Fornells is estimated to have a population of about 1000 people which increases in the summer due to tourism. Fornells’ native people are known as Fornellers in the Catalan language and in Spanish. The village was founded to serve a small defensive watch tower, built at the beginning of the 17th century as a defence against the Barbary pirates for whom Fornells Bay provided the perfect safe haven. This watch tower proved to be insufficient, so in 1625 King Phillip IV of Spain ordered a castle to be added. This project was not successful due to lack of funds. In 1637 the building project was recommenced as the castle of Sant Antoni. Fornells Bay is deep, measuring 5 kilometres long and 2 kilometres wide. The narrow entrance regulates the force of the open sea. Sufficiently narrow to offer protection, the entrance allows water to enter the bay while restricting the waves. The wind is not so easily restrained. The surrounding hills are not high enough to keep out the Tramontane (Tramontana in Catalan), which has shaped the rocks and bent the trees over until the branches almost touch the ground.
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