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Posts tagged ‘monastery’

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

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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

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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.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Discovering Mallorca: Mountain miradores from the Monastery of Lluc

Just when I thought Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains couldn’t get any better, I stumbled (or rather drove, extensively) across the uniquely magical village of Lluc. Built around an ancient monastery-come-school, and set at the peak of some of Mallorca’s highest mountains, Lluc feels so steeped in historical wealth and religious fervour that we could feel a kind of magical aura suspended in the thin mountain air.

Founded in the 13th century after a Moorish shepherd reputedly found a statue of the Virgin Mary on the site where the monastery was later erected, Lluc is today considered to be the most important pilgrimage site on Mallorca, not least the ancient statue herself, around whom a queue of the faithful gathers even at the quietest times of the year.

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However as beautiful as Lluc may be with its ancient grand basilica silhouetted gracefully against a stunning mountain backdrop, and a lush botanical garden full of surreal statues and flowering plants, the real highlight of my visit was the mountain scenery surrounding it. Lush multi-layered mountain strata, olive-tree lined slopes, thick green forests and brick-red rugged rocks; this was scenery to truly take the breath away, and is the focus of today’s Daily Norm latest discovery in Mallorca.

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.