Historic Ses Rotes Velles Estate
Ses Rotes Velles farmstead is a property set in the municipality of Calvià on the island of Mallorca. Historically, as "Rafal", it was part of the Santa Ponsa "possession".


The Arabs landed on the island in 707 and ruled it for about five centuries. Mallorca became a dependency of the Caliphate of Córdoba in 903, with the Arabisation of the population of the whole island.

In 1229, King Jaime I of Aragón, "The Conqueror", took Mallorca from Abú Yahya, the Almohad governor of the island.

The fleet of 155 ships sailed from the port of Salou in Catalonia and disembarked on the island at Cala de Santa Ponsa. Santa Ponsa is located very close to the Ses Rotes Velles "possession", the tourist town of Calvià today, the richest municipality per capita in Spain.

The manor houses in the Mallorcan countryside are called "possessions".

The “possessions” were built on old Arab farmsteads by the descendents of the conquering knights. King Jaime I of Aragón took large tracts of land, which were parcelled up and given to the nobles, clergymen and his followers in the conquest of Mallorca as a reward for their unconditional fealty (Llibre del Repartiment, the register of royal gifts of property).

Ses Rotes Velles was one of the king’s favourite lands because it had been the first to welcome his soldiers when they landed and encamped there for months before their victorious entry into the city of “Madina Mayurca” on 31 December 1229.


"In 1247 the property is recorded as belonging to Don Bernardo Togores, and was later handed on the Massanet family. From them it went to the Borrassá family and in 1566 to Don Berenguer Vivot, in 1635 to Doña Juana Quint i Vivot, in 1728 to Doña Juana Nuñiz de Sant Joan and subsequently to the Marqués de Bellpuig and Condes de Perelada and later to Doña Juana de Rocaberti i Verí, consort of the Conde de Montenegro, who transferred it to the Marqués de la Torre".


The present building dates from somewhere between the 16th and 17th centuries. It was built on the Arab farmstead that had been there before the conquest.
The Ses Rotes Velles houses fulfilled the purpose for which they were built. The residences were basically used for farming and fishing.
At that time, the property had houses where the farmers and stock-breeders lived, whilst the owners or “lords” set aside others mainly to spend time in summer. The "possession" had olive groves and cultivated carobs and cereals. There were also large pinewoods and extensive land for raising cattle.

Today the property is built around a cloister or courtyard, dominated by a magnificent cistern or "aljub". Inside there are spacious rooms, a wine cellar and a kitchen with the typical Mallorcan fireplace or "foganya".
Each window, each stone and even each architectural element was shaped and carved according to the needs of everyday life in the country at the time. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries it was also used as a stop by stage coaches on the line from Palma to Andratx.