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Eco tax to the rescue

Alcudia's medieval walls

alcudia city wall repairs

The huge stone walls that surround the inland town of Alcudia are undergoing a facelift thanks to funds from the so called Eco Tax. The sustainable tourism tax, to give it its official title, is contributing €442,000 to completely finance the cleaning and repair of the 14th century stone walls which were built to defend the town.

As you probably know, the Eco tax is collected from all visitors over 16 to the Balearic Islands by hotels, apartments, and villas etc and is used by the Islands' government on many and varied projects throughout the region. This particular work qualifies for funding because it meets the requirement to “guarantee cultural offer in low season.”

This Alcudia wall rehabilitation project started last autumn and is entering its final phase prior to completion. Focusing on three sections of the medieval wall - Porta de Sant Sebastià, Vila Roja and s'Esperó – the project will expand the pedestrian walkway that runs through part of the wall at the top and also allow visits to the Sant Sebastià gate, one of the main portals to the ancient city of Alcúdia.

Just before these works started last year, a part of the old walls collapsed because of a botched repair job 30 years ago. Back then, the builders on the job used super modern Portland cement, on super old stonework, and the two just didn't gel, leading to the cascade of falling masonry last year, though the repair of this section is not part of the eco tax funded work.

As the work is so far advanced it looks fairly certain that we'll all be able to stroll along the old walls which almost encircle the town – a fascinating experience – by the time the holiday season starts