Marés is the local term used in the Balearic Islands for a sandstone made up of calcareous grains held together by a natural carbonate cement. It is formed by the lithification of the dunes. In the 19th century, the inhabitants of Menorca began to extract marés from a quarry near Ciutadella. The extraction was carried out throughout the 20th century.
Finally, the activity in the quarry ceased in 1994. Spanish law required the stonecutters to fill in the area (more than seven hectares) and reforest it. Garbage and waste of all kinds appear with the gradual abandonment of the quarry. The quarries could have ended up being a huge rubbish dump, but the appearance of a private non-profit foundation rescues the facilities from ruin. Spaces are created within the quarry itself, such as a stage for theater or concerts, or a labyrinth with the sandstone itself.
The idea is to promote the quarry as the heritage of the transforming hand of man on the landscape, beyond the industrial significance of the area. Today, Pedreres de s’Hostal hosts land art, botanical exhibitions, cultural events, and guided tours.
Know Before You Go
Pedreres de s'Hostal is really close to Ciutadella, a 40-minute walk from the port.