Excursion to the amazing Raixa mansion, a real treat for culture lovers
The amazing mansion of Raixa was declared “place of cultural interest” back in 2002 and purchased by the Balearic government. Moreover, this mansion has been scene of famous Agata Cristie movie, Hercule Poirot.
Raixa is among the most important singular buildings on Mallorca, and a landmark in the beautiful and charming area of Bunyola.
The first count of Montenegro, Ramon Despuig i Rocaberti, purchased Raixa on the 18th of June 1660, and from that time onwards, Raixa became the emblematic family estate. In the 18th century the houses were renovated and extended by the successive counts, as it was customary during the Baroque period. Dating from that time are the leisure gardens “les Llimoneres”, “La Gruta” and “Hort Nou”, already documented in 1740.
The protagonists of the last transformation were the brothers Joan and Antoni Despuig i Dameto. The first (Palma, 1735-1813) was the 4th Count of Montenegro and 7th of Montoro. The second, Antoni, (Palma, 1745 – Lucca, 1813) pursued an ambitious ecclesiastic career which culminated with his appointment as Cardinal by the Pope Pius VII in 1803.
Cardinal Despuig is one of the most important personalities of the Enlightenment in Mallorca. He was distinguished both as a patron and as a collector of art and antiques as a result of his long stays in Italy. He sponsored excavations in the grounds of Ariccia, near Rome, between 1787 and 1796, and with the objects brought to light and some others acquired by him, he created a Museum of classical sculpture that he installed in Raixa. The sculptors Pascual Cortes, Luis Melis and Francesco Lazzarini worked there. Nowadays part of this collection is on display at the Bellver castle in Palma.