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Island of Mallorca - Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa, Spain - Chopin & George Sand

Updated on September 24, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Valldemossa, Balearic Islands, Spain
Valldemossa, Balearic Islands, Spain | Source

Island Tour of Mallorca

One day while on the Island of Mallorca, my husband and I decided to take another tour. We had already taken a City Tour of Palma but wanted to see more. One of the first stops was in the very scenic town of Valldemossa which is only 17 kilometers from the City of Palma where we were staying.

Riding there on the tour bus we saw not only forested areas amidst the rolling landscape of rocky shorelines and interior plains but also many olive and almond tree groves. The growing of those crops is a major industry on the Island in addition to tourism.

Olives growing on terraces. Picture taken near Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain
Olives growing on terraces. Picture taken near Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain | Source

Hundred year old olive trees lend their gnarly forms to the landscape as well as the 7 to 8 million almond trees which make the Island look like its covered with snow in February when they bloom.

Beautifully shows portions of the town and seaport of Valldemossa

This beautiful Mediterranean Island has been inhabited by many different peoples including Romans, Carthaginians and Arabs throughout the centuries. All have left their marks on the Island which can easily be seen by some of the architectural remains.

Most of the buildings on the Island are constructed out of native stone.

First view of Valldemossa taken from the moving tour bus
First view of Valldemossa taken from the moving tour bus | Source
Valldemossa photo from moving bus tour
Valldemossa photo from moving bus tour | Source
Valldemossa photo from moving bus tour
Valldemossa photo from moving bus tour | Source

Fishing villages and ports are located in different spots around the perimeter of Mallorca.

This has become an Island of choice for domiciles dating back to ancient royalty as well as modern day individuals wealthy enough to call Mallorca their home.

Artists choose to live here in great numbers and inspiration for their creativity is seemingly endless by the beauty seen everywhere in which an eye is cast.

Street scene in Valldemossa
Street scene in Valldemossa | Source
Another street scene in Valldemossa
Another street scene in Valldemossa | Source

Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa

This former Moorish hamlet lies 425 meters above sea level and is the highest village on the Island.

Valldemossa dates back to prehistoric times.

King James ll of Mallorca had a palace built on this spot and in 1399 it was given by King Martin the Human of Aragon to the Carthusian Order of monks for a monastery to be constructed.

Outside view of the Carthusian Monastery
Outside view of the Carthusian Monastery | Source

Many renovations took place during the years and it was later converted into a convent. This change dates back to the 18th century.

In 1835 the government "dis-entailed" the convent and with the exception of the church and vestry it was put up for public auction.

While the monks were in residence, they each had three cells (rooms) and these rooms looked out onto a garden plot which each monk tended. It overlooked a beautiful view of the town below as well as terraced hillsides.

Carthusian Monastery photos from Valldemossa

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rose bushes serve as markers for the monks in the cemeteryViewing one of the garden plots + hillside scenery from the monastery
Rose bushes serve as markers for the monks in the cemetery
Rose bushes serve as markers for the monks in the cemetery | Source
Viewing one of the garden plots + hillside scenery from the monastery
Viewing one of the garden plots + hillside scenery from the monastery | Source

An abundance of roses planted outside the monastery serve as markers in place of headstones in the cemetery for the monks who died here.

After the monks were gone many people stayed there as guests.

Scenic town of Valldemossa
Scenic town of Valldemossa | Source

Chopin and George Sand

One of the more famous guests was Frederic Chopin.

In December of 1838 Chopin arrived in Valldemossa with the intention of staying there through the winter and hoping to improve his precarious health. He suffered from chronic pulmonary pneumonia.

The younger and better of only two known photographs of Frédéric Chopin. This is from 1849
The younger and better of only two known photographs of Frédéric Chopin. This is from 1849 | Source

Chopin lived with George Sand (pseudonym for Armandine Aurore Lucie Dupin) the French writer who wrote the booklet A Winter in Mallorca.

A Winter in Majorca
A Winter in Majorca

This is the book written by George Sand when spending time in Valdemossa with Chopin.

 
Portrait of George Sand - pseudonym for Armandine Aurore Lucie Dupin
Portrait of George Sand - pseudonym for Armandine Aurore Lucie Dupin | Source

Her staying there was very scandalous especially for that day and time. She wore pants and smoked! They were not married! She was there with her two children!

Their several month long affair has now become part of a local tourist attraction.

What do you think of George Sand?

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A Pleyel piano that Chopin would have played while there during the winter of 1838-1839 remains inside the monastery.

This video shows interior and exterior views of the monastery in which Chopin and George Sand stayed. It also includes the Pleyel Piano that Chopin used.

Today the site of the Carthusian Monastery is the most symbolic of structures when people think of Valldemossa. It certainly dominates the skyline of the small town.

Valldemossa village in Mallorca, Spain
Valldemossa village in Mallorca, Spain | Source

Now open as a museum, tourists can roam through the rooms seeing how the monks and priests would have lived. There is a music room where local concerts are conducted. An annual Chopin concert is also enjoyed in this location.

Do you like the music created by Chopin?

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The town of Valldemossa is also known for its crafts which consist of forging, ceramics and lots of hand-crafted embroidery. Many shops offer their unique handicrafts for sale.

Listen to Chopin while you look at photos of the Monastery and Valldemossa

The great beauty of its location with all of the stone houses, terraced hillsides, pretty little seaport and historic Carthusian Monastery where Chopin and George Sand once had an affair makes for an interesting visit to Valldemossa on the Island of Mallorca.

This author would definitely recommend a visit to anyone who comes to the Island.

A markerValldemossa, Spain -
Valldemossa, Spain
get directions

Have you ever visited Valldemossa?

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© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello cherriquinn,

      Perhaps the reason I was not stopped in taking photos of Chopin's piano is that I only took one. It was not posted that pictures were not allowed. I probably would have taken more also but it was hard to get a clear view with the group of people in the room. Nice that you also got to see Valldemossa and this Carthusian Monastery. It is truly beautiful! My photos on the moving bus hardly do it justice. Thanks for your comment.

    • cherriquinn profile image

      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Valdemossa is beautiful.I also visited Chopins'secret hideaway! I have fond and funny memories as I began to take photos of his piano before being stopped! Of course I did not realize I couldn't but by then I had so many photos on my camera! Your photos of the journey up the mountain show it as I remember, simply breathtaking. Love this hub!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello JKenny,

      That monastery you mentioned on Mallorca sounds interesting. Have you written about it? Wish we had more time to see more of that gorgeous island, but we were also being shuttled back and forth to see Olympic games and also touring Barcelona. Great times! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi John,

      Glad that you liked this information regarding Chopin and where he stayed at the Carthusian monastery in Valldemossa for a time. Can't wait to read your hub and listen to you playing some Chopin. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brett,

      There are LOTS of flowers on Mallorca since it is such a mild Mediterranean climate and many of them are lovingly tended by the residents who are lucky enough to be living on that scenic island. Glad that you liked learning about the history of Valldemossa. Thanks for your comment.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      A great hub, about a wonderful Island. Reading this, reminds me of when I visited the Lluc Monastery in the Northern Serra Mountains, Majorca. It was so remote, but beautiful at the same time. The route you have to take is...interesting, narrow mountain passes, with coachloads of tourists coming the other way, not for the faint of heart I can assure you.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Peggy,

      Great hub! Chopin is one of my favorite composers...in fact: if you want to see me perform the finale of his 3rd Ballade, just check my hub on Chopin's Ballades and go to the link under the 3rd Ballade. ...very informative hub on the life of Chopin - voted up

      John

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      An interesting guide to a beautiful area, but I hope that all the flowers in the picture aren't in memory of monk ... that's a lot of flowers! I like how you also included the history, for me that is often what makes a place more interesting, along with a different culture.

      SOCIALLY SHARED and up.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi thelyricwriter,

      Thanks for the compliments on this article and your votes. By leaving a comment you brought me back to that tour of the lovely hillside coastal town of Valldemossa on this most resplendant of Mediterranean Islands off the coast of Spain. Thanks!!!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      That George Sand is quite the character Peggy. But on to the brightside, another great travel hub Peggy. Your writing and research is great. I learned a lot from this. much more from you in general. The more you know, the smarter you are I reckon. Voted up, awesome, useful, and interesting my dear.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Chamil,

      Glad to hear that you liked this hub about the monastery in Valldemossa where Chopin and George Sand spent some time. Valldemossa is a gorgeous area on the Island of Mallorca. Thanks for your comment.

    • chamilj profile image

      chamilj 6 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Hi Peggy,

      Thanks for sharing this information with us. Great pictures too.

      Chamil

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi mdlawyer,

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed this tour of the Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa on the Island of Mallorca. We certainly thought that it was interesting. Glad to hear that you did also.

    • mdlawyer profile image

      mdlawyer 6 years ago

      Very interesting account, Peggy. Beautiful pictures. Voted UP! Rated beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Eiddwen,

      Always so nice to hear that people enjoyed reading what one has created. We loved what we got to see on the Island of Mallorca and this Carthusian Monastery in the charming town of Valldemossa is a regular stop for tours.

      I am also happy to have met you via HP and am enjoying your hubs. You take such wonderful pictures!

      Thanks for the votes and generous comment. :)))

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Peggy,

      I have so many of your beautiful hubs to catch up on.I am not paint or draw a picture to save my life but I have in the last couple of years grown to love taking photos of beautiful places , country scenes,sea-side photos etc and i love yours combined with learning all about these far off lands. You are a natural in conveying the beauty and charm.

      I am so glad that I came accross you on here and hope to read your hubs for many years to come.

      I push all the buttons, bookmark the lot.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello gfountas,

      I do the same reading other people's travel hubs. Glad that you liked this hub about the Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa and the link to Chopin and George Sand on the beautiful Island of Mallorca. Thanks for the comment.

    • gfountas profile image

      gfountas 6 years ago from Iowa

      I am going to live vicariously through your travels.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Tony,

      We were so fortunate to have been able to spend some time on the Island of Mallorca and get to see things like the Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa. Chopin and George Sand certainly made it a more famous spot to visit! Hope you get to visit Mallorca in person someday...but I know what you mean. At our ages there is just so much time and so many places...! Thanks for the comment.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      The story and the pix are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them Mallorca has long been on my list of places to visit, though I doubt I'll even get there now! Will just have to rely on beautiful reports about it like this one.

      Thanks again

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      Yes indeed! The Island of Mallorca would be a great vacation spot. If you go, be sure and visit the Carthusian Monastery in Valldemossa. It is a beautiful town. Actually the entire island is worth exploring and is a delight for the senses. There is a good reason why the King of Spain has his summer residence on that island.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      I have never been to Mallorca and would love to. It is certainly much cheaper to rent a villa out there now since the Spanish property market collapsed. It would be a lovely place to spend a slumbering vacation. Lovely photos Peggy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suki,

      We really enjoyed the time we got to spend on the Island of Mallorca. If we lived closer we would want to go back also. Lucky you! Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Lee,

      Guess I write the way I think (with some editing, of course!) LOL

      Thank you for reading about Valldemossa, the Carthusian Monastery and Chopin & George Sand on the Island of Mallorca and leaving a comment.

    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Great hub - very informative and I loved the photos. I was there many years ago and this has made me long to go back there - I live in mainland Spain but this looks much prettier!

    • Lee Thacker profile image

      Lee Thacker 8 years ago

      I like the way your brain thinks, makes me feel alive listening to what your thinking, very cool...Keep it up ...PS Now I Know Why I bookmarked your page ;-) ...Hope you are doing well,

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi loveroflife,

      Glad that you enjoyed seeing the Carthusian Monastery and learning about Chopin and George Sand's romantic involvement on the Island of Mallorca in Valldemossa. It certainly would have been a great spot for R & R. Thanks for the compliment on the hub.

    • profile image

      loveroflife 8 years ago

      This hub on Valldemossa is another example of your ability to capture history and scenic beauty. Thanks.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Greetings Kim,

      So happy that you enjoyed this hub about the Carthusian Monastery at Valldemossa on the Island of Mallorca. It is so pretty there! I can understand why Chopin liked it. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Kim Garcia 8 years ago

      Hey Peggy!! I enjoyed my tour of Valldemossa, thank you!! What a beautiful place, such picturesque scenery. Truly lovely!! Peace ~K

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi James,

      So glad that you enjoyed reading this hub about Valldemossa including the bit about the Carthusian Monastery and the stay by Chopin and George Sand. Certainly makes for an interesting bit of trivia when learning about this portion of what is on the Island of Mallorca. Thanks for your comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I love this hub! The story the photographs—wonderful! Thank you very much for the tour of this magical place.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pete,

      Yes, to think of people continually living in buildings older than the U.S. is amazing. Those old stone structures on the Island of Mallorca are beautiful and obviously stand up to all kinds of weather and wear and tear throughout the centuries. Thanks for checking out this latest hub. More coming...

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      It always amazes me to see the beauty of old Europe; though I know this is an island. Just thinking that these places have shops older than the United States. George was definitely ahead of her time.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lupo,

      Always fun traveling and learning about new things. I have several more posts that will be written about other sights on the Island of Mallorca so if you liked this...stay tuned. Thanks for the first comment.

    • Lupo profile image

      Lupo 8 years ago from Boston Area

      I knew none of what you related in your post so it was quite informative. It was fun reading about your trip since I too like travels that include visits to out of the way historical sites.