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Roof tiles in Mallorca can leave an unforgettable impression, especially if you have a chance to see a roof top from above.

Traditional Mallorcan roof tiles are called mission or barrel tiles; they are semi-cylindrical ceramic tiles made by forming clay around a curved surface, often a log or one’s thigh, and laid in alternating columns of convex and concave tiles.

There used to be dozens of small ceramic kilns on the island fabricating hand made roof and/or floor tiles, but in the age of globalisation, barely half a dozen of those teuleres are still around in Mallorca.

The roof in my photo (top) belongs to a casa senyorial in Felanitx called Ca’n Veny. The tiles of that roof have not been touched since one hundred years.

In the old days there used to be a lovely tradition of painting or decorating the tejas (roof tiles) in Mallorca, most often on the undersides. You can still see some houses with roof tiles decorated that way in places like Fornalutx or Santanyí. The Claustre de Sant Bonaventura in Llucmajor also had some of their roof tiles decorated in a similar fashion in the 16th century. During the renovation of these cloisters, the best preserved decorated tiles were rescued and now form part of a permanent exhibition that is well worth visiting. It’s only a shame that the cloisters of Sant Benaventura are hardly ever open for visits.

teules_bonaventura

The photo (top) was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 19th, 2009. The time was 12:25:25. The photo (bottom) was taken in Llucmajor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 4th, 2008. The time was 17:53:37.

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