The historic/cultural side of Minorca, to balance out the sun 'n' surf
Also known by its Spanish name Mahón, Minorca's capital and largest city has roots in classical antiquity, its name originating from a Carthaginian general in 205 BC. Maó sits on one of the world's loveliest natural harbours, and at its entrance you'll find the Fortaleza de la Mola (aka Fortaleza de Isabel II), an enormous fortress erected in 1852 which perfectly illustrates a key aspect of this island's history: due to its strategic location on Mediterranean trade and military routes, Minorca has for centuries been an object of desire of foreign powers and brigands alike. Thus this is just one of many fortifications built for defensive purposes; another is the Sant Roc Bastion, ruins of which can be seen at the foot of the defensive wall that surrounded the city. You can learn more about the history and context of all of this at the Museu de Menorca, situated in yet another atmospheric fort.
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