Sencelles: memory imprints (II)
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Sencelles: memory imprints (II)
On this route, we will visit four places marked by memories left from centuries ago, full of history and chiaroscuros. The contemporary era is synonymous with profound and constant changes both at a European level as at a national and local one. Here we have a society that, little by little, will be introduced to the liberal currents of the time and will have to adapt, sometimes with difficulty, to tradition and modernity. All of these factors and circumstances will play a role in Sencelles too, be it through its history, architecture, urbanism and the biography of its protagonists.
End of the Old Regime and the Liberal State: Carlism
The Town Hall of Sencelles was organized according to the constitutional system approved in 1812, by the Constitution (La Pepa) during the French War (1808-1814). However, there would be convulsive years and great changes ahead (Absolutist Restoration, Liberal Triennium, Ominous Decade) that would lead to Queen Elizabeth II´s arrival to the throne (1833), events that would lead to the well-known Liberal State. One of the reactions to this situation was the rise of Carlism, a traditionalist political movement opposed to liberalism, led by the aspirant to the throne Carles Maria Isidre de Borbón, brother of King Ferdinand VII. Carlism in Mallorca wasn´t followed by the majority, but it did take root with some strong supporters. One of them was, neither more nor less than the rector who in 1835 was accused and suspected of supporting the Carlist cause. We must remember that this movement faced liberalism in three different wars throughout the 19th century.
The Independence of Costitx
From the beginning of the 19th century, and especially due to the restructuring of the territorial organization successive liberal governments had begun, Costitx was determined to separate from Sencelles. Finally after many tries, in 1855 Costitx proclaimed itself independent, but Sencelles put up many obstacles, such as the delimitation of territory. After many, and sometimes tense negotiations, the people of Sencelles were able to retain the villages of Jornets, Binifat, and Ruberts, and Costitx´s definitive independence was proclaimed in 1858. However, the people from Costitx didn’t agree to this detainment, so from 1863, the provincial deputy, the Marquis of Campofranco – owner of the possessió Son Salitas in Sencelles – was in charge of drawing the boundaries between the two towns, which finally remained as definitive. An agreement was difficult to reach because the hamlets of Jornets and Ruberts, and of Binifat, es Rafal, Can Balsa, Can Palou, Son Calussa and es Pout, all wanted to remain within Sencelles’ district.
Jornets: Second Republic and Education
One of the principal ideas leading the Second Republic (1931-1936) was to promote and reinforce education to eradicate the existing rates of illiteracy. The State had created an immense lack of education, schools and teachers for more than over a century. We must not forget that the Republican Constitution had a specific chapter dedicated to education. This was a period of maximum effort in planning and implementing educational centers, both within large urban centers and even in villages and unpopulated areas. For example, the case of Jornets is paradigmatic: during this historical time, as occurred in other villages on the island, a public school was built, which functioned up until the 1960s. The building is located at the edge of the village and was designed on February 1, 1932 by the prestigious architect Guillem Fortesa. It was a center for boys and girls and included the teacher’s house.
Civil War and Repression
The outbreak of the Civil War had serious consequences for Sencelles. The Falangists, after taking control of the Town Hall, arrested the teacher and secretary of the town hall. At the time, the civil governor, Luis Garcia Ruiz appointed as head manager Pere Gelabert Verd. During the landing of the republican troops in Manacor, eight leftist from Sencelles were arrested and as a result of the repression, nine residents of the district lost their lives.
On the other hand, the municipal cemetery of Sencelles had a mass grave where, according to the data extracted from cases 375/1936 and 901/1936, two men from Montuïri and a woman from Palma were deposited there after being executed.