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The Real Cartuja de Valldemossa


Originally the Real Cartuja de Valldemosa (Royal Carthusian Monastery) was the site of a royal palace for Rei Sanxo I (1311-1324). In 1399 the palace was given to the Carthusian monks, who extended the buildings and converted the site into a monastery. The sanctuary had to be dissolved though in 1835 when the new law of Desamortización (Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizabal) led to many or indeed most of the ancient monasteries in Spain being expropriated and privatized, including the one in Valldemossa.

Today, most visitors journey to Valldemossa to explore the Real Cartuja in search of the spirit of Frederik Chopin and George Sand, but believe me, this eminent site has so much more to offer than just that brief episode during the winter of 1838/39. I find the Palau Sanxo fascinating with its imposing defence tower and the Sala Anckermann where short piano recitals are given almost daily. The Museo de la Cartoixa is equally interesting, with its church and the frescos by Francisco Bayeu, the old library and the historic pharmacy from the 18th century. And yes, do visit the Chopin celda and its exhibits, even though it is said that cell no. 4 was not where Chopin and his consorts actually stayed. A visit is recommended overall, although it must be said that admission fees are on the steep side, especially for families with older children (adults: 8.50 €, children under 10: free, students with identification: 4 €). Opening hours during the Winter months are Monday to Saturday, 09h30 to 15h00.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Valldemossa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 9th, 2008. The time was 18:16:40.

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