Stay at the Monastic Sanctuary of Lluc on Majorca

by KathleenDuffy

The Monastic Sanctuary of Lluc, in the beautiful Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, is a haven of peace, tranquillity and spiritual renewal for both tourists and pilgrims.

The Sanctuary of Lluc welcomes day visitors, cyclists, walkers and pilgrims of all nationalities, of all faiths or none. If you want to stay overnight the rooms are clean, comfortable, simple and reasonably priced.

It is far away from Majorca's tourist centre, yet easily accessible by public transport, your car or your bike. And of course, you can always walk!

Pilgrim Sanctuary of Lluc - History and Landscape

Pilgrim Sanctuary of Lluc, Majorca
Pilgrim Sanctuary of Lluc, Majorca
K Duffy

Think of Mallorca and you may have an image of concrete coastlines, night clubs and noisy revellers partying into the night. This is certainly one aspect of Mallorca, yet I found a haven of peace, tranquillity and spiritual renewal when I travelled solo to the beautiful northern section of the island.  

The Sanctuary of Lluc,  dates from the 17th century but there has been a strong Christian presence here since the thirteenth century. Even before then,  prehistoric man was held in thrall by nature and the area was a centre of animistic worship.  Lluc is a sacred place – indeed the word Lluc derives from the Latin word ‘lucus’ which means sacred wood.

Arriving at Lluc - Entering a Spiritual Place

Lluc Landscape
Lluc Landscape
K Duffy

I caught the bus from the centre of Palma. The road to Lluc winds up through a landscape of terraced allotments and wooded slopes, to a height of 500 metres above sea level. Here the austere, honey-coloured Sanctuary with its delicate pink rooftiles  dominates a natural basin surrounded by majestic peaks.

The imposing exterior is  softened by the lush greenery of the valley, the whispering elm trees and the ancient oaks. Lluc exudes an atmosphere of deep spirituality. The rocks and the trees, the hidden groves and caves, the old pilgrim path and the splashing of springs touch deep wells of longing in the modern visitor.

On entering its doorways I was met by wide, light corridors, reminiscent of a Renaissance palace. Here you will find the general office where you can, if you wish, book your bed for the night. You may be allocated a room in the hostelry which forms part of the inner courtyard, or perhaps the old converted stables will be your resting place.  My room was within the monastery itself, a simple space consisting of a desk, a bed, a bathroom, cool tiled floors and the simplicity that the monastic life encourages. 

Beautiful Poster of Interior of Monastery of Lluc, Mallorca

Interior of Monastery of Lluc (Monastir De Lluc), Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, Europe

Lluc - It Attracts All Kinds of Visitors

The Road out of Lluc Sanctuary
The Road out of Lluc Sanctuary
K Duffy

Despite its remote situation the Sanctuary exudes life and optimism. After all, Lluc has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries. Today It serves as a welcome respite for walkers, and those driving through the mountains as well as cyclists, campers and tourists.  It can be very busy at times, but never loses its calming atmosphere. 

Each morning at 11.00, if you are so inclined, you can make your way to the ornate, Baroque church for mass and hear the famous Lluc boys’ choir, nicknamed ‘the blues’ because of their distinctive blue cassocks. The organ solos are particularly thunderous and mighty, reflecting the majesty of the surrounding mountains.

At the back of the church there is a specially built chapel which holds the object of veneration by pilgrims, the Virgin of Lluc or, as she is affectionately know, La Moreneta (‘the Dark-Skinned One’).

Lluc - Way of the Mysteries of the Rosary

One of the greatest pleasures I experienced during my two-day stay was walking the Cami dels Misteris del Rosari (Way of the Mysteries of the Rosary). This pilgrims’ footpath winds up the hillside behind the monastery and is punctuated at regular  intervals by rough granite stations, some of which bear an uncanny resemblance to the designs of Gaudi. 

In theory you could complete the walk in ten minutes, but the experience is so delightful that an hour or two could easily slip by as you pause to watch birds wheeling above the valley, listen to the tinkling of goats’ bells and watch those intrepid four-legged mountaineers negotiating the steep slopes falling away beneath you.

View over the valley from Lluc Rosary Walk
View over the valley from Lluc Rosary Walk
K Duffy

The views from the summit, over the Albarca valley, are breathtaking and, if you choose, you can stroll down into the valley itself. This is fine walking country for those who would like a challenging hike into the mountains. If you prefer to stay on even ground, a leisurely stroll around the Lluc museum, with its archaeological finds, medieval religious paintings and unique majolica (tin-glazed earthenware) will round off your afternoon perfectly.

Lluc - Nourishment for the Body and Soul

As well as nourishment for the soul, Lluc provides bodily sustenance. There is a beautifully restored cloister which is now a restaurant serving traditional Spanish food.  If you prefer to prepare your own food there are  open air stoves and tables for al fresco dining -  as well as coffee bars and a modest food shop.

Lluc Sanctuary, Majorca
Lluc Sanctuary, Majorca
K Duffy

Thousands of visitors travel to Lluc every year, yet despite this enormous number it is a place of great peace, where every holidaymaker, whether child or adult, alone or in a group, can take time out to enjoy a sanctuary of quiet amongst the grandeur of nature.

In his book The Pilgrims Hymn (1883) the poet Costa I Llobera wrote, “Mallorca guards a treasure inside the heart of her mountains”.

How right he was.

View from the entrance to Lluc Sanctuary, Majorca
View from the entrance to Lluc Sanctu...
K Duffy

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Etruscan Majolica Coral Syrup Jug

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Rare Old Italian Majolica Mouse Eating Corn Pitcher

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Antique Majolica Leaf Shaped Dish

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Updated: 11/15/2013, KathleenDuffy
 
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KathleenDuffy on 11/15/2013

I think you would love it! Thanks for the lovely comment.:)

ologsinquito on 11/15/2013

I'd love to visit Majorca and also this monastery. Great article.

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