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Ciudadela Tourism Article

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Ciudadela is the 2nd biggest city (although with only about 20,000 inhabitants) on the small beautiful Balearic island of Menorca. This charming small holiday town on the western coast has an old palace and narrow cobble stone roads. The quaint harbour of Ciudadela, found within a small bay, has to be one of the smallest in the Med. There were Carthaginian and Roman villages here, before the Moors made Ciudadela the capital of Menorca (or Minorca), a role it held until about 1722 when the occupying British armies swapped the capital to Mahon. There has been a sometimes intense rivalry tween the two cities ever since then, with the people of Ciudadela regarding their home town as the more artistic and cultural of the pair.

At the centre of Ciudadela (sometimes called as Ciutadella) is the elegant plaza of the Placa des Born, encircled with beautiful early 19th century buildings. The memorial in the centre of the plaza commemorates the residents that were killed or kidnapped during a Turkish assault in 1558. Much of Ciudadela was razed during this attack, including the old alcazar. The Town Hall, now built on the site of the Moslem alcazar in the 19th century, is located in the north western part of the square. Up on the first floor of the local Town Hall is a fine Gothic designed room. There are also three old palaces on the eastern side of the Placa des Born; the Palau Torresaura, the Palau Salort and the Palau Vivo. The most imposing of the three is the Palau Torresaura with its fine neo classical frontage. To the side is the Palau Salort which is open to visitors (summer only). The public can admire the displays of antique furniture, art and tapestries.

The Bastio de sa Font was built as a castle in about 1677, then later used as a grain and water storage facility. It is now home to the good but small Ciudadela Museum which traces the towns history. It has a very good displays of ancient and prehistoric relics, including ancient bone tools, Iron Age artifacts and Roman coinage and jewelry.

Construction of Ciudadela Cathedral was commenced in the earl 12th century but it was not finished for over 75 years. Interestingly, some sections of the old mosque which stood on the site were incorporated into the design. The main doorway was an addition of the early 19th century, soon after it had been given cathedral status. Nearby to Ciudadela is the ancient Bronze Age burial site of Naveta des Turons, named because it supposedly resembles an upturned boat. It was restored recently, and noe the Naveta is claimed to be the oldest roofed construction in all Spain.

Most of the lively nightlife in Ciudadela is situated round the port area. Also there are a few good seafood restaurants, with most of them serving a lobster stew named "caldereta de llagosta". Running from the harbour to the beach at Cala des Degollador is the wide seafront esplanade, the Passeig Maritim, along which the Torre de Sant Nicolau, built in the 17th century, is found and there are some quite excellent visyas from the top of this elegant old tower.
Check out more tourist information, attractions and travel advice about Ciudadela on Ciudadela

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