When you’re renting a villa in Menorca while on holiday, your mind is probably more focused on beaches and seafood than prehistoric culture. But beneath Menorca’s picturesque exterior, there’s a whole lot of history. And on this island, history might be right under your nose. |
Menorca is one of the few places on Earth where you can see taulas, the T-shaped megalithic structures that have been standing for close to 3,000 years. Found everywhere from Ciutadella in the west to Mahón in the east, they are immensely important cultural symbols for the island. For those planning to get the full immersion experience by renting an authentic villa in Menorca, the taulas are a must-see.
Origins and History
The impressive structures were built by the Talaiotic culture, which occupied both Mallorca and Menorca during the Iron Age. It is unclear why the Talaiotic people built the structures, though many archaeologists and researchers believe they had astronomical purposes. The positioning of the monuments, which typically face in a southerly direction, supports this theory.
The taulas are enormous stoneworks, some as high as 12 feet tall. Consisting of a vertical stone pillar topped with a horizontal stone slab, the monuments must have taken incredible manpower and coordination to build in an age without machinery. Thirteen of Menorca’s thirty-two taulas remain standing today – the others have toppled or crumbled over the centuries.
Visiting the Taulas
If you’re renting a villa in Menorca during your visit to the island, chances are that one of these highlights is only a few miles away. With dozens of sites to choose from, you can take your pick.
At 5,000 square metres, Trepucó Talaiotic Village is one of the largest taula sites on the island. Only one mile south of the capital Mahón, Trepucó makes for a wonderful day trip. Though the village was destroyed in 218 BC during the second Punic War, the foundations of Trepucó still stand. Its taula is enclosed by a horseshoe-shaped stone wall, as is common on the island. Fragments of the original city walls, along with a few dwellings, are also open to visitors. Entrance to Trepucó is free of charge.
Another site, Torralba d’en Salord Village, is also a good bet for history-minded visitors. Just ten minutes outside Alaior, this site is a perfectly preserved example of Talaiotic culture. It includes, besides the huge and magnificent taula and its enclosure, two dwellings called talaiots, a number of caves carved into the bedrock, and an underground room supported by rough-hewn stone pillars. The entrance fee is four euros – a bargain for ancient history.
If you’re looking for great day trips within a few minutes’ drive from your villa in Menorca, look for taula sites near you. History is closer than you think!
Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. Personally selecting the finest properties for her clients, Brenda is the go-to person for anyone looking for a villa in Menorca for a relaxing holiday. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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