old port de pollensa photo

Photos of Mallorca

Photos of Mallorca – Then and now

Photos of Mallorca may not be what you’d expect from a photo restoration business but we all need a holiday and a break from the norm and having had a week in Mallorca recently I’m no different. Summer holidays are normally a time to relax and unwind for a week or two, quite rightly, but being in the old photo business that’s never quite the case. I love to lye back and relax on a sun lounger like the majority but I also love nothing more than to visit new places and learn about their history. And as I’ve said before, there’s no better story than that found in a photo.

When the words photos of Mallorca are spoken many people would have visions of package holidays, sun, sea and sangria. Ignoring the rowdy resorts of Magaluf and Santa Ponsa the mind might wonder to family holidays in Cala Dor, Puerto Pollensa or Cala Millor. However, like any place Mallorca is steeped in history and there was once a time when it wasn’t focussed totally on tourism.

After the Second World War, tourism exploded in the 1950’s and Mallorca has never looked back. With it’s hot weather, warm Mediterranean Sea and picturesque beaches Mallorca became extremely popular with European tourists. Little more than a two hour flight from the UK the popularity of the island has never waned and isn’t likely to in the near future.

Old photos with the new

My most recent trip to Mallorca was to Puerto Pollensa on the north of the island. A forty five minute drive from Palma airport it’s a fantastic resort with a long sandy beach, a friendly relaxed atmosphere and plenty of lovely restaurants – especially if you like fish. However, when visiting a new place it’s not just the present that interests me. I like to know the history of a place and sometimes a couple of then and now photos are the best way of beginning that search.

 port de pollensa photo today

Above we have a recent photo of Puerto Pollensa that shows the bay with the two mountains behind. Then below we have an old photo of the same area, at a slightly different angle, showing the same two mountains in the background and how Port de Pollensa looked in 1930. From the old photo you can see that before the tourism expansion the area was just habited by locals, quite likely fishermen. And as much as I enjoyed my recent visit to the area there is the old romantic in me that would love to visit the area in the old picture. In my mind I can’t help but think what a place that must have been to live back then. Self sufficient and with the same climate and natural scenery they have now. Much like the old fishing towns of Padstow and St Ives in Cornwall would have been many years ago before tourism hit.

 old port de pollensa photo

I’m not against the growth of tourism and the fact that people can visit many different areas of beauty all round the globe and expand their knowledge and horizons can only be a good thing. However, I do ponder what is lost by over developing these areas? From the old photos we work on we totally understand the value these precious moments have to our customers. Like an old photo, history is much the same and where possible we should do all we can to preserve these special areas before it’s too late. As the Second World War evidences when massive areas of historical significance were reduced to rubble by the swathes of bombing across Europe. Once history has been knocked down it disappears from the masses forever.

Sticking with the photos of Mallorca theme there’s plenty of positives to the Puerto Pollensa area when it comes to history and preservation of that history in the present day. Yes the area is dominated by tourism but it’s far from a Magaluf or Benidorm invasion. There’s an air of class and relaxation along the pine walk by the sea front and the old town of Pollenca is a short drive away. The photo below shows some of the traditional historical architecture well preserved and available to visit today.

 pollensa old town photo

Photo of Lighthouse at Formentor

However, my personal favourite and the historical element that really stood out to me on my recent trip was the old lighthouse at Formentor. Before I go in to the history of the landmark I’ve posted up a recent photo of the lighthouse from holiday weather.com. I’m sure you’ll agree the view is stunning. .

 lighthouse at formentor

The lighthouse sits at the most northerly point of the island of Mallorca and using the photo above it shows a bit of winding road up to the lighthouse. This in no way does the road justice though, considering the road winds it’s way up the mountains for about half an hour before you reach the lighthouse. I’m not overstating this when I say that the drive is without question the most picturesque and exhilarating of my life so far. Not for the feint hearted it involves cliff edge driving, think the end of the film the Italian Job, with amazing views of the cliffs and sea. It can get quite hairy at times, especially with the thin roads and cars coming the other way but I’d recommend a drive up there to anyone because the lighthouse and the views are well worth the drive up there.

by Brent Di Cesare

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