Cosme Alberti, grandfather of Vicente Diego Alberti Mercadal, who began the knightly saga of the Alberti family is the protagonist of today's story.
Thanks to these stories, the saga that today has culminated in Can Alberti 1740 Boutique Hotel has been forged.
Born in Alaior, Cosme Alberti worked as a dancer from 1609 to 1640 in the same town and had three sons: Cosme, Simón and Alfonso. The latter is the one who would later become the father of the aforementioned Vicente Diego Alberti Mercadal. But he did not only dedicate himself to dancing all his life.
Menorca was going through a turbulent period, as it has always been an object of desire for merchants, soldiers and pirates due to its privileged location in the centre of the Mediterranean. That is why Cosme Alberti, as we have already mentioned, a dancer by profession, also belonged to a militia of volunteers ready to intervene in the event of having to defend the attacks on the island, with the rank of ensign, acting as standard bearer.
On 8th July 1644, two suspicious galleons were sighted off the north coast of Menorca, where the port of Addaia is located today. As it belonged to the municipality of Alaior, Captain Miquel Barçola mobilised his volunteer militia to guard the coast, to act if necessary. The garrison consisted of 8 horses and 140 men in total.
It did not take long for them to stealthily station themselves on the coast to watch the movements of the galleons, but during that 8th of July, they remained at anchor half a distance from the coast without much movement.
It was not until the morning of the following day that the Menorcans awoke to the cry of "Moors ashore". Two hundred Berbers descended from both galleons and went about two kilometres inland. It was there that the two forces met and the battle began.
Despite the numerical inferiority, with 8 horses and knowledge of the place, the battle was short and the local victory was not long in coming. The defence won, as the Berbers returned to their retreating galleons after suffering 6 casualties, while there were 2 casualties among the Menorcans. One of them was Captain Miquel Barçola, who was buried with honours.
As the traditions of the time dictated, the pirate corpses were decapitated to show their scalps as a warning to those who dared to approach the Menorcan coasts again for less than moral purposes.
And what happened to Cosme Alberti? As far as is known, he fought in the battle, also fulfilling his role as standard-bearer. He returned from the battle with the bloody flag, and took care of it until the day he died, when it became part of the Alberti family. It was in 1944, with the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the battle, when the heirs of Cosme Alberti presented the Alaior Town Hall with the flag (still bloody) that his ancestor had protected during the battle. It still belongs to the town hall today.
Thanks to his bravery in battle and his dedication to the voluntary militia, Cosme Alberti obtained the rank of captain, and who knows if it was thanks to this rank that 100 years later his grandson obtained the noble title that today presides over the façade of our beloved building in the heart of Mahon, Can Alberti 1740 Boutique Hotel.