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Plaça Major, s/n
Horari: Dimarts, dijous i dissabte de 18 a 19h, i diumenges, de 10.30 a 11.30h

Mare de Deu dels Àngels Parish Church handed to the Order of Knights Templar after its foundation in the thirteenth century

THE CHURCH WAS FOUNDED IN THE 13TH CENTURY AND GIVEN TO THE KNIGHT TEMPLARS. This church marked the point when Pollença began to grow into one of the main towns on the island.

This parish church was founded in 1236, but only four years later it was handed to the Knights Templar (1), who had been granted swathes of land in northern Mallorca by King Jaime I of Aragon in recognition of the help they gave him during the Conquest of Mallorca (2) in 1229. It was around this church that Pollença began to expand, eventually ending the thirteenth century as one of the main towns on the island.

After the Order of the Knights Templar was dissolved in 1312, all its properties, including this church, were ceded to the Order of the Knights Hospitallers, later known as the Order of Malta (3) remaining in their hands until 1836. However, the only trace of its original appearance is the base of the bell tower, construction of which began in 1470, although it didn't reach its current height until 1921.

The building we can see now was constructed between 1714 and 1790. It is a basilica floor plan (4) church with vaulted side chapels. Inside you can see several valuable works of art, such as the Baroque altarpiece on the high altar dedicated to Mare de Déu dels Angels - created between 1752 and 1764 by Mallorcan sculptor Joan Pere Obrador - or fourteen large canvases depicting the Stations of the Cross (5).

(1) Knights Templar: Knights Templar is the name given to members of the Poor Fellow Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, also called the Order of the Temple, one of the most famous Christian military orders of the Middle Ages. It was founded between 1115 and 1120 by French knights in order to protect the lives of Christians who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest. The growing power of the Templars, who wore distinctive white robes with a red cross, aroused strong suspicions and was precisely the reason behind the decree issued by Pope Clement V in 1312 to dissolve the order. Today, a veil of mystery still surrounds the Order's secret activities and ceremonies.

(2) Conquest of Mallorca: Determined to conquer Mallorca and annex it to the Crown of Aragon (which back then included present-day Catalonia and Aragon), King Jaime I landed in the town of Santa Ponsa (southwest of Mallorca) in September 1229 with a 150-strong fleet of warships and the intention to expel the Moors from the island. After fierce fighting, he managed to take hold of the then capital Madina Mayurqa, now Palma de Mallorca, on 31st December, even though some Moors remained in Mallorca and stood strong in the Sierra de Tramuntana until the complete conquest of the island in 1332.

(3) Order of Malta: Founded in Jerusalem around the year 1048, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which would later be renamed the Order of Malta in the sixteenth century after settling on this Mediterranean island, is one of the few orders created in the Middle Ages that is still active today. Its initial goal was to care for pilgrims to the Holy Land at the hospital it owned in Jerusalem - hence its other name, the Order of Hospitallers - and its members had to pronounce vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, as well as to serve the sick. It later acquired a military element to take on the armed defence of the sick, pilgrims and its medical centres. Its symbol is a white eight-pointed cross.

(4) Basilica floor plan: A type of architectural floor plan that dates back to Roman public buildings. It consists of a main nave separated from other lower naves by rows of columns, allowing churchgoers to focus on the chevet of the church, which is usually an apse where the high altar is found. Access to the church is via the nave itself.

(5) Stations of the Cross: A total of fourteen crosses or fourteen paintings, depending on the case, which depict the main events suffered by Jesus Christ between his condemnation to death and his crucifixion and entombment.