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The Alfabia house and gardens that can be seen today owe their monumental splendour to the fine taste and artistic patronage of two Majorcan noble families in the 18th Century. Most notable amongst these was the nobleman Gabriel de Berga y Zaforteza, who inherited ownership of the property thanks to the rights he held over the Santacilía family estate, owners of the farmhouse since the 16th Century. Gabriel de Berga y Zaforteza was an important patron of the arts during the Baroque period in Majorca and did much to create the spectacular house and gardens that are still enjoyed by so many visitors today.
The gardens really are a beautiful sight to behold - a wonderful mixture of exotic plants and blooming bushes. The Royal chronicler Antonio Flores made mention of Alfabia in his classic 1860 book, "Chronicle of the Voyage of Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses to the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Aragon". Not one to give praise lightly, he was so impressed with Alfabia that he wrote these words:
"The entrance to the Alfabia estate is exquisite, but the exit on the opposite side is absolutely marvellous. When you enter the house, which is of a regular size, and then cross its main rooms which lead into one another, you will come to the windowed gallery which extends around the garden, and are immediately absorbed and overwhelmed by the most varied and charming panorama you could ever dream of. Although the picturesque Alfabia mountain range comes into view before reaching the estate, you are nevertheless astounded by the beautiful and capricious nature that awaits you at the back of the house. It is as if nature and art were the work of the same hand. One cannot tell where the garden ends and where the mountain begins as they both seem to be one and the same."
The Jardines de Alfabia are open to the public from around 9.30am each day until dusk, and for further information on admissions
can be contacted at:
Jardines de Alfabia
Carretera de Sóller, km. 17
Telephone: +34 971 613 123
Web Site: www.jardinesdealfabia.com
Bunyola town is also very pleasant to visit and for a real Majorcan experience try popping along to the weekly fruit and produce market on a Saturday morning, which is held in the town’s main square. It usually starts off at around 8am and begins to close around 2pm as the traders leave for an afternoon siesta.
The residents of Bunyola are also very proud of the two annual fiestas that are celebrated in the town each year. The first takes place at the height of the summer, on or around the August 5th, in celebration of "Our Lady of les Neus". This is closely followed on September 21st by a fiesta in honour of the town's patron saint, "Sant Mateu". Although both events are essentially religious in origin, they inevitably involve lots of drinking, singing and dancing, with visitors being made to feel very welcome.
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