Arab system of canals
Many of these constructions date from the XIIth century. It was already cited in the writings that the current estate Son Brondo was an Arab farmhouse, farmhouse Balagay. These water ditches were built by the Arabs who, despite being water pipes, differ from the traditional channels inherited from the Romans. The main use was the field irrigation and the use of the ground levels for the water distribution and conduction, reason why they are usually distributed in branches.
A charcoal shed consists of a conical accumulation of pieces of firewood conveniently arranged to cook it and produce charcoal. It is located on the rotllo, a flat and homogeneous circumference of earth and stone, paved in such a way that leaves channels through which circulate some air.
The Son Brondo’s Oil press was founded in 1770 and is where the oil was obtained from the olive. It consists of three different workspaces according to the production phase, which are:
-Area where the olive was received, cleaned (cleaned), washed (washing machine), weighed (weighing machine) and stored, waiting for its grinding, in the so-called lung hoppers. This place was usually open and only one cover is provided to protect the olive from rain. This part was located where the present Bouganvillia room is and bellow it.
-Production plant, constituted by a closed space where the olive was ground in “es trull“, a circular construction around which a mule pushed an enormous stone that crushed the olives. Subsequently the resulting mass was introduced into esparto’s baskets which were stacked one above the other to be pressed by means of a huge wooden beam. The movement of this beam was made through a mechanism formed by two crossed wooden sticks that were pushed by two workers. Finally the water oil was cleaned through the large central wood-fired oven. Later the oil was decanted in decanters. In this same plant there is another press, already mechanized and therefore of less antiquity that was installed to reinforce the production.
-Contiguous to the mill there is the cellar, a closed space where the oil was stored in tanks. The tanks were tilted or tapered for cleaning the bottoms.
A lime oven is a traditional Mallorcan construction, into which calcareous stones are heaped in order to obtain the lime.
The process consisted of maintaining the stone at a temperature of around 1000 to 1200ºC for a period of ten or twelve days, using firewood as fuel. These ovens can be found in our property and other points of the Tramuntana’s mountain range.
Lime was once one of our society’s most essential resources: all building work was done using lime, it was used to whitewash houses, doctors prescribed lime water, vines were sprinkled with lime, along with many other applications of this ‘all-purpose’ product.
Fonts dels Òbits
From the end of the sixteenth century a new fashion prevailed among the nobility who owned the great “Possessions” of the Tramuntana’s mountain range. It was about turning the environment of a mighty spring of the estate into a pleasant place to be. A place to enjoy, especially on the hot summer days, in the shade of the trees and the refreshing noise of the water. A corner to eat and drink, to talk or just to rest.
It begins Verí, one of the nobles in Valldemossa, perhaps influenced by the caves of the Renaissance gardens, transforming the spring d’en Porcell into a work of art that would be a motive of admiration for centuries. Soon the example is extended and everywhere in the mountains appeared constructions that through canyon vaults offered a cover just at the spring’s entrance, sometimes equipped with other auxiliary elements such as stone benches and picnic areas. They appeared in Alaró (spring of Sa Gruta, Solleric), in Bunyola (spring of Barcelona), Esporles (spring of Baix, Son Tries), in Puigpunyent (spring of So na Jaume, Sa Campaneta) … but it was precisely in Valldemossa where the most outstanding examples were produced, following the Verí’s example, building in a small geographical area works as notable as the spring of sa Coma or the spring of Son Moragues. Or as the lordly spring of Font des Obis.
Alemany did not want to be less than Verí, and he also wanted to record his power and his wealth through monumental work: a great shell would protect the water exit, and would be followed by a five-and-a-half-meter high and four meters and a half wide by four meters deep barrel vault, with benches on both sides. Two pikes would collect the water – the obis that gives him name and presiding the set would be placed a sculpture.
As a manifestation of big religiosity and its aesthetic refinement,he ordered a virgin to be sculpted carrying a bouquet of flowers in her right hand, a symbol of purity, and holding the child with her left arm. The child extends one arm with the open hand while with the other it presses against its chest a dove, symbol of the peace and the holy spirit.
One last detail was missing to give the work finished. It was necessary to remember for ever who had promoted this work and for that reason he made engraved in stone, as had done Verí, the coat of arms of the family: 3 red wings spread with the tips upwards placed on a field of gold.
The need to remain in the work place to take care of the sitja for long seasons, made that the coalman had to build a shelter of easy construction or a temporary cabin near.
Its main architectural features consist of the use of environmental materials and its treatment is really por as they were constructions used for merely utilitarian purposes, without any aesthetic purpose. Thus, the shelters that are in the property used the technique of “dry stone”, in double walls with filling in between, made of calcareous stones with an average height of 1 meter. Regarding the typology of the shelter floor, the Son Brondo coal shelters are circular, although with variations imposed by the topography with an average outer diameter of 5.02 meters and an inner of 2.7 meters.