La Granja de Esporles
This 17th-century manor house provides a fascinating glimpse into old-world Mallorcan life.
Sited near the Serra de Tramuntana mountain ranges, La Granja is a relic of Mallorcan history. The palatial country house is now an open-air museum presented as it would have been used by a 17th-century noble family and their extensive staff.
The museum of La Granja is a stunning throwback to the island’s rural past. It’s located within the sprawling estate, which also features private gardens, an on-site restaurant, a terrace café, and a working wine cellar. The museum preserves generational snapshots of both noble and working-class life some 500 years ago, from a luxurious drawing room to workers’ quarters where grains, textiles, and perfumes were processed. There is even a torture chamber that exhibits a breadth of nightmarish instruments.
Outside, the mansion is enveloped by its spectacular landscape. A natural waterfall known to the ancient Romans gushes at a height of 30 feet, and stately botanical gardens sprout manicured flora. A yew tree said to be 1,000 years old is a highlight of the property, which is also inhabited by farm animals.
The original estate was built on an agricultural farmstead known as a “possessió” in the 13th century, during the reign of King James II. Upon conquering the Balearic island, the king divided Mallorca into four feudal municipalities, one of which was bestowed upon Count Nuño Sanç of Rossellon and Sardinia, who took up residence at La Granja. The count passed the land along to an order of Cistercian monks in 1239, who founded Mallorca’s first Cistercian monastery on the site, which operated for some two centuries.
The site has been inhabited by aristocratic families since 1447, though the manor house you see today is primarily dated to the 1600s. In addition to the museum, La Granja is lauded for its artisan workshops, which provide visitors with firsthand tutorials on blacksmithing, candle making, carpentry, weaving, pottery, and more. An on-site restaurant serves Mallorcan food, and a sampling shop offers a range of preserves, fig bread, and wines for visitors to take home.
Know Before You Go
La Granja de Esporles is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer (last entry is 5:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the winter (last entry is 4:30 p.m.). Adult admission is 15.50 euro and children are 9 euro. La Granja is located in the municipality of Esporles, some nine miles from the Mallorcan capital of La Palma.
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