Can Monroig and the jewish quarter of Inca

The house of Can Monroig

Can Monroig is situated at 22 carrer de Can Valella and has also been known as Can Móra. This building is located in the Inca’s Jewish neighbourhood which was formed within Sant Francesc, Virtud, Can Valella, Pare Cerdà, Call streets.

The current two-floor house is dated from the 16th century and it has a smooth façade decorated with little stones, similar to the façade of Can Siquier. The openings are formed by multiple windows, except for the main entrance which is finished with a round arch made of stone similar to the bottom of the façade. As well as in the mentioned Can Siquier, inside Can Monroig there are some remains of Baroque style as handle-shaped arches.

This house was closed for many years and with the passage of time it had deteriorated. Some years ago it was bought and its new owners restored it which came to light many architectural elements which highlighted the medieval origin of the house. The gothic elements of the building that can be seen today are formed by some pointed and rounded arches, and an entrance and a window both right angled. Thus, the inside of the house consists of two bays. In the first bay, there are three rooms which are perpendicular to the front separated by arches. It is in the space that can be considered the entrance of the house, where there is a Baroque handle-shaped arch and another round and white arch that leads to a room where there is a pointed arc, currently it is bricked-in.

The first bay is separated by a second wall which opens an access formed by an angle right entrance between two bays, and on its right, a window formed with a round arch can possibly be dated from the Medieval Age because of the resemblance to others entrances and windows from other Gothic buildings of the same time (Palau de l’Almudaina in Palma, Palau dels Reis de Mallorca in Sineu, Torre dels Enagistes in Manacor, etc.). It is also possible that in previous time these windows would have been an entrance.

In the second bay on the left wall there is a stone entrance with a right angle and a wooden lintel, then a square window and another entrance, now finished with a right angle, but originally it was finished with a rounded arch, like the one situated in the separating wall between the two bays. For its shape and situation, we think they are also medieval remains.

At the back of the house, is found a courtyard, ant to the left there is a space opened by a handle-shaped baroque arch, which in its interior we can observe the remains of another older handle-shaped arch. There is a previous one, much older, one can still be seen in its place which is made of stone and it was pointed. In addition, to the right, you can still see the start of what must have been the beginning of the nerve crossing of the remains vault. On the opposite of the arch, the remains of the pointed is still visible and with the width of the space, one might think that it was a space covered by two tranches of vault.

Once discovered, these architectural remains were taking dated back to the Jewish area in the 14th century, where the house is located. It is easy to think that we talk of Gothic that probably date from this century or even from the 13th.

In addition to these findings, the restorations of the house has replaced all the stone floors and made a number of interesting findings. Also, note to the right of the entrance, is found an old oven placed below the level of the street, as well as a whole series of stone vats and tanks scattered throughout the house connected through clay pipes. In addition, we know that the house also has a wine cellar and a cistern is still conserved.

In the courtyard there are two tanks, one larger than the other. Inside the smaller, some steps were discovered by which it was possible to access into it and inside there is a bronze tap with anthropomorphic decoration (two eyes and a nose).

Unlike the various arches formed by the architectural remains, in the case of the findings of the oven, the various tanks, cisterns and wells, we are unable to date them, because until now they have not been studied by archaeologists and, therefore, we have no convincing data that allows us to know what its use was or when were built. Also, keep in mind that Can Monroig is a house that has undergone many changes and additions over the centuries, which makes further study necessary.

But, however repeat some dates are important enough which, in the future, and after a good archaeological study, could help to decipher these different findings.

So one again, we note that the house is located in the area which, in the 14th century, was the Jewish area of Inca. Therefore, we believe it necessary to note some bibliographic data on Jews in Mallorca, Inca and on the erection of our Jewish area, without forgetting Palma’s Jewish area too.

Inca’s Jewish Quarter

We must seek the origins of the Jewish presence in Mallorca in the fifth century, both in Mallorca and Menorca, as well documented by a letter from Bishop Sever in 417 BC. Also, thanks to several sources, we know that during the Islamic domination of the island (902-1229) there was also a significant Jewish community. So, when Jaume I conquered Mallorca in 1229, he not only found a significant Jewish settlement in Palma, but also in other parts of the island including Inca, Petra, Montuïri, Felanitx, Sineu, Alcúdia, Sóller and Pollença.

The Jewish community of Inca was already in 1232, when Jaume I granted remuneration to the Jews of Inca, Almudaina de Gomara (Palma), Petra and Montuïri. A 1240 document confirms the presence of Jews in Inca. Moreover, the Conqueror gave his support to Jews of Mallorca granting them the privilege of Royal protection confirmed by him in 1247.

We have more information about the Jewish community of Inca comprising the fourteenth century. This data is documented in the Morabatí books of 1329 and 1336. We also know that in recent years the Inca Jews still didn’t have an area to live together, but they lived scattered over different parts of the town. Instead, they had a good organisation under a Jewish institution known as Aljama, which was approved by the king and had counsellors, secretaries and attorneys, as well as enjoying some public independence.

Due to the significant and constant clashes in 1346 between some members of the Jewish and Christian communities King Peter IV of Aragon gave the order to raise a Jewish quarter within the town of Inca. Despite the royal decree, and because of the large decline in the Jewish population after the plague of 1348, it was not until 1372 when a Jewish quarter was definitively settled in Inca. Although in 1353 the Judges had asked the governor where the Jewish quarter would be placed and it was assigned in the district of Sant Bartomeu, specifically in the carrer de Martí Metge, but the Jews did not like the site because of the poor condition of the houses, many of them in a state of ruin, and appealed to the king to grant them another place to settle. Finally, King Peter IV of Aragon, as we have seen, in 1372 gave them the new and current, place located in carrer d’en Pascolet found in the district of Sant Francesc.

The assault on the Jewish quarter in 1391

The Jewish quarter of Inca, similar to the case of Palma, was surrounded by a wall and closed by two gates, one of them was in the carrer de Sant Francesc. It is confirmed in the documents of 1372 where the Jews asked for a gate to be built on the carrer de Sant Francesc. However that, Jews were told their own district be as closed to the rest of the town was enough to stop the fighting and assaults on Jewish houses by Christians and in 1391 they assaulted the Jewish quarters of Palma and Inca. Christians brought out by various disturbances which perpetrated numerous acts of looting and destruction, the killing of a large number of Jews (regarding Inca; the documents speak of an almost total extinction) and the set into fire to houses and shops within the Jewish quarter, leaving the entire neighbourhood devastated.

Retouring to Can Monroig...

 As a conclusion, and having the house of Can Monroig located where the Jewish quarter once was, one last observation leads to the pointed arch that places us at the entrance of the house. In this arch, at the top, it is still possible to see the remains of burnet stone and a photograph of the same arch made just before cleaning, shows us the remains of a fire had. In the second bay of the house, even after a post that gives access to the left, there is another entrance showing the wooden lintel completely burnet.

The burnet remains must have been the result of a major fire suffered by the house and the fact that they are in Gothic architectural remains leads us to think that they could be directly related to the assault on the Jewish quarter in 1391 (as which is documented in the Història de Mallorca, by Pere Xamena) and during the riots, houses and shops were burnet. Also noteworthy, is the first volume of the Història de Mallorca published by Editorial Moll, which states that “the lower classes of the city joined with the peasants storming the Jewish quarter, burning houses and killing 300 Jews {...} the same attack suffered by Jewish quarter of Inca.

Text: Guillem Reus Planells

More information:
Jewish quarter of Inca (blog)
Jewish quarter of Inca (Google plus)
Can Monroig and the jewish quarter of Inca (pinterest)
Mallorca zeitung about

La primera vez que vimos Can Monroig

La primera vez que vimos Can Monroig


Fue en el año 2002, creo recordar que un día de junio sobre las tres de la tarde; Robert y yo habíamos quedado en Inca con Sebastián Mora, propietario de una casa que estaba a la venta en la ciudad.
Veníamos andando desde el centro de la ciudad, y al ver que nos habíamos alejado un poco de las calles principales  le dije a Roberto a modo de advertencia:"está muy lejos del centro, ya puede estar bien esta casa...".

En aquel momento vivíamos y trabajábamos en Pollença; buscábamos una casa para restaurar, vivir en ella y que al mismo tiempo nos sirviera de estudio o showroom.

can monriog fachada

Fachada de Can Monroig en el año 2002

Cuando al entrar por la calle gerrers nos encontramos de frente con la fachada de Can Monroig me quedé callada. Es difícil explicar lo que sentimos al atravesar la puerta por pimera vez. A pesar de estar subdividida en muchas habitaciones, la casa era enorme y amplia, con una distribución distinta a la habitual -los arcos perpendiculares a la fachada y no paralelos-; se adivinaba un arco ojival en una pared que nos separaba de la casa vecina -coup de coeur!-; una de las habitaciones tenía suelo de losa de piedra, las demás suelo de barro antiguo; las paredes encaladas y las vigas de madera; al fondo un patio, en el primer piso tres salas inmensas...

Era una casa bastante "pura" y con toda seguridad no había sido reformada en  los últimos 100 años.

can monroig antes de restaurar

Entrada de la casa

Llevaba 25  años sin ser habitada y eso se notaba: humedades, desconches en las paredes, entradas de agua en la cubierta, fachada en mal estado, el porche del patio invadido por la vegetación... Para dos amantes de las ruinas como nosotros  era una verdadera joya. No tardamos más de veinte minutos en decidir que queríamos comprarla.

La casa pertenecía a la familia Salas  desde el siglo XVI y era más conocida como Can Monroig d'abaix para diferenciarla de Can Monroig de Sa plaça -ya desaparecida- que estaba cerca del  ayuntamiento.

antepasada can monroig

Isabel María Garau Campins  antigua moradora de Can Monroig junto a la puerta del patio

Monroig (Muntrog o Montroig) fue uno de los caballeros que acompañaron a Jaume I en la conquista de Mallorca.

"Montrog (Arnaldo) cupiéronle en el término de Inca las alquerías Beriracha y Benirocabli de seis jovadas y un molino de la fuente de Canet llamado Aboember por indiviso con el rey. Otro Araldo de Monroig tal vez el mismo en 1290 fue jurado de la ciudad de Mallorca por la clase de artesanos."  Memoria de los pobladores de Mallorca.

La restauración (ver más)

Por increible que parezca compramos Can Monroig sin saber cómo íbamos a financiar este poyecto. Fuimos osados, ingenuos y bastante inconscientes, nunca lo hemos negado.

Tardamos dos años en iniciar las obras, otros dos en restaurar las cubiertas, las paredes o los forjados, tirar tabiques o abrir espacios; liberamos un gran arco gótico que apareció durante la reforma, desentarramos un horno y varios aljibes de piedra; bajamos el suelo por debajo del nivel de la calle....

arco gótico en Can Monroig

En el 2006 nos mudamos a vivir a la casa sin haber terminado las obras; un par de habitaciones habitables, una cocina provisional  y un baño nos bastaban; el resto de la casa estaba por terminar, el suelo de la planta baja y el subterráneo se había excavado hasta el nivel de la tierra.
El primer invierno lo pasamos sin cristales en las ventanas ni puertas en la planta baja.

suelo del subterráneo levantado

  Descubriendo una tinaja enterrada en el "underground"

A finales de ese mismo año fuimos conscientes de que no podíamos terminar las obras si debíamos pagar a otros la ejecución. Tras unas semanas de desánimo total decidimos continuar el trabajo nosotros mismos.

Finalmente la casa saldría ganando. Entre dirigir una obra queriendo transmitir a otros el efecto final que buscas y hacerlo tú mismo, siempre hay una diferencia. Las paredes trabajadas a mano, los suelos transformados piedra a piedra, las vigas pintadas con pincel y no con brocha, la fachada restaurada imitando la pátina y un detalles y un especial interés en que el trabajo fuera artesanal y respetuoso con lo antiguo dieron a la planta baja de Can Monroig un encanto especial, como si aquí no hubiéramos tocado nada y todo llevara así años.

En una ocasión una vecina de Inca llamó a nuestra puerta y pidió visitar la casa; su hija estaba preparando un trabajo sobre el gótico en Inca y quería fotografiar nuestros arcos. En aquella época no habíamos terminado la restauración pero estaba ya en su fase final. La madre se me acercó, con mucha amabilidad y en tono comprensivo me dijo:"esta casa es preciosa pero vais a tener que invertir mucho dinero para arreglarla". Me quedé de piedra ¡llevábamos cinco años restaurando can Monroig!!!

En noviembre de 2009 y coincidiendo con el "Dimecres Bo" dimos por finalizada la restauración e inauguramos Can Monroig con una fiesta a la que invitamos a algunos amigos; durante el "Dijous Bo" se corrió la voz de que dejábamos visitar la casa y el aluvión de visitantes nos sorprendió.

inauguracion de can monroig

Habíamos terminado la restauración de una casa que quería ser nuestra tarjeta de visita, referente de la restauración sostenible y recuperación del patrimonio civil a la que nos dedicamos; nosotros teníamos una casa increíble que enseñar, con un trabajo del que nos sentíamos orgullosos pero no había clientes porque estábamos en plena crisis económica.

Marie-Noëlle Ginard Féron
Robert López Hinton
Can Monroig
Inca, Mallorca
18 de agosto 2014

Muebles gamberros by Can Monroig

Gamberro definición según la real academia: "que escandaliza, molesta o comete destrozos en sitios públicos. Sus sinónimos son: maleducado, sinvergüenza, chulo, desvergonzado, travieso, incivil, bruto, alborotador, vándalo.Todos estos sofás tienen algo de oximorón. No son o no invitan al sentarse. Son para se mirados en alerta y más bien se reclinan en el mirar (Ariel Mastandrea dixit).

Mueble gamberro Mueble gamberro

En el 2014 recuperamos la serie de muebles gamberros ispirándonos en el África que conocimos -C'est quoi l'argent?-, sus colores, el blanco y negro de las fotografías de Robert López Hinton; la reutilización y reciclado de los materiales; los carteles de las tiendas e incluso el caos de sus ciudades, como puede observarse en el cartel de la peluquería inferior.

Peluquería en Camerún Ciudades en Camerún Ciudades en Camerún

Blanco y negro

En los próximos meses daremos a conocer los nuevos muebles que estamos diseñando. Ediciones únicas de muebles pintados a mano, grafiteados y customizados por Marie-Noëlle Ginard y otros fabricados artesanalmente con maderas y hierros reciclados, siempre dentro de esta línea un tanto atrevida que nos caracteriza combinando mueble antiguo o vintage y creando una nueva tendencia de un clásico gamberro. También puedes encontrarnos en el blog de Marie Claire Maison y puedes seguir nuestro blog en Tumblr View more over Graffiti chic (graffiti in decoration)

Paul Collins en las sesiones en la cisterna de Can Monroig

El cantante americano Paul Collins en las sesiones de la cisterna de Can Monroig, Inca, Mallorca, julio 2013.
Su trayectoria en la música que se inicia a mediados de los años 70 en EEUU y vive en el Madrid de los 80, donde forma parte de la movida madrileña. Desde hace años visita Mallorca regularmente.
En agosto del 2013 tuvimos el placer de disfrutar de un concierto de Paul en nuestro "underground" acompañado unicamente de su guitarra eléctrica.

Paul Collins en la cisterna de Can Monroig.

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