Ludwig Salvator of Austria and Tuscany, the Archduke of Austria, member of the house of Habsburg that dates back over a thousand years, arrived in Mallorca in 1867 after visiting the nearby Pityusic islands. Over time, Mallorca became so important to the Archduke he would come to think of it as his second home. He lived in Valldemossa, the setting for the happiest days in his life. To truly understand this close bond between place and person, we recommend three properties that inspired the Archduke's renowned idyll on the so-called “Island of Calm”.
- Son Marroig. Halfway between Valldemossa and Deià, this estate is famous for including the peninsula of Sa Foradada. Its origins date back to the 17th century when it was documented as belonging to Gabriel Masroig. After being sold to the Cortei family, it was passed on to the Archduke who considered it to be one of the best houses on the island. Its small natural harbour was the perfect shelter for the Nixe, the aristocrat's legendary yacht. Julio Cortázar talks about this beautiful spot on Mallorca in “El rayo verde” (The green ray), a story inspired by the Serra de Tramuntana.
- Miramar. Another famous property to be found between Valldemossa and Deià. A monastery was set up in the vicinity, commissioned by Ramon Llull, which would also hold Mallorca's first printing workshop in 1457. Miramar was bought by the Archduke after he fell in love with its coastline: “Without doubt, no other place on earth is more worthy of the name 'Miramar'” he wrote in his book “Die Balearen”. He commissioned a Sicilian-style castle to be built on the estate called S’Estaca, which today is owned by the American actor Michael Douglas.
- La Cartoixa - the Carthusian Monastery. During his time on the island, Archduke Ludwig Salvator would become fully immersed in the daily life of Valldemossa and could be seen attending the religious activities held at La Cartoixa, a place which attracted a large number of renowned figures from all over the world who, like the Archduke, became enthralled. Today, an exhibition located inside the monastery describes the time spent by the aristocrat on the island through a number of objects and documents of great historical interest.