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Arxiduc Lluís Salvador d’Àustria

arxiduc

The Consell de Mallorca is busy preparing Saturday’s Diada de Mallorca celebrations (September 12th). On that occasion, a number of honours will be bestowed upon personalities, ordinary people and institutions of decorum.

Amongst other distinctions, the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria (Arxiduc Lluís Salvador d’Àustria) will be awarded the title of Fill adoptiu (Adopted Son). Of course, the good man is long since dead; he lived from 1847 to 1915, having spent a good 40 years of his life in Mallorca. I think the laurels are well deserved if not overdue even though the archduke was already declared an honorary citizen of the Ciutat de Mallorca in 1877, a distinction that was later extended to include the entire island in 1910. In my opinion the archduke ranks amongst the most eminent people in Mallorca’s history, ever.

Arxiduc

Ludwig Salvator was born in 1847 as the third son of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II, of the Habsburg family from Austria. He was baptized Ludwig Salvator Maria Joseph Johann Baptist Dominik Rainer Ferdinand Karl Zenobius Antonius. Oh well, wealthy people have a knack for flamboyance.

For health reasons and for the purpose of scientific studies, Ludwig Salvator travelled in 1867 in company of his chamberlain and teacher to the Balearic Islands for the first time. In 1872, Ludwig Salvator acquired the Finca Miramar as his first possession on Mallorca and decided to make Mallorca his main home. Later he would purchase a whole string of country properties mainly to protect the landscape and to conserve the historical buildings.

Already in 1869, he published Volume I of the monumental work Die Balearen in Wort und Bild geschildert (The Balearic Islands described in words and pictures). This tome was dedicated to Emperor Franz Joseph I. A further six volumes were published over the course of the next 22 years and completed by 1891. An original edition can be studied at the Fundación Bartolomé March in Palma free of charge as long as you handle the treasures with care. A two-volume edition was published in German and Castellano in 1897; to my knowledge no English version has ever been published. The competent man published also a few more books on subjects relating to Palma, the island of Mallorca and the Archipiélago Balear in general, plus numerous other works on the most extensive range of topics one might imagine, such as Tender Expressions And Terms Of Affection In The Friulic Dialect, with 66 titles all told.

die_balearen

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken near Valldemossa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 16th, 2008. The time was 15:32:40.

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