Sant Salvador from Felanitx

The Sanctuary of la Mare de Déu de Sant Salvador is located at the top of the hill of Puig de Sant Salvador, with road access from a turn-off on the right of the PM-401 road which runs from Felanitx to Porto Colom. The hill forms part of the range of the Serralada de Llevant; it is 494 metres high and affords great views over inland Mallorca and over the south-east coast, with it being possible to view the Natural Park of the Archipelago of Cabrera, to the south of the island, on clear days.

The first documented references to the sanctuary date from 1348, stating that it was constructed under the name of Sant Salvador. It has been indicated that the reason behind its construction was the Black Plague which swept Europe at this time and which caused 900 deaths in Felanitx. The modern name is La Mare de Déu (Mother of God), who is highly venerated here and represented by a stone sculpture from the 15th century. Proof of this veneration is provided by a room full of objects offered to La Mare de Déu in fulfilment of a promise; the room is accessed from the courtyard in front of the church, which is a construction from the beginning of the 18th century. On the ascent up the road there is a small chapel with a sculpture representing the popular tradition of La Mare de Déu encountered by a shepherd. Inside the church there is an altarpiece of the Passion, sculpted in Santanyí stone during the first half of the 15th century. The sanctuary complex, comprising the hospice and the church, has had various uses over time: in the 16th century there was a school teaching grammar here, during the 17th century it served as a watchtower to guard against attacks by pirates from North Africa, and it was looked after by the hermits of the congregation of Sant Pau and Sant Antoni until 1992. It is currently run by some lay brothers and sisters and there is a restaurant and café here.

On the same hill, before reaching the peak, is the cross of Creu des Picot, and in front of the sanctuary is a monument to Crist Rei (Christ the King), which is a 7-metre-high copper sculpture placed on top of a 37-metre-high structure. Both monuments were built during the first half of the 20th century.

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