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The Palace of Rey Sancho

The Palau del Rei Sanç (palace of Rey Sancho) forms the original part of La Cartoixa (Carthusian monastery) in Valldemossa, a pueblo in the Tramuntana mountain range with an altitude of over 400 metres. King Jaume II de Mallorca commissioned the building of the palace for his third son. The building was finished in 1310, allowing the King’s son, who suffered from asthma, to enjoy his favourite pastime here, hunting with falcons. Rei Sanç I el Pacífico became the king of Mallorca in 1311 and reigned until 1324. He died that year aged 48, not leaving any descendants.

Somehow, King Martín el Humano of the house of Aragon inherited these and other Mallorcan possessions from his elder brother. In 1399, he was petitioned to cede the royal possessions in Valldemossa to the Carthusian monks, and complied with that request. The monks of the order of Sant Bruno founded the monastery, extended the palace building complex and built the church. The monks of Sant Bruno were bound by an oath of silence that they only could break once a week for thirty minutes, and only in the monastery’s library. They lived in the monastery until 1835, when they were secularised and dispossessed of this monastery, a fate that befell many other monasteries in Spain as well at that time. The Spanish state took on the administration of this monastery, renting out the monastic cells to visitors, such as Frederick Chopin and George Sand during the winter of 1838/39. Later, the monastery site was sold in nine different parts to private owners and the church was passed on to the Bisbat de Mallorca. This ownership structure is still in force today.

Two architectural elements in the Palau del Rei Sanç appear to date from the Moorish period (902-1229), the dining room floor tiles (see photo) and a techo mudéjar, a wooden ceiling with rather beautiful carvings.

The photo was taken in Valldemossa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 26th, 2009. The time was 11:47:42.

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November 2009


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