Sunday, 27 April 2014

Archduke Ludwig Salvator and his Majorca

Son Marroig is a house that originally dates from late medieval times. It is built on a hill on the rocky northwest coast of Majorca with a magnificent view over the sea. To this place came a young archduke of the Habsburg family, Ludwig Salvator, 19 years old. He fell high over heel in love with the place. What started out, as a love for the beauty of the place became an overwhelming interest in everything Mallorquín. He learned the dialect and chronicled the island’s topography, archeology, history and folklore in detail.

He became quite an expert and wrote many books about the island. One of the most important one is ‘The Balearics’ which took him 20 years to write. His scientific work has contributed to the knowledge of Mediterranean geography and he was playing a leading role in environmental issues such as conserving the coastline of his estates. He was thus far ahead of his time.

It is said that he spoke 14 languages. His interest in all things scientific and especially in Botany, led to him discovering a wild plant in Majorca which is named Saxifraga Ludovichi Salvatoris and a small bush named Rhamnus Ludovichi Salvatoris after him.

In 1870 he bought the estate of Son Marroig and he spent a lot of time here. His favourite boat Nixe II was anchored below and could be seen from his window. The estate has a tower from the 16th century and it was especially equipped to defend the area from pirates, which made the waters unsafe at the time. The archduke refers to this in his book What I know about Miramar. It is said, that a lady from the Marroig family from the nearby village of Soller, was kidnapped by pirates from this tower, never to be heard of again!

Most of what was his estate is now owned by Michael Douglas who has an elegant house by the sea below Son Marroig.

Son Marroig because of it’s
 view up to La Dragonera, seems to
be most incomparable beautiful.
There is a wonderful garden at the back of the house with a marble pavilion from Carrera. The view is magnificent. The craggy coastline gives a magical touch to the place. Or like the archduke himself writes in his book: Son Marroig because of it’s view up to La Dragonera, seems to be most incomparable beautiful.

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