The small town of Artá has an oldy worldy character and radiates a confident civil pride. The medieval fortified wall, the noble feudal palaces with their coats of arms, the impressive parish church of the Transfiguration of Christ and the Santuario de San Salvador – Sanctuary of San Salvador – make up an impressive area, with lots and lots of steps.
The parish church was built in the middle of the 13th century, after the victory of King Jaime I, on the foundations of an Islamic mosque. It was destroyed and ransacked several times by pirate attacks and had to be rebuilt. The current church dates from the 16th century and, through its coloured rose windows, the prism of light blends and illuminates the beautiful inside of the church. In the vaults of the ceiling, you can see baroque style naturalistic representations.
Directly behind the church there is a route of 180 stone steps constructed in 1831 and flanked by cypress trees that leads to the sanctuary of San Salvador. This is an imposing fortress with its high walls and defence towers.
In the church, there is a valuable collection of paintings, including ones that depict the surrender of Mallorca by the moors emir to the King Jaime I and the martyrdom of Ramón Llull who was stoned to death in Algeria.
The view from the terrace of San Salvador is stunning, since it takes in the mountainous, rocky landscape of the Serra de Llevant in the east to the Serra de Tramontana – the Tramontana Mountains – in the west. Also to the east, beyond the Torre de Canaymel you can see the shining blue sea with its pine coast.