Mallorca has a plethora of stately country houses. These estates are called possessions. Some of the great houses go back to the 14th or 15th century. A small number of the priceless manor houses are open to the public whilst others have been converted into hotels or agroturismos. But most of these gems are closed territory for most of us, most of the time.
Son Danús Vell in the Santanyí part of this island is a particularly great private possessió. The main buildings are thought to date from the 17th century but a rectangular tower extending to three storeys is believed to date from the 14th century. Even earlier, an Islamic alquería under the name of Binilassar has operated here; that name was kept for the estate until the 17th century. I had the privilege of being shown round the premises some ten years ago when the finca was up for sale. The house was – and still is, I think – a stunner. I understand that the estate has recently passed ownership.
The grounds of Son Danús Vell also are home to a Conjunto Prehistórico, sadly in a rather poor state of conservation, and without access to the public. But one can see part of a wall of what must have been a Talayotic tower joining onto the main road which leads past the main gate. Have a look-out next time you drive to Santanyí coming from Campos, if ever you do. You will be looking at a place where people have been living on and off for near enough 6,000 years by now, give or take a few anys.
The photos were taken near Santanyí, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 5th, 2009. The time was 13:09:50 and 13:09:16, respectively.