In Mallorca, there’s what one would possibly counsel is an trade devoted to toponymy, the examine of place names. One says trade, however the productive worth is restricted. Students, who’re paid to be students, contribute to island financial well-being insofar as they’re remunerated for his or her toponymic endeavours.
Publishers might supply editions of a specialist nature however which require solely quick runs, such is the specialism, regardless of the apparently endless enchantment in understanding how such or such a spot got here to be named because it now’s. And ‘now’ may present some genuinely productive output if revision of the identify itself entails a change – new indicators, new maps.
In any other case, that is an trade of debate, fixed argument and dialogue designed to unravel the mysteries of place names which have been influenced by sources over the centuries, millennia even, as pre-Roman instances might be known as upon for proof. In lots of situations, explanations are comparatively easy and the ‘official’ toponym is usually accepted, even when this officialdom can itself nonetheless handle to get dissenters sizzling beneath the collar.
The College of the Balearic Islands is the keeper of the official names. Therefore, as an illustration, and I’m sorry to have to tell the deniers, it’s Palmanova and never Palma Nova. The college says so. There may be likewise the argument about a spot on the Manacor coast, which the college thought it had settled by announcing in favour of Portocristo – additionally one phrase. The Supreme Courtroom in Madrid, consider it or not, was requested for its opinion and went for Porto Cristo. The college nonetheless lists Portocristo.
The courts don’t usually become involved in figuring out whether or not a spot identify is one or two phrases. And whereas it’s fairly attention-grabbing, a spot identify being one or two phrases isn’t precisely that vital.
Of larger significance for the toponymy trade are these locations that proceed to confound and for which there is no such thing as a definitive rationalization. There is probably not disagreement concerning the identify itself, its spelling as an illustration, however there’s lots to do with the identify’s origins. Which leads us, as have excursions on foot for the reason that days of the early twentieth century when excursions on foot have been popularised, to part of the Tramuntana Mountains that’s shrouded in thriller.
How did the Torrent de Pareis come to be often called the Torrent de Pareis?
The torrent component of the identify doesn’t type a part of the talk, as torrent is completely nicely understood – a watercourse that descends, on this occasion, from the assembly of two different torrents (Gorg Blau and Lluc).
The mouth of this torrent is in Sa Calobra, between two cliffs which have contributed to creating the torrent probably the most spectacular sights in the entire of Mallorca. The attractive view, particularly from the ocean, might assist to clarify why the torrent is known as Paradise.
Even with zero appreciation of Catalan, does Pareis counsel Paradise to you? If it does, then you definately wouldn’t be fallacious, in keeping with one of many hypotheses. With out delving too deeply into the language, a view is that Pareis was as soon as Paraís and that one can go method again to the early days of Catalan in Mallorca (within the thirteenth century) to search out proof of Paraís having been a well-liked various to Paradís.
Ramon Llull, again in these days, apparently used each kinds, one with a ‘d’, the opposite with out.
One other rationalization is that Pareis is a corruption of ‘parells’, which means pairs and particularly the pair of cliffs. Alternatively, this might come from the pair of torrents (Gorg Blau and Lluc), whereas there’s additionally an argument that the identify is derived from ‘paret’, to imply wall – the cliffs are the partitions.
The Paradise speculation is clearly probably the most romantic, and so in urgent its case, analysis has led to a conclusion that this was a time period utilized by sailors. A secure haven was like paradise. An additional concept has it that Paradise was an ironic identify, an antiphrastic phrase to signify the alternative, i.e. Hell. If that’s the case, then this does reasonably contradict the secure haven thought, a spot the place ships discovered their best security, safety from accidents due to tough seas and excessive winds. That is the truth is a standard which means in a number of Mediterranean languages.
One author on this topic has stated that he’s inclined to consider that “the one who gave it the identify was extra aware of it as a blessed place … who, when the solar penetrated the fragile vegetation that hangs from the rocks, may hardly keep away from having had the sensation of being in a beautiful place – in an unrepeatable fairy story setting”.
Josep Estelrich Costa, a Mallorcan priest and historian, was a kind of who made excursions on foot to the Torrent de Pareis. He wrote: “All of it’s a large monument, barely touched by human palms. An enclosure with an inaccessible wall, topped by rugged battlements and guarded by the ditches of the gorges … It’s a distinctive and legendary route … for indulging within the mild and panorama.” And he recalled a well-liked verse about Sa Calobra – “Sa Calobra is a backyard wrapped in rocks, shaded by fruit bushes and scented by geranium.”
Painters and poets have been enchanted by the torrent and by Sa Calobra for the reason that begin of the final century, and it was one painter – Josep Coll Bardolet – who determined that this could be the right setting for a live performance. A spot known as Paradise. Presumably.