Gardens of Alfabia
In Mallorca, there are many hidden treasures that visitors to the island can enjoy during practically the whole year, and not just during the hot summer. One of these treasures is the Jardines de Alfabia, the Alfabia Gardens, found in a rustic country estate in the area of Bunyola, at the foot of the mountain range Sierra de Tramuntana, about 17 km from the capital of Palma. The composition of the courtyard, gardens and orchards have been officially (and deservedly) appointed as a Monumento Artístico Nacional (national artistic monument), which guarantees the preservation of the gardens, regardless of how construction in the area will be affected in the future.
The owner of the estate is the noble family Zaforteza. After Jaime the 1st conquered the Balearic Islands, the King granted the estate to his uncle Nuño de Roussillon, who in turn sold it to the Moorish family of Ben-Abet. After that the estated changed hands a number of times, finally ending up in the capable hands of the family Zaforteza, the current owners who have cared for Alfabia since the 1700s.
The Alfabia Gardens or Jardins d'Alfabia as they are called in Catalan, you find in Bunyola, at kilometer 17 on the road that runs from Palma to Soller, and it is (despite the name) not only gardens, but more like a large country estate, with a beautiful villa and stunning gardens. A part of the garden, the orchard, is a typology of what the farms looked during the Moorish period in the island. The Moors were the ones who invented the terrace farming as one can see in so many different places on the island, as well as those introduced citrus fruit here in Mallorca and began to cultivate them. Unfortunately (for those of you who are very interested in classical Arabic architecture) the house has not gone untouched during the ages, but was changed during the Renaissance, when the country estate passed through the hands of the noble families who made changes to give a greater sense of wealth and luxury.
The family villa was built in the 1400s, while a wing was added to in the 1600s and the facade of the baroque-style dates from the 1700s, and was designed by architect Joan d'Arago. In the house the passage of time has left tracks from every era, and the house as a whole is an exciting mix of different styles; Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and in some places you can even find English Rococo. Since 1700 the house has not changed in appearance. The gardens surrounding the estate are very beautiful, and with interesting features, mainly from the Baroque and Renaissance, such giocho d'acqua - a kind of hidden fountain where the hidden water jets surprise unsuspecting visitors.
In the big picture is the area is very inviting, offers a relaxing atmosphere and many delights for the eye, and it is well worth a visit.Opening hours: From 1st of April – 31st of October: Monday to Saturday 09:30 – 18:30. Entrance 6,50€ From 1st of November – 31st of March : Monday to Friday 09:30 – 17:30, Saturday 09:30 – 13:00. Entrance 5,50€ Closed during December.Nearest golf course: Golf Son Termens
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