History

The Deià valley has been occupied by humans since prehistoric times, its caves, springs, wildlife, fertile soil and proximity to the sea made it an ideal place for a settlement.

The village took its present shape during the Moorish era, 10th – 13th Centuries, when the inhabitants began to build the terraces and irrigation systems that give the area its agricultural richness and singular quality.

After the Moorish defeat by the Christians in the early 13th Century, the village was ceded to the Count of Rosselló as part of neighboring Valldemossa. Two monasteries were built, at Ca l’Abat and at Son Rullan, the latter being the place where Ramon Llull was to found his missionary school. The municipality contains, apart from Deià itself, the hamlets of Lluc-alcari and Son Coll.

Deià gained independance fron Valldemossa in 1583. There began a period of expansion of the terraced area upwards into the mountains, until even the tiniest, most awkward, bits of land were conditioned for the planting of the olive trees which, to this day, give the hills their silver/green tint.

Meanwhile the town grew, sheltered from the north winds, and a tiny fishermans hamlet was established in the cove (sa cala). At the same time a series of watchtowers that encircled the island of Mallorca were built to give advance warning of raids by the Barbary pirates, each tower was visible to the ones on either side, and fires were used to signal between them. The village grew and prospered from the production of olive oil, and to a smaller degree, oranges and lemons. Each household had its own ‘hort’ (irrigated area) where the families grew their own fruits and vegetables.

In the late 1800’s the first wave of visitors began to arrive, attracted by the beautiful landscape and the tranquil, lasseiz faire, and cheap way of life in the village. The area has always been a favourite of artists, writers, musicians and celebrities, Archduke Luis Salvador, Manuel de Falla, Santiago Rossinyol, Robert Graves, Daevid Allen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mati Klarwein, Kevin Ayers, Pierce Brosnan and the late Princess Diana to name a few.

Things stayed much the same until the late 1970’s, when the inevitable land speculation began in earnest. The village and surrounding area do, however, retain their exceptional natural beauty.