What does In the Archduke’s footsteps mean? The initiative we are presenting here tries to offer a series of routes to find your way into the depths of each of the small villages of Menorca and their craftsmen workshops. In some cases other elements related to the Island’s craftsmanship and heritage are also introduced. Routes are always linked to the work written by the archduke Lluís Salvador in the book Die Balearen, whose quotes are highlighted in italics.
Why the Archduke? In the second half of the 19th century, Lluís Salvador discovered a peasant, humble, virgin… Menorca, and in his notes he collected a series of data that have permitted later generations to discover the most recent years of the Island. Nothing went unnoticed to this versatile German. Through his work, characteristic customs, jobs, tools and ways of life of Menorcan people have been revealed. It could be said that what Lluís Salvador knew refers to the relationship between islanders and their land. In this sense, it must be added that the natural wealth of the island of Menorca and its preservation –for which it has been declared a Biosphere Reserve- have been the result of the Menorcan society’s effort and the commitment of those who have found on the Island a perfect balance between tradition and modernity, between customs and innovation, between rural society and a 21st century one.
Menorca. The 21st century Menorca is that land on which residents and visitors have been working through years. A land of invasions, exchanges, emigrants, love and welcome…, all of these circumstances to which Menorcans have adapted maybe as a result of their own character, which Lluís Salvador described as follows: I can state that during my different stays on the island and throughout the routes that I have followed in every direction, during which I have come across people of all social scales and from different circles, I have never found a single person who did not welcome myself with the greatest hospitality.
Craftsmen. Each and every participant in this initiative holds the card of Craftsman or Master Craftsman related to their job. As for the food and agriculture sector, they are always companies remarkable for having a Document of Craftsmanship Qualification issued by the local administration.
We invite you, then, to discover the arts & crafts of Menorca, to walk in the Archduke’s shoes and play a role that combines past and present, and then let yourself go with the people, landscape and culture of this Island.