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Valldemossa

Valldemossa (in Catalan) or Valldemosa (in Spanish) is a village and municipality on the island of Majorca, part of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.

Valldemossa is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Jesus of Nazareth, built at the beginning of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca.

In the 1830s the Spanish government confiscated monasteries, and the historic estate was sold to private owners, who have since hosted some prominent guests. These have included the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and the French writer and pioneering feminist George Sand (who wrote a notable account of A Winter in Majorca, describing their 1838–39 visit and praising the island's natural beauty but criticizing what she perceived as the prejudice and vices of the natives).

Later the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío was host of the Sureda y Montaner families who own the Chartreuse estate. To fight his own nightmares Rubén Dario would sleep in monk habits, however his drinking habits caused a rift with his private hosts and thus his departure from the former monastery and from Majorca.

Also Jorge Luis Borges lived in the town with his parents and his sister Norah, after the First World War let them free from their refuge in Geneva. Borges passionate friendship with the young artist Jacobo Sureda Montaner, son of the painter Pilar Montaner, was decisive for Borges writing mainly in Spanish.

Since the 19th century Valldemossa has been promoted internationally as a beautiful spot thanks to the affection of a distinguished traveller and cultural writer, the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator.

Until the elections of 2007 the town's mayor was the only one in the democratic Kingdom of Spain to remain in office from the times of the Francoist dictatorship (which legally disappeared as the current Spanish Constitution of 1978 was passed)

External links

Coordinates: 39°42′42.04″N 2°37′21.29″E / 39.7116778°N 2.6225806°E / 39.7116778; 2.6225806

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Valldemossa is a village in Mallorca.

Get in

There are buses throughout the year from Palma de Mallorca to Soller that go through Valdemossa. (This is a slow but scenic way of going between these towns, the fast route going through the tunnel.) There's one bus in the afternoon to Andraix at hte west end of the island.

Get around

Valdemossa is small enough for walkng.

Understand

Chopin and George Sand spent the winter of 1938-9 here in the old monastery. In spite of the beautiful view and general comfort of what is described as a cell, they were not happy and George Sand wrote a book which may well not have led the locals to want them back.

  • La Cartuja - the old monastery with a number of fascinating cells, including one that is an old apothecary, shop. In spite of the high appearance of htis building it is possible for wheelchair users to see a lot on the ground floor.
  • The old palace around the corner (included in the same ticket) - a sumptuous place where recitals of Chopin's music are played regularly - even to an audience of one!
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