A popular attraction, as the views of the bays of Alcudia and Pollensa are spectacular. | S. Amengual

Since the first of January, the hermitage at the summit of the Puig de Maria in Pollensa has been closed. The day-to-day running of the sanctuary as well as the inn and the bar is by so-called "donats", the most recent of whom terminated their contract at the end of 2022.

The management is in the hands of the Obrería del Puig, which has started the process to find new donats. Thirty had expressed an interest. On Saturday, only a dozen responded to the Obrería's request to go and become acquainted with the sanctuary and, in particular, some of the challenges involved with its running. These include access by foot.

The president of the Obrería, Joan Ferriol, was hopeful that they will be able to appoint suitable replacements and that this can be arranged quickly. "It is very sad that the sanctuary is closed."

Ferriol explained planned renovations to the candidates. The Bishopric of Mallorca is drafting a plan for rehabilitation of the buildings, "something that is very necessary but which will also be very expensive". The Obrería has limited funds and trusts that the Bishopric will do its part in covering the costs. When work is carried out, it has been proposed that the new donats pay no rent as they will not be able to provide all the services.

330 metres above sea level, building of the hermitage started in 1348. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in order to call on her for protection from the Black Death.