in the Museum of Lluc, which dates from the years 1399 to 1400. In addition to religious objects and works of art, this museum also has displays on archaeology, natural sciences and ethnology.
Outside the grounds are Els Porxets, which were built in 1739 in order to receive the numerous pilgrims who came to Lluc with their horses. In one part of Els Porxets, near the drinking troughs, is the shop Ses Mides, which sells blessed ribbons in different colours which are the same length as the image of La Mare de Déu de Lluc.
On the hill of Sa Trobada, at one side of the sanctuary, where, according to legend the holy image was found, is the Camí dels Misteris (Way of the Mysteries); this comprises 5 stone monuments that were completed in 1913, each with 3 relief representations in bronze showing the mysteries of the Rosary.
L´escolania dels Blauets de Lluc, which was established in 1531, is Mallorca´s oldest musical institution; it´s made up of children at the school at Lluc, who receive primary education in addition to musical instruction. Every morning and evening they sing The Salve in front of the image of La Mare de Déu de Lluc. Throughout the year they perform in different parts of Mallorca, such as the cathedral of La Seu in Palma. They have also performed in other parts of Spain and they have occasionally travelled abroad to sing.
It is possible to walk here from Caimari along the Camí Vell de Lluc (Old Lluc Way), which is a stone track which is well signposted and in good condition. Every year, during the summer, there are many pilgrimages from other parts of Mallorca; the most popular of these is the route from Palma de Mallorca, which is known as Des Güell a Lluc a Peu (From Güell to Lluc on Foot), which involves walking through the night to reach Lluc.
It is possible to stay at the Cells of the Sanctuary of Lluc, which have bathrooms and heating, at the refuge of Can Josep, or at a zone which has been prepared for camping. The telephone number for making reservations is +34 971871525 and the website www.lluc.net contains further information.
On the second Sunday of September the Day of Lluc is celebrated.