The World´s Center
comfortable shoes and clothes.
In search of the world´s center
Ruberts is one the quaintest small villages of Sencelle´s district and of all the Pla de Mallorca.
Next to the church of the Virgin del Carmen and the old country estate of Son Jordà, there is a series of houses as beautiful as they are austere. Being an ancient land and due to its surroundings, a good number of curious and hearty legends are recalled such as: the exact place to enter the center of the world; why the people from Costitx call their most revered image the Mare de Deu Nostra; and how Son Jorda de Ruberts fountain flows so finely. If you want to discover all of these legends, put on some good walking shoes and get your backpack…and we´re ready to go!
The Moor of Son Jordà
One of the most endearing legends from Sencelle´s folklore is “The Moor from Son Jordà”. In his book “Sencelles. Guía de paseo” (Sencelles. A Guided Walk), by the historian Gaspar Valero he retells a version from Jaume Ferrer de Can Costa, Margalida Ferrer de Can Costa and from Joan Cirer Rey that goes like this:
Many years ago the master of Son Jordà asked to be built a well by a Moorish slave he had on the estate. He promised him if he found water, he would immediately give him his freedom. The moor picked up his tools and went to the countryside near the torrent of Pina, where the lavoir (communal washing place) of Son Jordà is, and started to dig. He dug with all his might day and night as the hole got deeper and deeper until he reached the bottom from which sprouted forth the so cherished water.
The moor returned very happily to give the news to the master and ask him for his promised freedom. But the owner wanted to keep the water but not his promise of freedom to the moor.
“I won’t give you your freedom because I need you to help me on the land,” the master said.
The moor felt cheated and decided to do justice. With a hat and a scarf insistently managed to propel the water away. While he was busy trying to stop the water, the shepherd of Son Jordà saw him and asked him what he was doing.
The moor said, “The master promised me my freedom if I found water and he’s gone against his promise to me, and for this reason I take the water away from him.”
The shepherd impressed said, “Leave me a little water so that I can give my sheep some.” The moor decided to leave the shepherd a trickle of water.
The moor cursed the master with these words, “No one who has been born or is to be born will ever find water in Son Jorda.”
As in other cases, the plot of this legend doesn’t only belong to Sencelles, it is also found in other similar versions of Mallorcan towns and cities such as , Valldemossa, Palma, Banyabulfar or Alcudia amongst others.
Of the days when the Virgin of Costitx belonged to Sencelles
It is well known that many times the relationship between neighboring towns hasn’t always been the best. And less when one of the two has been subordinated to the other…And this is the case of Costitx that once belonged to Sencelles up until 1855, after gaining its independence definitively, and after many years of negotiations and tension. One of the stories to prove the existing tensions is around the figure of the Virgin of Costitx herself. It has been said that near a pomegranate tree, very close to the limits of Sencelles, some children saw something strange shining. They approached it and found a figure of the Virgin wrapped in a cloak believing the best place for the figure would be the church of Costitx. When the people from Sencelles found out, they decided to go and bring it back to their church. They considered themselves to be the capital of Costitx and besides when the figure was found “it was looking towards Sencelles”. And they did as so; in a solemn procession they brought her back to the parish, at that time it was dedicated to San Pedro. But the figure the next day was not in the church of Sencelles but appeared in Costitx’s parish again. But lo and behold, the figure the next day again wasn´t in the church of Sencelles,and again in that of Costitx. They then took her back to Sencelles but it happened again: the Virgin reappeared in the church of Costitx. And like this three times!
The people from Sencelles finally understood that it was from a divine will that the beautiful figure was to be kept in the church of Costitx. Not in vain, do her faithful call her Our Virgin Mary.
The Well of Judi and the Center of the World
The people from Llorit, Costitx, San Juan, Sineu, Montuïri, and also those from Sencelles believe that their lands not only are the center of Mallorca, but also the center of the world! As for our regions, tradition has situated this important enclave between Cascanar and Ruberts, specifically under the well of Judí. This water deposit would give water to the keepers of sheep during the periods of transhumance between the mountains and possessios of the migjorn. The name Judí (Judith) is related to a farmstead documented after the Conquest, and in the 15th century a document cites an irrigation system under the name Judí, which most likely relates to our well.
As for the legend, they say that at the bottom of the well there’s a plug, and if it’s removed the water will disappear and dry up. Then a ladder appears that goes directly to the center of the world. Who will be the brave one to try going down? We only warn you: who has ever tried …has never come back!
Regarding the popular beliefs related to this beautiful well, men and women from Ruberts say that the well’s waters have the property of giving fertility to women during the dawn that goes from June 23rd to the 24th. For this reason, in past times women would approach the well singing: “San Joan florit / San Joan granat, / mostreu-me les eines / de l´enomorat”. “Blossomed San Joan / Garnet San Joan, / show me the lover´s tools.”
The reason for the name Judith is still unknown, but it has clear Hebrew reminiscences. Remains and will remain wrapped in questions making it even more mysterious and interesting.