Miramar is an estate-possessió that was home to a monastery in the 13th century. It is located in the municipality of Valldemossa in the Serra de Tramuntana. It was founded by Ramón Llull in 1276 and was protected by King James II of Mallorca. The aim of Miramar was to teach languages spoken in the East in order to spread Christianity. From then on, it became one of the most important places for spirituality, culture and for contemplating the landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana.
It is one of Mallorca’s most interesting historical places. Many figures have resided at the small monastery and some significant events have taken place there. Besides Ramón Llull, Bartolomé Caldentey and Francesc Prats, the Lulists who established an important Lulistic school, the precursor to the university, both lived at Miramar. Furthermore, along with Nicolau Calafat, a printer from Valldemosa, they introduced the first printing house to Mallorca in 1487. Miramar was the spiritual home of Saint Catherine of Palma, as she followed the instructions in her church of the hermit Father Antonio Castañeda in 1550. As a result, she entered the convent of Santa Magdalena de Palma to become a cloistered nun. It was there where, in the 17th century, the Orden de los Ermitaños de Mallorca was founded by Joan Mir i Vallés, who was born in Alaró and whose remains now rest in peace at Miramar.
In 1872, the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria bought the Miramar estate, which constituted the centre of his activities as a biologist and great scholar of the Serra de Tramuntana and all of the Balearic Islands. Here he created a botanical garden with the most common species in the Serra. At present, genuine mementos are preserved from Ramon Llull, the Llullian School, Father Castañeda, Saint Catherine of Palma, Joan Mir i Vallès, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (known as “Sisí”) and of the Archduke Ludwig Salvator himself. It is an important cultural centre in Mallorca, the only place where the art of Ramón Llull is explained in a multitude of conferences and courses.
From an architectural perspective, of note is the famous cloister of the convent of Santa Margarita of Palma, today a Military Hospital, a gift from Pedro Alcántara Peña to the Archduke, who placed it in Miramar. From the old cloister of the Monastery, now the Llevant (east) garden, four pillars recovered by the Archduke have been preserved, which give us an idea of what Ramón Llull’s original gothic cloister was like. Inside the house, on the ground floor, open to visitors, the old floor of the 13th century Monastery has been preserved, which housed the first printing house and also the original kitchen of the monks. This leads into another important room in the house, which is dedicated to Ramón Llull, decorated with a mosaic on the orders of the Archduke in 1872. It is currently used for conferences, seminars and talks on the figure and thought of this important philosopher and thinker from Mallorca.
Upon leaving the house by the Ponent (west) façade, there are wonderful views of the sea. A path leads us to the lookout points and continues until reaching the famous Italian-Arabic garden, named the garden of the “Torre del Moro” (Tower of the Moor) by the Archduke. On the way back, you can visit the chapel, decorated with a Czech style similar to one of the chapels in the Cathedral of Prague. On the way out, you can see the old tafona or olive mill. Finally, you will come to the Archduke’s map room where you can see navigational charts, maps of different islands in the Mediterranean and other documents from the Nixe yacht, which Ludwig Salvator used for his travels.