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Visiting La Granja on Island of Mallorca, Spain + Spectacular Evening with Marvin Hamlisch

Updated on October 8, 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.

Used to transport people - La Granja on the Island of Mallorca
Used to transport people - La Granja on the Island of Mallorca | Source

Island of Mallorca Tour

La Granja not only has a rich history but is located in a lush part of the Island well supplied with fresh water. A spectacular evening was planned for our final night on the Island.

The first part of this day tour started at the charming village of Valldemossa where we were introduced to the Carthusian Monastery. It was the location of which Chopin and George Sand had their notorious affair of several months duration.

Another point of interest where we were allowed to spend some time was at Son Marroig where the Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria lived. He not only resided at that particular spot of great beauty but other locations as well on this most scenic Island that he came to love and appreciate.

Through his literary efforts he became known as the "discoverer" of Mallorca and his life, while eccentric, was an interesting one of which we were made more familiar.

Just being driven around this beautiful Mediterranean isle was a pleasant experience. Every turn of the road offers more scenic splendors.

What we were about to learn regarding La Granja was not only interesting but a bit horrifying as well.

 La Granja, Mallorca, Spain
La Granja, Mallorca, Spain | Source

La Granja

What made this area special for settlement was its great abundance of subterranean water. Being an Island surrounded by salt water, fresh water was of prime importance to people, animals and the plant life grown for nourishment in order to assure their survival on Mallorca.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

Ruled by the Moors from the tenth to the thirteenth century, La Granja became famous for its mills.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

Jaime I who conquered Mallorca in 1229 developed a feudal system on the Island. It became divided into four parts.

Count Nuno Sans became the first ruler of the area which included La Granja.

The Count gave this land to the Cistercian Order in 1239 and they remained there for almost 200 years. The first convent of their Order was established on the Island and was eventually expanded to other locations.

La Granja was next occupied for about the same length of time (around 200 years) by the Don Mateo Vida family.

The Fortuny family next owned it and today ownership has passed to Don Cristobal Segui Colom.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

During much of that history, the people who lived in La Granja were totally self-sufficient.

Among other things they did the following:

  • Raised animals
  • Wove their own cloth and sewed
  • Gardened
  • Preserved food
  • Did Iron-smithing
  • Carpentry
  • Shoe making
  • Candle making
  • Pressed olive oil
  • Made wine
  • They even made perfumes!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
La Granja (Mallorca)La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source
La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

So what was horrifying to learn about and observe you might ask?

La Granja had a dark side. Cells had been built underground which had been utilized as torture chambers. The gruesome instruments of torture are still on display.

It was terrible to think of those racks and other sinister devices used on people who inhabited that part of the Island at one time, but obviously it did happen.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

Today La Granja is set up as an interactive museum. Craftsmen and women are dressed appropriately and are busy carrying out the normal tasks that would have been done throughout the centuries.

The weaving of cloth, cooking and other chores take place right in front of visitors.

One can help themselves to food made right there. Samples of wine are available.

Old style machinery in the basement of La Granja

One is directed to follow arrows which lead from one room to another. This is a self directed tour and one can spend as much time as one desires in each part of the residence looking at the furnishings and things that would all have been made on site.

The forged tools, the baskets, the pottery, the linens, furniture and decorative items help to comprise the contents of this interesting museum known as La Granja.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

In walking around the extensive grounds one could spend much time just simply enjoying the scenery.

Amidst this backdrop of colorful blooming plants in this verdant area of Mallorca well furnished with water, one also sees the pigs, ducks, deer and donkeys which helped provide labor and sustenance to the people living there.

Look at this family of ducks - La Granja on the Island of Mallorca
Look at this family of ducks - La Granja on the Island of Mallorca | Source

All the components necessary to make La Granja totally independent and self-sufficient are to be found in this part of the Island. And if the working resident people were unwilling participants there was always the torture chamber to keep them motivated!

To borrow a movie title...The Good, The Bad & The Ugly are all available to be viewed (and in the past, experienced) for visitors to La Granja on the Island of Mallorca.

La Granja (Mallorca)
La Granja (Mallorca) | Source

La Granja in Mallorca (Good overview of the grounds)

Would you have wanted to live under a feudel system at La Granja?

See results

Our Last Evening on the Island of Mallorca

My husband and I had enjoyed not only this particular day but all the days we had gotten to spend on the Island of Mallorca while intermittently being flown back and forth to Barcelona for Olympic events and also sightseeing adventures.

That final night was an extravaganza that capped the entire vacation off in grand style.

We met the others in our group at Palma de Mallorca's Civic Center which resembled a Roman courtyard and building with adornments of columns, statuary and the like.

Our photo was taken in the courtyard surrounded by centuries old buildings.

Our photo taken in the courtyard at Palma de Mallorca's Civic Center
Our photo taken in the courtyard at Palma de Mallorca's Civic Center | Source

The menu that night was the following:

Supreme of Sea Bass with Orange, Steamed Potatoes, Cold Vichyssoise, Center of Beef Sirloin Grille, Tomato Provenzal, Peas and Bearnaise Sauce, Las Companas White Wine, Glorioso Red Wine, Carta Nevada Champagne, Liqueurs and Coffee It was a feast!

To cap off the evening entertainment, Marvin Hamlisch performed for us. The winner of Tony, Academy and Grammy Awards he put on an absolutely delightful show.

His specially created song "From Palma to Barcelona" was humorous and memorable for those of us who were experiencing the flights back and forth for many days of the past week.

These memories of the Island of Mallorca, Barcelona, the Summer Olympics and so much more will last a lifetime for us.

Marvin Hamlisch

Much beloved American born composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch died on August 6, 2012 at the early age of only 68. His famous songs and musical scores will continue to live on through the ages as his memorable legacy.

He received numerous awards including the Emmy, Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Golden Globe and Pulitzer Prize.

Marvin Hamlisch came from a musical family and was a child prodigy. So the majority of his life was spent in the creation of songs and music for films, theater and symphony halls as well as other musical events.

Conversations with Marvin Hamlisch

Location of the Island of Mallorca

A markerIsland of Mallorca -
Majorca Island, Spain
get directions

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi colorfulone,

      This was just the final day and evening of our stay there during the time of the Olympics in Barcelona. It truly was a fabulous trip! Thanks for your votes and the share.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow, you have wonderful memories to write about from your trip to the Island of Mallorca. A very romantic vacation!

      This was interesting to read, voted up and shared!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      You are so right in that we are all one family of people inhabiting this small planet called Earth. It makes sense that there are similarities in how people have developed ways of life over time. Sad that torture has ever been a part of that history no matter where or when it has happened. I did not know about the national memorial monument on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, nor the reason for it. Thanks for sharing that information as well as your voting and sharing of this hub regarding La Granja.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What a fascinating read and pictures and I have this special attraction to all things ancient. Peggy, the first picture of the transport vehicle is similar to the ones we had decades ago, in India and maybe, still have in the city of Calcutta. They are called hand rickshaws here and are used for transporting people. The rickshaw puller runs along pulling it with both his hands on the wooden handles.

      Like the underground torture cells the island of La Granja, in India before independence we had cellular jails called kala pani at the time which were on the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands. It was at these jails that the political prisoners were put in at the time and tortured for demanding independence, by the British. Today, it is a national memorial monument.

      Things are so much similar in civilizations around the worlds. It is just that some countries have passed that era and some others are still in it. The world sure is one big family.

      Voted al the way up and across, shared and pinned too.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi virtualit,

      So happy to hear that you found this hub informative and interesting. La Granja was beautiful except for learning about that torture chamber! Yikes! Thanks for your comment.

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 4 years ago from Bangladesh

      very informative and interesting hub. thanks

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Indian Chef,

      Thanks for the compliment. :)) Ending the evening with a Marvin Hamlisch performance was indeed a treat! We really liked what we got to see of the Island of Mallorca (also spelled Majorca) while we were staying there. I can understand why people wish to have homes and live there full or part time. Thanks for your votes and the share.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Peggy first of all you and your husband make a very cute couple. Your picture at end with your husband stole the show in this Hub. All the pictures you shared were very interesting and it does make me feel like going there someday. And to top it you ended the trip with the live performance of Academy and Grammy award winner. That is just out of world. Voting it up, interesting, awesome and sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Colin,

      Hub expense account? Never knew that there was such a thing! Haha! That is a lovely dream to be able to travel, write or record one's experiences...and get paid for it. Yes, Marvin Hamlisch did seem to have a joy for life and his music will live on well into the future.

      Hope that your birthday was fun. You have many of us "hubbers" thinking of you and wishing you well.

      Warm wishes from Houston, Texas where it will reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit today. Thanks for your comment.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      What a lovely hub presentation my dear Peggy and what a world class tour guide you are. You should get your own travel tv show on the internet and visit a different country every week of your choice and get paid for it by the Hub expense account, lol.

      I really felt I was there with you the whole time as you have such a nice personable way of writing.

      Thank you for your birthday wishes and I am sending you my warmest wishes courtesy of Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time canada where it feels like summer again.

      I believe Mr. Hamlisch passed away earlier this year - he was a wonderful composer and seem to have a joy for life and his music

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      That trip to Spain was a once in a lifetime treat. We truly enjoyed ourselves and our final evening being entertained by Marvin Hamlisch was extraordinary! With his wonderful talent of singing, playing the piano and interacting with the crowd, he was certainly a crowd pleaser. His music is certainly one of his best legacies! Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      How lovely! You are so fortunate to have traveled so extensively! Voted up and beautiful! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      Aha! You are pig petting was done by me. Haha! The Island of Mallorca is so spectacularly beautiful. It is no wonder that the summer palace for the Spanish royalty is there. If your travels ever take you to that part of the world again, I hope you will get a chance to see it. Thanks for your comment & votes on this hub about La Granja.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm sorry I missed Mallorca on my last trip to Spain. La Granja seems to be a particularly worthwhile attraction, based on your pics. I'm guessing you didn't pet any of the pigs ;)

      Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi doodlebugs,

      I guess being the owner of a place like La Granja would always beat being the employees...especially with a torture chamber!!! It is situated on a pretty part of the Island of Mallorca. Nice to know that that chamber is now only a museum. Thanks for your comment.

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 6 years ago from Southwest

      What an amazing place. I'm not sure I would want to live there full time as a worker, but I sure wouldn't mind being the owner.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Leah,

      If you wish to see more of this fabulous Island of Mallorca, be sure and visit my other hubs. Hope you get there someday. We would surely like to return! Thanks for your comment.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 6 years ago from Western New York

      Oh, wow. I love traveling, and now I really want to visit Mallorca. I love seeing the countryside a lot - gorgeous pictures and maybe I'll get to go there one day in the future!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So you probably saw more of the natural beauty of Mallorca. I like vacationing like that also.

    • Plants and Oils profile image

      Plants and Oils 8 years ago from England

      We avoided the concrete, party-parts of the island - we were on a summer holiday en famille, and techo isn't my parents' idea of a good time (-:

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello again Plants and Oils,

      Since you spent 2 weeks each time, you would have seen MUCH MORE of the Island of Mallorca than we were able to see. You really lived there for a while. Perhaps you should write of your experiences. Would be fun to read about them.

      Thanks for the additional comment.

    • Plants and Oils profile image

      Plants and Oils 8 years ago from England

      We went twice, for a fortnight each time. The second time my sister and I were old enough to have mopeds - you don't need to be very old in Majorca for that. It was amazing!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Welcome Plants and Oils,

      Always nice to see a new face!

      It must have been wonderful vacationing there with your parents. You would have probably seen and gotten to enjoy much more of the Island of Mallorca than we did on our visit.

      Glad you liked the photos and thanks for commenting.

    • Plants and Oils profile image

      Plants and Oils 8 years ago from England

      Majorca has some wonderful places - I spent a couple of summer holidays there with my family when I was a teenager. And your photos are wonderful!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello li7218,

      Thanks for your comment on La Granja. Happy that you liked it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pete,

      I don't believe that one can stay at La Granja (except the owner and his guests, of course) but there are many places on the Island of Mallorca where one could easily vacation and relax.

      If you are refering to the last was sent to us afterwards as a souvenir of our visit. Very nice to have as a final memory of our last night spent there.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi loveroflife,

      I finished the Mallorca part of this trip first...there is more to write about Barcelona and the Olympics. But you are correct in that this was a fabulous trip and a lifetime memory maker. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      Very pretty place. It looks like it would be a relaxing place to stay. A very nice photo also.

    • profile image

      loveroflife 8 years ago

      WOW! What an experience the entire trip must have been. I can understand why the memories will linger forever.