National Geographic : 1957 May
Costumed Players Enact Palma's Liberation from the Moors North African Moslems over ran the Balearic Islands in the 8th century and held sway for the next 500 years. In 1229 Jaime I, 21-year-old King of Aragon, led an invasion that freed the islands. Heavily outnumbered, his men laid siege to Palma, capturing it on the last day of the year. Majorcans recently organized an annual summer festival de picting the island's stormy his tory. Clyde Robinson, an Ameri can, wrote the play; he also di rects it. Father Tomas, a Palma composer, wrote the music. Bellver Castle, built at Palma by Jaime II, the conqueror's heir, provides an authentic stage for the amateur actors, all townspeople. Here in the castle's central courtyard the plumed Emir Abu Yahye surrenders to the crowned King Jaime I. Prostrate "Moor" complained of a crick in his neck from posing on the stone floor. Crescents decorate the Moors' shields and flag. Red-striped gold of Aragon marks the con quistadors' standards and shield. Bellver Castle, once a politi cal prison, is now a museum.