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Illustrious figures who’ve spent time at the Charterhouse of Valldemossa

One of the particular features of Valldemossa, and more specifically the Charterhouse, is that it's been visited by a whole array of famous people: painters, politicians, philosophers, princes, writers, musicians, poets... Even Hollywood stars (Michael Douglas) and astronauts (Michael López Alegría). Albeit from different centuries, they have all left their mark. The most remarkable was the visit paid by the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his companion, writer George Sand and author of the iconic and controversial volume "A Winter in Majorca" (1842). Other prominent names can be added to the list of poets, journalists and writers: the Nicaraguan Rubén Darío, the professor and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, the playwright and literary critic José Augusto Trinidad Martínez Ruiz, better known by his pseudonym Azorín, the Argentine intellectual Jorge Luis Borges and Eugeni d'Ors, who started the Noucentista movement.

And this historical review can't leave out a whole group of artists who, through their oil paintings, engravings, watercolours and sketches, immortalised the landscapes of Valldemossa. Gaston Vuillier, draughtsman, traveller and ethnographer, tells of his visit to "Les îles oubliées" (1893). Other figures from different backgrounds followed, such as the successful American portrait artist, John Singer Sargent, and the Catalan Santiago Rusiñol, a leading figure in the art and also the literature and aesthetic ideas of his time.

The time spent here by the minister and intellectual Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, condemned and banished by Colonel Manuel Godoy in 1801, sets a significant precedent in this respect. Since then, a long list of politicians from all over the world have been able to admire this unique building in Valldemossa: the Spanish presidents Felipe González and José María Aznar, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal between 1985 and 1995, the Americans Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, US Presidents between 1977-1981 and 1993-2001 respectively, Tarja Halonen, President of Finland between 2000 and 2012, Jiang Zemin, Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party between 1989 and 2002 and President of the People's Republic of China between 1993 and 2003.... Nor do nobles and kings go unnoticed: Juan Carlos I and Sofia of Greece, the former King and Queen of Spain, were regular visitors, but so were other figures such as Akihito, Emperor of Japan, Queen Sirikit of Thailand, Diane, Duchess of Württemberg and Sophie of Habsburg, the wife of Prince Hugo Windisch-Graetz.

The number and variety of illustrious figures who've passed through the Charterhouse of Valldemossa have not only helped to enrich the history of the building but also to enhance the legend of this Mallorcan town.

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