We decided to have a day off from walking and visited Raixa, a country estate situated close to Bunyola.
Raixa was originally an Arabian estate but following the conquest of Mallorca by King James 1 of Aragon in 1229 the land was granted to the count of Ampurias. In June 1660 Ramon Despuig i Rocaberti, the first Count of Montenegro purchased the property and it became their family estate.
Improvements and extensions were made to the house over the years but major transformations were made by the brothers Joan and Antoni Despuig i Dameto. Joan was the 4th Count od Montenegro whilst his brother was appointed Cardinal by Pope Pius VII in 1803. The Cardinal was an art collector and brought many pieces of sculpture back from Italy. The gardens became more formal in style and were laid out in strict geometric patterns. This was in contrast to the Moorish design which was to keep the gardens natural. One thing that remained was the water features. Water was considered precious to the Arabs.
The house itself was very interesting and was full of paintings and murals.
Most rooms featured an audio visual display, available in several languages.
To the rear of the house are the upper gardens and the staircase dedicated to the God Apollo.
From the big pond we climbed up the hillside passing a grotto. Greg of co0urse had to go in, her felt quite at home.
Nearby was a small chapel.
We climbed up to the Neoclassical viewpoint and to a small building with beautiful stained glass windows.
Back in the gardens we had time for a rest.
I found a gargoyle. Does it remind you of anyone?
A fascinating day.