Son of the Gran Duke of Tuscany, Leopold II and Marie Antoinette Borbón-Dos Sicilias, Archduke Louis Salvador of Habsburg-Lorraine was born in Florence on the 4th August 1847. The Italian unification in 1859 forced his family’s exile, leaving Tuscany behind in search of refuge in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
From that moment on his life became a tireless journey across Europe, always pursuing further knowledge, and a speaker of fourteen languages. Upon landing in Mallorca, he fell in love with our islands’ nature, landscapes and culture until his last days and passed away on the 12th October, 1915 in Brandeis an der Elbe (Prague, Bohemia).
The Archduke first came to the Balearic Islands in the summer of 1867 with the intention of writing a book about beetles but instead discovered islands of immense beauty, full of unique natural areas such as the Tramuntana mountain range, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The islands made such an impression on him that in 1872 he bought and restored the beautiful Miramar estate, located in the town of Valldemossa, which he had heard about while studying the life of Ramón Llull.
Over the following years he began acquiring the adjacent estates such as the Son Marroig, located in the idyllic town of Deià until, eventually, coming to own most of the properties located between Valldemossa and Deià, a group of splendid viewpoints of the Majorcan wild coast which he dedicated to cultivating vegetables, fruit trees and vines.
Thanks to the conservation work of natural spaces and the construction of mountain trails and viewpoints spearheaded by the Archduke Louis Salvador, visitors to our islands can now enjoy privileged enclaves such as the Monastery of Miramar and the House Museum of Son Marroig which, aside from offering stunning views of the Tramuntana mountain range and the Mediterranean sea, are home to two separate museums devoted to preserving and disseminating the emblematic life of this adventurer who, in the words of Josep María Llompart, “acted as a curious and encyclopaedic scientist, doomed to the most fabulous adventures, like a Jules Verne hero”.