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Mahon (or Mao in Catalan) is the capital of the small Balearic island of Menorca and is situated along a cliff top position, just to the south of the natural harbour. Mahon has been often occupied by various armies during its varied history, including the British in the early 18th century. The former British influence can still seen throughout the old quarter, most noticeably in the Georgian type of architecture which is a strong feature of Mahon.

Mahon sightseeing is extensive including the Placa de s Esplanada, that was originally the parade ground for the British Army in the 18th century, in fact on one side of this large square is the old army barracks. With its pavement cafes, childs play areas, flower displays and water fountains, the Placa de s Esplanada is now a popular place to congregate for the citizens of Mahon, who go there for a chat or to just watch the world go by. A small clothes market is also held there every Tuesday and Sunday morning, plus it is also hosts the very occasional concert or display.

The old quarter is situated a little north east of the Placa de s Esplanada, where you can stroll within this maze of narrow roads and small plazas or visit the church of Santa Maria which overlooks the Placa de la Consititucio. Constructed in the early 18th century on the site of a previous church, Santa Maria is most notable for its Classical facade and beautifully decorated interior. Many tourists also come to listen to its organ, that was built in about 1810 by the Swiss, Johann Kyburz. Next door to the church is the former 18th century town hall, which is now open to the public who are allowed to visit the meeting chamber to admire the fine old portraits.

The Esglesia del Carme, constructed in the early 18th century as a Carmelite nunnery, has a rather auster looking exterior in contrast to its brighter interior. Once badly damaged (during the Spanish Civil War), it has since been thoroughly renovated. It was originally built on the former site of a Roman necropolis, where a number of old coins were found, they are now on show in the Museu de Menorca. The former cloisters right next to the church are now used as a covered market.

Located alongside the church of Sant Francesc is the Museum of Menorca which contains a quite large and rare collection of relics related to the island history, this includes coinage, old maps, oil paintings and local pottery. The highlight is an unusual skeleton of a goat like species, Myotragus Balearicus, that became extinct after the arrival of humans on Menorca. Close to this museum is the famous distillery that produces the Xoriguer Rum.

The importance of Mahon is its natural, deep water port, that is one of the biggest in the world. This is why the town has been so strategically important throughout the centuries and the primary reason why the British moved the capital to Mahon from Cuidadela 300 years ago. One of the favourite ways to view Mahon marina is on a glass bottomed cruise boat. From the harbour you can also enjoy a fine view of the famous red Georgian villa, the Hotel del Almirante, located high up on the cliff top.
For more holiday advice, tourist tips and information about Mahon please visit Mahon

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