Europe and the Mediterranean




Ramon Llull was born in Palma in 1232 or 1233 and, according to legend, died in front of the coast of Mallorca in 1316. He was the son of a distinguished family from Barcelona which accompanied King Jaime I the Conqueror in the taking of the island a few years before (1229). He married in Mallorca (1257) and was there where in 1262 had the epiphany that prompted him to radically change his life; in 1265 he went on a pilgrimage to Rocamadour and Santiago de Compostela to return to the island where he remained until at least 1274.

In the course of a hard life travelling, he stops in his native island several times. In 1276 he founded the missionary school of eastern languages at Miramar, on the north coast. In 1299 he decided to return, after twenty years of absence, and attempts to convert the Muslims in Palma that still retained their religion. In 1300 he writes in Mallorca Cant de Ramon; the following year he embarks to the distant Cyprus. In 1307 leaves Palma heading to the Algerian city of Bejaia. Between 1312 and 1313, has a new stay in the island during which he writes Art abreujada de predicació; makes a will in April 1313,  before heading to Messina (Sicily) the following month. He died at 83 or 84 aboard the ship that brings him from Tunisia to Mallorca; his tomb is in the Basilica de Sant Francesc, in Palma. Ramon Llull always identify himself as “Catalan from Mallorca”.


Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Island. The capital Palma was founded in 123BC by the Roman consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus who had occupied the island. After being invaded by the Vandals, the island was under Byzantine rule. IN 902 it passes into the hands of Muslims. The Christian era in Mallorca began with the conquest by the Catalan-Aragonese King Jaime I the Conqueror in 1229. At his death (1276), his son Jaime II remained as King of Mallorca, Count of Roussillon and Cerdanya and Lord of Montpelier.

In Mallorca Islamic monuments are scarce due to the severity of the conquest, which meant a major population change and an absolute substitution of culture, there are only preserved in Palma, the Arab baths, a port bow and few fragments of the wall. Regarding the medieval Christian architecture, Palma can boast of a Gothic centre of great value that includes the Cathedral (“La Seu”), of the 13th and 16th centuries, with the second highest Gothic nave in Europe; the palace of La Almudaina (rebuilt in the 14th century on an ancient Islamic Suda), the Bellver Castle (first circular castle in Europe and the only on in Spain); the convent of Sant Francesc, the churches of Sant Miquel, Santa Eulalia and others.


Ramon Llull quotations

«Do not live off others and you will live free»

Messages about Ramon Llull

Ramon Llull had an extraordinary vitality: he lived over eighty years and wrote more than 250 books.

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