One of Palma's most famous landmarks, the Torrent of Sa Riera celebrates 400 years of existence this year!
One of Palma's most famous landmarks, the Torrent of Sa Riera celebrates 400 years of existence this year! The what of what? I hear you ask. It's the 'canal' that runs via the Paseo de Mallorca
down past the Es Baluard walls and into the sea at the harbour.
Let me explain. There aren't any rivers in Mallorca but there are lots and lots of channels where, in winter, water from heavy rains and melting snow in the mountains runs down to the sea. These
'torrents' as they are called are completely dry in summer so you wouldn't know they are there.
Long ago the Torrent of Sa Riera, which originates in the Puigpunyent area of Mallorca, ran through Palma via what are now the squares of the Ramblas and the Borne. In 1403 heavy rains caused a
great flood in this highly populated area which killed 5000 people and destroyed 1500 dwellings!
There was a great outcry to divert the torrent away from these areas but nothing actually happened until 1613 when the current (if you'll pardon the pun) channel was constructed. Not only did it
prevent flooding but also solved the problem of filth and nasty smells emanating from the original torrent.
So, happy birthday Sa Riera!