both in Catalan and Spanish and increasingly in English usage) is one of the Balearic Islands
(Illes Balears Catalan
official name, Islas Baleares
), located in the Mediterranean Sea
, and belonging to Spain
The island was conquered by Alfonso III of Aragon on January 17, 1287, Minorca's national day. It became for some 70 years a British dependency (and naval base) in the 18th century.
Spanish forces defeated British forces and captured the island on February 5, 1782.
Famous megalithic stone monuments: navetes and talaiots.
See also: sobrassada (typical sausage with paprika), gin (strong liquor, a vestige of the British period), Maó cheese (original cheese of the island).
The major towns are Ciutadella and Maó.
The island is administratively divided into these municipalities:
- Es Castell (Spanish Villacarlos)
- Ciutadella (Spanish Ciudadela), previously the capital of Minorca
- Maó, the capital of Minorca and the city from which mayonnaise gets its name (English Mahon, Spanish Mahón), became the capital because of its deep-water harbour
- Es Mercadal
- Es Migjorn Gran or Es Mitjorn Gran (Spanish Sant Cristóbal but now little used) hometown of Joan Riudavets
- Sant Lluís