Valldemossa is a village and municipality on the island of Majorca, part of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Valldemossa, built at the beginning of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca.
Since the 19th century Valldemossa has been promoted internationally as a place of outstanding beauty, largely as a result of the affection of distinguished traveller and cultural writer, the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator.
In the 1830s the Spanish government confiscated monasteries, and the historic estate was sold to private owners, who have since hosted some prominent guests. These have included the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover the pioneering French writer George Sand, who wrote a notable account of A Winter in Majorca, describing their 1838–39 visit and praising the island's natural beauty, but criticizing what she perceived as the prejudice and vices of the natives.
Later the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío was guest of the Sureda y Montaner families who own the Chartreuse estate. To fight his own nightmares Rubén Dario would sleep in monk habits, however his drinking habits caused a rift with his private hosts and thus his departure from the former monastery and from Majorca.
Also Jorge Luis Borges lived in the town with his parents and his sister Norah, after the First World War let them free from their refuge in Geneva. Borges passionate friendship with the young artist Jacobo Sureda Montaner, son of the painter Pilar Montaner, was decisive for Borges writing mainly in Spanish.
In 1956 British composer Joseph Horovitz visited the island, with his wife Anna, on their honeymoon, and later named a clarinet piece, based on Spanish folk-tunes he had heard there, after the village. Until the elections of 2007 the town's mayor was the only one in the democratic Kingdom of Spain to remain in office from the times of the Francoist dictatorship, which legally disappeared as the current Spanish Constitution of 1978 was passed.
Chopin's piano, in the monastery.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valldemossa.|
- Official website
- French text of George Sand's A Winter in Majorca ("Un hiver à Majorque") at the Gutenberg Website
- International Foundation Can Mossenya - Jorge Luis Borges