History of the salt Sal en in Mallorca

 

Few minerals have influenced so much in the life of the human beings like the salt. Salt is the oldest seasoning used by men and it is so important to life that has become a milestone in history.

It is possible that the first treat known on salt appeared in China in the year 2700 B.D.

The oldest found ceramic remains make us believe that the salt extraction in Mallorca was made in the IV century B.C during the Punic invasion to the island. The main part of the architectural remains belong to the Roman imperial age until the VI century AD.

In Mallorca there existed the salt mines of “des Prat” at the pla of Sant Jordi in the municipality of Mallorca, the salt mines of Les Fontanelles in the municipality of Can Pastilla, those from Calviá known as Salobral and the salt mines of s’Illot, in the municipality of Muro, currently part of the Natural Park of L’Albufera.

But the most important area in Mallorca for the collection of salt and the salt mines that are still working are:

  • The salt mines of Sa Vall: Located in the municipality of Ses Salines, they were utilised by the Punic for the first time in the IV century AD. After being utilised by the Romans, they were abandoned until Jaime I conquered the territory, who gave them to Arnau de Cruilles in the year 1225. By 1302, they belonged to Pere de Torrella, and in the year 1383 Arnau de Torrella sold them to Guillermo Descatlar, whose family still owns them.
  • The salt mines of Estrenc (Salobral de Campos): They are the most important salt mines of Mallorca, because of their expanse (172 hectare) and their production (about 10,000 tonnes). The total wet area covers about 354 hectare. . 

Just as the salt mines of Sa Vall, they were utilised by the Punics in the IV century B.D and then by the Romans. Historically, the greater part of the salt mines belonged to the “Possessió de Sa Barrala” that, from 1414 to the end of the XIX century, belonged to the Descatlar family together with the salt mines of Sa Vall. They were abandoned after that, until in 1951 the company Salinas de Levante S.A. acquired them and started a new period of strip mining that still continues today. 

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