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The Convento De Mínimos

The Convent dels Mínims (Castellano: Convento de Mínimos) in Santa María is also known by the name of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. This monastery dates back to the 17th century but, was secularized in 1835 when the monks were evicted by the Spanish state. In 1855, the former convent extending over three floors passed into the hands of Marques de Fuensanta who converted the building into a private dwelling. The former cloister was declared a monument of national heritage in 1962 for its aesthetic significance. In 1987, the Balearic Government declared the property a BIC (property of cultural interest), imposing protection and implying a ruling that the current structure cannot be altered.

During the 21st century, the property became a bone of contention between a number of heirs to the Conrado estate, themselves heirs to the Fuensanta clan, and litigation was instigated eleven years ago. The court finally ruled that the property should be subject to a public auction which was duly held a week or two ago. The prime estate with some 5,600 m² of urban land including extensive gardens had been taxed at 1,840,000 €. Bidding started with an offer of 922,993 € by one of the proprietors and swiftly climbed up to the knock-down price of 2,901,000 € (exclusive of impuestos). A monumental church that had formed part of the erstwhile monastery was not included in the auction sale.

Over the last twenty years I have known the impressive location as an upmarket restaurant and as a museum. In the last few years, the property has been used as a stylish venue under the name of Marquès de Conrado where events, banquets and weddings could be celebrated. The old proprietor who already owned two-thirds of the title put in the successful bid in the auction and is now the outright owner of the entire place (but not the church). If you want to celebrate a wedding-do or such like, you might want to consider this locale.

When I went there last week and asked the landlord’s permission to take a closer look at the exterior of his prized possession he kindly but firmly put his foot down. My request was declined. Oh, well.

The photo was taken in Santa María, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 23rd, 2011. The time was 13:30:34.

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