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Majorca according to Chopin and Sand

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  • La Cartuja Monastery in Valdemossa © Turespaña

    La Cartuja Monastery in Valdemossa © Turespaña

  • View of Valdemossa © Turespaña

    View of Valdemossa © Turespaña


A route around Chopin's Majorca

In winter 1838-1839, the composer Frédéric Chopin, and his partner back then, the writer George Sand, and her two small children, settled temporarily on the island of Majorca (Balearic Islands). They settled in Cartuja de Valldemossa, an old palace and later on a monastery situated in a paradisiacal and romantic place, where Chopin composed some of his most acclaimed pieces for piano.

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On 8 November 1838 they moved to Palma, the capital of the island of Mallorca. They stayed in the city for a few weeks, while Chopin waited for a Pleyel piano to arrive. On 15 December they moved into Cartuja de Valldemossa, where they lived until 13 February 1839. George Sand wrote a travel log during this time, which she called "A winter in Majorca".

This route, which may be covered in one day, suggests four destinations: the city of Palma, the Cartuja de Valldemossa, the picturesque town of Deià and the town of Sòller, from where we'll return to the starting point.

In Palma there are important Moorish origin buildings (such as the 11th century Arab Baths) and those built following the Catalan Gothic style, such as Bellver Castle (13th century), Sa Seu Catedral (13th-17th centuries) - which houses recent paintings by Miquel Barcelò in the Santísimo Chapel - the Market, by Guillem Sagrera (15th century) and the Palace of La Almudaina (14th century), an old palace built on the Moorish fortress.

In order to get to the town of Valldemossa, situated 17 kilometres from Palma, in the heart of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains, we must take the MA-1130 road. The Cartuja, the place where Chopin and Sand lived, is an architectural site made up of a convent building, an old pharmacy, a 15th century church renovated following the Neoclassical style, housing frescos by Francisco Bayeu, and its cloister (16th century). Next to it is the Palace of King Sanç, with a Gothic tower and cloister. The International Chopin Festival is held here every year.

About 12 kilometres away we find the town of Deià. The journey there affords delightful views. The panoramic view of the Mediterranean and the cliffs is perfect from Son Marroig, the old residence of the Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria, which is a museum today. Another famous writer also lived in Deià: Robert Graves, author of "I, Claudius". His old residence, turned into a house-museum, can be visited. Deià also holds its International Classical Music Festival every year.

Not too far away we'll find the town of Sóller. Surrounded by orange groves, carob trees and almond trees, it is a tourist municipality with a past full of trade and industry: it led to the construction of the first and only railway in the Balearic Islands. Palma-Sóller (known as the "Trenet"). Today it is a tourist train and is a very interesting option for returning to the capital of Majorca.
In Sóller we'll visit the Church of Sant Bartolomeu (16th-18th century), renovated by the Modernist architect Joan Rubió i Bellver. The city has other Modernist buildings and the convents of Sant Francesc (17th century) and Santa Catalina (16th century).



What to see on the route See more

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