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The one unmissable attraction in the municipality is a visit to the aforementioned farm and manor house of La Granja d’Esporles, which lies just outside Esporles town.
Whilst a number of other beautiful and rustic farmhouses have survived on Majorca, the one feature that differentiates La Granja d’Esporles from the others is its grand scale. This beautiful 10th Century mansion is famous throughout the island and is surrounded by lush vegetation, beautiful gardens and natural fountains. One of these magnificent natural springs empties out from a height of thirty feet into a pool below.
Today, La Granja, the result of so many different periods in terms of architecture and decor, is a mixture of stately and rustic style. As well as being used as a residence, it has also been an estate dedicated to agricultural production and at one time was home to more than a hundred workers.
It is a remarkably well-preserved old building with its own unique style and charm, which at the same time is recognisable as the working farm that it once was. Today it has been preserved for posterity as a genuine living display of Majorcan customs through the ages and for that alone it really is a must see.
Visitors to La Granja can see how things were here hundreds of years ago and receive a real insight into Majorcan history, culture and architecture. Attractions include the miniature theatre, toy room, a monks hermitage on the middle floor of the old Arabian tower, a Majorcan style baroque bedroom with its four poster bed, the Majorcan kitchen, a winepress and cellar, tinsmith’s shop, cobblers and jewellery workshop, and that is to name just a few. There is even a torture chamber for those who are brave enough to have a look!
The gardens are also well worth a look round, there are fine examples of strawberry trees, pines and holm oaks. There is also an extraordinary yew tree, which grows at one end of the pond and is one of the very few examples left on the island - it is thought to be a thousand years old, and has an ornately shaped trunk and interweaving branches.
The farm is still true to its role as a centre of production and visitors are able to taste some typical Majorcan cooking - the farm produces a range of delicacies such as buñuelos - freshly made from a mixture of potato flour and baking powder - jams, fig bread, sobrasada, cheese, palo (liqueur) and hierbas (an aniseed based liqueur).
At certain times of the year it also possible to see folk dancers performing the traditional Majorcan dances known as the "Ball de Bot" or "Ball de Pages". These dances have a strong matriarchal influence and are led by the women, who largely improvise the dances as they go along.
La Granja de Esporles is open from 10am each day throughout the year, and contact details for more information and admission
La Granja de Esporles
Telephone: +34 971 610 032
Fax: +34 971 619 305
Web Site: www.lagranja.net
Enjoying the traditional festivities is another worthwhile reason for visiting Esporles - the first event of the year is the fiesta of St. Peter, Patron Saint of Esporles, on the 29th of June. Traditional events include the competition between streets to see who can come up with the prettiest and best decorations, and the firework display held every evening before the celebrations start. One very popular event is the supper that takes place in the middle of the street and is attended by the whole local population.
Festivities are also held for "Our Lady of August", the Patron Saint of the church that was built by locals and the nuns of the Charity of Saint Vicent de Paul. In 1973, after many years without these traditional festivities, a group of young people cleaned the site of an old factory and held the celebrations there - and they are still held there today.
The last Sunday of August is the turn of the festival of the small chapel on the mountain above Esporles, locals and visitors alike are encouraged to walk up to the little chapel, where folk dancing takes place, paella is served and there are competitions and games.
Other events of interest include the blessing of animals to celebrate St. Anthony in January, the Carnival Parade in February, and the Easter Procession.
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