The so called “snow houses” are an important part of our cultural and ethnological heritage. In Mallorca, collecting and trading snow to make ice dates right back to the 16th century.
On the Puig de Masanella you can still see eleven snow houses that were declared Sites of Cultural Interest back in 2004. The “snow house” includes the stone house itself where the snow collectors would seek refuge from the elements, the storage area for the snow, as well as benches, wells, dry stone walls and water fountains. Paths were built specially to get to these snow houses.
The ice business was of great economical importance in Mallorca between the 17th and 19th centuries. Snow was collected and compacted in spring. During the summer blocks of ice were cut, these were then transported during the night to avoid them melting. The appearance of fridges at the beginning of the 20th century brought an end to this activity.
Fotos: Pep Muñoz “Vasco”, Antoni Reynés, Martí Mayol