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

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

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

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

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)

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

La Granja (Mallorca)

La Granja (Mallorca)

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)

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

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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!

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)

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)

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

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)

La Granja in Mallorca (Good overview of the grounds)

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

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


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 20, 2018:

Hi Liz,

It certainly was just that...a once in a lifetime opportunity! We loved all of our experiences during the Olympics and getting to see areas of Barcelona as well as the Island of Mallorca where we were staying.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 20, 2018:

It certainly sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2018:

Hi Liz,

This was our last day and evening on that fabulous trip many years ago getting to see the opening ceremonies of the Olympics,other Olympic events as well as exploring parts of the Island of Mallorca and Barcelona. It is a trip that I will never forget.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 15, 2018:

This is a fascinating article. It sounds like you had a wonderful time there, with trips to the Olympics added in as well.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 20, 2015:

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.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on January 20, 2015:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2013:

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 Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 21, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2013:

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.

Abdus Salam from Bangladesh on May 21, 2013:

very informative and interesting hub. thanks

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2013:

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 from New Delhi India on May 21, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2013:

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 on May 20, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 19, 2013:

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 from Texas on May 19, 2013:

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 09, 2012:

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.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on September 09, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 04, 2011:

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.

Nolen Hart from Southwest on November 04, 2011:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 04, 2011:

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.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on November 04, 2011:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 09, 2009:

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

Plants and Oils from England on August 09, 2009:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 09, 2009:

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 from England on August 08, 2009:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2009:

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 from England on August 07, 2009:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2009:

Hello li7218,

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2009:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2009:

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 on August 06, 2009:

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

loveroflife on August 05, 2009:

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

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