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Cal Capità Toni


Captain Antoni Barceló, a legendary personality in the popular memory, and one of Majorca's last corsair captains, was born in this house in 1716. His life exemplified the tale of success and social ascent that was, in a way, the dream or deepest desire of the simple people who lived in this neighbourhood.Capità Toni, as he is popularly known in Santa Creu, came from a family of sailors and at the age of 18 was already the captain of a postal xebec. According to all the chronicles he was fearless and intrepid, often doing battle with the Berber pirates who plied the seas. In order to do this, he had first obtained the “corsair's licence” (a royal permit for carrying out this military-commercial activity). His military progressed rapidly, as he rose quickly through the ranks and command of war ships. In 1770 he achieved one of his most famous victories, when he defeated and captured the blood-thirsty pirate Selim. He also took 1,600 captives and freed numerous Christian slaves.

In 1779 he commanded the naval forces at the Siege of Gibraltar. In 1783 he was promoted to lieutenant general and commanded the expedition against Algeria. In 1784 he was named commander general of the naval forces devoted to privateering and was given royal relief from taxes for all of his ships. He died in Palma in 1797 and was buried in a crypt in the Chapel of Saint Anthony (now the Sacred Heart) that he had been patron of in the church of Santa Creu: in the chapel there is a commemorative stone and the captain's coat of arms appears on the upper part of the altarpiece (a sailing ship over a Charles III cross).