/ Monti-sion (Mt. Zion)

Monti-sion (Mt. Zion) | Description

The Sanctuary’s founding dates back to 1498, dedicated to the Mare de Déu de Monti-sion, with refurbishments throughout the 18th Century which affected the Church and its decoration. Latin Grammar was taught in the Grammar School, dated 1530, with the aim to be able to attend the Estudi General Lul•lià (Llull General Study Centre), subsequently, the Universitat Literària (Literary University). It was closed in 1835, due to the changes in the education system. There was a community of Missionaries supervised by Monsignor Cabrera between 1850-1855. There were new refurbishment works in 1892.
The Sanctuary is located on the peak of the hill with the same name at a height of 245 metres, which forms part of the Randa rock mass, specifically in the serra de sa Mesquida (sa Mesquida mountain range). A stairway leads from the exterior to the West façade, where the main door with segmental arch is located, which leads to the foyer with segmental vault. From the foyer, a lintel doorway, crowned by a niche with an image of the Virgin, connects to the interior porch and the cloister. It has a portico design and has an irregular pentagonal floor plan which is unique in Mallorca. In the centre of the patio, there is a platform which frames the well, with a hexagonal curbstone with a basin and corresponding iron scaffold.
The temple is located in the North wing, and its façade has a lintel doorway, Rose window, and three semi-circular arches in the upper section, crowned with a steeple. The interior is a nave with two sections and Presbytery (on three steps) and two chapels on the sides. It has a groined vault roof buttressed by key consoles and with sections separated by Ogive arches. The main altarpiece is a chapel altar with a Neo-Gothic altarpiece inscribed in the semi-circular arch which contains an image of the Mare de Déu de Monti-sion, sculpted in marble with a Coat of Arms in the lower section, possibly from the Dusai family who were benefactors of the temple. On the left, there is the Sacristy, which still conserves the ex-vots (votive offerings) or promises to the Virgin Mary.
The old Grammar classroom is conserved on the East side. It has a lintel doorway with the Coat of Arms of Porreres above the lintel, and on the side, a sculptured relief of an inkwell and notebook with the inscription: Dilicit Dñs portas Sion dil. Dñs portas studiosorum. The interior is a rectangular room with barrel vault roof, with three arches with smooth pilasters and stone benches attached to the wall. On the right of the Church, behind the foyer with the kitchen on the right, there is the refectory (or Monk’s dining room) which conserves three sections of groined vault roof. On the left, we can see a water basin supported by a hand. According to the Arxiduc (Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria), “There are twelve rooms for students with a dividing wall and small kitchen, bathroom and clothes rack; above the room, there is a space to store wood: up to eight students sleep in each one of the rooms. The remaining lodgings are used for the professors and servants, with a total of 20 rooms”.