Introduction of Majorca
Largest of the Balearic Island s, located in the W Mediterranean, 145 mi E of the Spanish coast. Its capital is Palma. The kingdom of Mallorca, created by James I of Aragon (1213–76) after its conquest from the Moors, included Minorca, Ibiza, Roussillon, and Cerdana, or Cerdagne. Reunited to Aragon under Peter IV in the mid-14th century, it prospered until civil disorders and the rise of the Italian cities ruined its trade by the 15th century. From 1521 to 1523 it was the scene of peasant revolts against both the Aragonese nobles and the Italian merchants. During the Spanish civil war of 1936 to 1939 it joined the insurgents and was a base for Italian aid against the Loyalists. The island is known, among other things, for its prehistoric monuments. The aband oned monastery where Chopin and George Sand lived is an island land mark.