The civilizations bordering the Mediterranean have always felt a true devotion for the sea. The passion that these people felt transformed into art. An art that today is preserved as a treasure in the history of Menorca’s culture.
What is a llaüt?
The llaüt is a simple construction, which is inspired by the ancient Latin sailing boats. Its consistency and stability –even in the most adverse weather conditions– makes this boat a perfect watercraft for all kinds of activities at sea, such as navigation or leisure fishing.
Which materials are used to build it?
For the construction of llaüts it was used formerly local wood, which has been replaced by elements such as fiberglass, cheaper and durable. However, we can still find today genuine boats made solely of Menorca’s wood.
Who build them?
An important figure in the construction and maintenance of llaüt are the mestres d’aixa. In Menorca –and in the Balearic in general– a mestre d’aixa is a craftsman who treats wood to build boats. They are keepers of an ancient technique passed from generation to generation that is part of Menorca’s DNA itself.
The figure of the llaüt goes far beyond the purely marine environment, and has become a true icon of Menorca. Several associations have been created to ensure the continuity of this very special boat. In addition, many artists from around the world have been inspired by it –for its blend of simplicity, sense of calm and freedom– to create their works. In fact, an exhibition entitled “Llaüt Light” was held at places like Paris, Berlin and Dubai recently. In that exhibition, a total of fourteen llaüts made with traditional wood were illuminated with blue neon light surrounded by classic columns inspired by the movement of waves.
Nowadays, this small boat is still sailing and inspiring artists such as the great singer Joan Manuel Serrat. Hopefully, the llaüt will navigate through the magical coast of Menorca for many more millennia.
The impossible exists.
Greetings from Fornells.