DESCRIPTION OF THE MUNICIPALITY
Sencelles is the village of the thousand names. It is a place name of which its meaning and origins are open to debate. Thus some people say that Sencelles derives from “cent selles”, other affirm that it means “cent cel•les”, while other people say that it derives from Centelles. There are many other hypotheses based on all kind of fantasies and the eagerness to unveil the mystery hidden in certain words. Sencelles is one of the largest municipalities of the plains and one of the flattest ones. It has no elevations over 160 metres. It is a place dominated by the concepts of plain and flat, which characterize the lands belonging to Sencelles. The municipality is watered by the stream of Solleric, passing through Biniali and bearing the same name; the stream of Almedrà, better known as stream of s’Ostorell in the north; and the stream of Pina or Montuïri.
It is also a village of villages, because Biniali and the hamlets of Ruberts, Jornets, Judi and Cascanar Laià belong to the municipality. These hamlets (some are very small and almost uninhabited) constitute one of the main attractions of Sencelles. They are the redoubt of Mallorcan traditional rural architecture. In the past, they prospered due to the production of vineyards, which is the predominant activity in the municipality and the surrounding area. Other unirrigated crops like figs, almonds and cereals and livestock have been almost to this day the economic resources of the people of Sencelles. Fig production is quite important as indicated in this traditional rhyme:
Figues rotges, cucarelles,
paretjals i albacors,
D’aquestes menjareu vós
si vos casau a Sencelles.
Due to being located almost on the centre of Mallorca, Sencelles is well connected with the remaining towns of the island. A road connects Sencelles directly with Palma and the Sineu road crosses the municipality on the south. These two roads and other minor roads were decisive in order to establish economic and social links with neighbouring towns and other more important towns.
The human and religious facet of the town is represented by the figure of sor Francinaina Cirer (1781- 1855), who is popularly known as “sa tia Xiroia” la Venerable. She was blessed by the Pope John Paul II on 1 October 1989 and is worshipped not only in Sencelles but also all over Mallorca because of the many healings and miracles attributed to her.
The sound of the xeremies is a festive and happy sound in Sencelles. It summons the people to stop working on the field and enjoy the traditional songs, the same songs that our ancestors played and listened since time immemorial . The most popular xeremia makers in Mallorca have always been from Sencelles. They are true masters and it seems that the future of this tradition is guaranteed.