POSSESSIONS

 

A possessió is a large property or rural farming estate, covering an extension of land that may be larger or smaller in size, which includes a small nucleus of buildings, the cases de possessió, the true core of the farm and production. Their origins lie in the distribution of lands amongst the nobles who took part in the Catalan conquest of Mallorca in 1229, which was based on the pre-existing Islamic farmsteads. So the owners of these estates are usually related to the descendants of noble landowning families. Infrastructures of great ethnological interest are to be found on the possessions – charcoal pits (the stores where the charcoal produced on the property was kept), wine cellars (especially on the coast of Valldemossa, Deià and Banyalbufar) or the properties’ own defence towers, typical of the estates nearer the coast.

For centuries the possessió was the key to the traditional agricultural and livestock-based economy here. The estates have gradually adapted to the passage of time, and the needs or wishes of their owners have given rise to different constructive models. Some of them are fortified, like Son Marroig (Deià), whilst others were turned into Baroque palaces, like Alfàbia (Bunyola), or Neo-classical ones, such as Raixa (Bunyola).

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