The historic village of Valldemossa, nestled in a valley in the Tramuntana Mountains on the northwest side of Mallorca (Island), is one of the Balearic Islands’ most beautiful villages. The famous Real Cartuja de Valldemossa (the Royal Carthusian Monastery) sits atop the hillside.
The Monastery was originally a royal Spanish residence before being occupied by Carthusian Monks from 1399 until 1835. While due recognition in its own right (it is one of Europe’s best preserved historic monasteries), Real Cartuja de Valldemossa is now well known as the residence of composer and pianist Frederick Chopin and his French lover, George (Aurore) Sand, who spent 55 nights there in the winter of 1838 (they were on Mallorca Island for 3 months that winter).
The Monastery’s collection includes original music sheets of Chopin’s, as well as the monk’s “cell” (apartment) that Chopin (and Sand) rented, with the grand piano that he used to compose many “Preludes” during his stay in Valldemossa.
In their former apartment (now part of the Monastery’s museum), we learned that “two weeks before her death [in 1876], George Sand wrote her last article, Dialogues and Philosophical Extracts. In this visionary text, she poses a burning question still relevant to events today:
“Here we are, thrown into atrocious wars, where you will reign using terror, and with your knowledge of destruction continually increasing, each new war will be more murderous than the others, until you remain alone, faced with your formidable instruments, having no other option than to bring about the end of the planet once and for all.”
After visiting the Monastery, we attended a live piano concert — featuring compositions by Frederick Chopin — in a small theater in the King Sancho Palace, the former Royal residence adjacent to the Real Cartuja de Valldemossa (the Royal Carthusian Monastery).
Before waling around Valledomossa (and some shopping!), we had a mid-morning snack of fresh local orange juice (excellent, as is Valencia’s — the next port of call) and “coca patata” (potato cake) — a specialty since 1920 of Ca’n Molinas cafe.
We finished walking up and down (and all around) the hillside town at a terrace adjacent to the King Sancho Palace, which afforded excellent views downhill of the village and the valley and surrounding Tramuntana Mountains.