This Church began its life, in this location, in 1866
2022-01-06 Soller Valley By Shirley Roberts
Christmas, New Year, Covid and Three Kings all in the space of four weeks. Our family Covid Christmas will be filed in the Christmas Memory box under the ‘Do not repeat’ category. However it does give me great sympathy for all of you enduring it right now. All I can say for certain is that ‘it will pass’ and then you are in a good place with a little more immunity.
So when this Nan and the grandchildren were fit enough to go out, we headed down south. Our aim was for a change of scene and a wedding reconnoitre. A coffee in Portals opposite the super yachts and a wander round the shops started the day. Great shops, which get more expensive every time I visit, but no customers. I suppose the rich must order online and get their people to call into the shops to pick up. Just a tad soulless I have to say.
We were on an information gather for a wedding and the mission was to see how little Church, Portals was looking. This is what we call it, but it has its own name as the Oratori. In early days Mallorca a favourite restaurant was on the site of the Church lands and it was an Ex Pat hub. Today, no restaurant and all very quiet.
It was a glorious winter sunshine day and the Church and surrounding space looked just great. The views out to sea and the few people sunbathing on the ledge by the sea was a magical sight. The Oratori is a very small Church which is exceedingly popular for weddings. Many of the guests often stand outside and the whole area becomes the space for the congregation.
This Church began its life, in this location, in 1866. The Marquis of la Romana, Don Pedro Maza de Lizana, gave some land near Bendinat for the construction of a new oratory dedicated to the Virgin. From that moment on, this area was known as Portals Nous. Stylistically, it is considered a set with neo-Gothic influences and regionalist overtones. It is covered by a ribbed vault in the nave and an octagonal half dome in the apse.
The altarpiece located inside the church, behind the altar, was paid for by Mrs. Dª. Margarita Sureda, Marchioness of Campo franco, and in it the ‘Immaculate Virgin of Portals’ is venerated.
The Church was open for our visit and we were able to go inside. As the only visitors we had the place and the beauty all to ourselves. It’s a great place to sit and watch a little life on the sea as the odd boat made its way for an afternoon winter sail.
The tick box was in place for the questions we were required to ask for the bride to be. There are so few Churches on the island which are on a headland looking out to sea. This was one criteria for our friends and it was more than suitable. It is, however in competition with the Wedding space of Son Marroig which also fills the criteria for the view. The difference is that Son Marroig is not a Church but its beauty is also not in question.
The fact remains that weddings in Mallorca are spoilt for choice when it comes to locations. There are a host of professionals here, who know the island inside out and give a great service to the many wedding blessings hosted here. So many weddings have been delayed but now 2022 looks like it could be making up for lost time. Hesitant at first, now the enquiries just keep rolling in.
My Wedding Celebrant friends tell me that most of their enquiries are for small, intimate weddings. It still seems a risk to try and gather friends and families in their hundreds. This is one of the reasons that this Church in Portals Nous is almost fully booked for weddings this year.
The Oratori made a lovely first ‘Nan’s Day Out’ of 2022. Easy parking almost outside the door and fabulous views to accompany Little Church.
So many places to visit on this beautiful island. I recommend this one today and I will be back soon with more.
Happy New Year from ‘Nan’s Days Out’…