On the trail of S’Arxiduc (Part 2): Monestir de Miramar
Following on from our visit to Son Marroig, our tour of the Deia coast on the trail of S’Arxiduc, the Archduke Ludwig Salvador, took us back towards Valldemossa and to the Miramar Monastery. Contrary to the name, there is very little left of the 13th Century monastery which once stood on the site, other than one length of what must have been a stunning cloister, now to be found almost floating amidst a garden full of flowers. However what was left of the monastery was purchased by the Archduke in 1872 when he fell head over heels in love with the coast, and there he converted the site into another of his great coastal houses.
The old monastery, the house an its gardens
Today the main attraction of the house is undoubtedly the gardens and land which surround it. As the Archduke himself declared: “Without doubt no other place on earth deserves with more reason the name Miramar”. And on this count, I could not disagree, for just beyond the more formal gardens which surround the ancient chapel and old cloister remains, extensive land takes the visitor all the way to a cliff edge which benefits from utterly breathtaking views over to Son Marroig and the stunning emerald sea below. From there, the grounds lead on to a mysterious Italianate pool, and beyond a series of canals and mills which appear to be left over from the ingenious reign of the Moors whose engineering innovations managed to tame this otherwise uninhabitable land long before the Archduke arrived.
Views and aspects of the land beyond
It is not at all hard to appreciate why the Archduke fell so in love with this incredible strip of coastline, and it is thanks to him that much of the coast today remains unspoilt and unashamedly beautiful for us all to enjoy today.
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