I actually like the Pueblo Español in Palma de Mallorca, I have always liked it. This Spanish Village was the brainchild of Fernando Chueca Goitia, an architect specialising in the restauration of historic buildings. The Poble Espanyol was built in 1967 as an open-air architectural collection of some of Spain’s most famous buildings, built with great care and detail, albeit in a reduced scale version. Here, we find at times impressive reproductions of the Banys Àrabs from Córdoba, of parts of the Alhambra from Granada, of churches, chapels, torres and Ayuntamientos from the mediaeval period of Spain’s prime, from places such as Madrid, Toledo, Santillana, Zaragoza, you name it. I admit that it should look rather cheesy or tacky, but honestly, it does not.
Or should I say, it now does. The Poble Espanyol changed ownership a year or so ago. It is not a kind of theme park of Spanish history any longer the way it was for over forty years, complete with artesans’ workshops, leather makers, potters, glass blowers, artists’ studios and small museums.
Instead, the place is now called the Nuevo Pueblo Español. It is now meant to be a place to chill-out. The historical architectural reproductions now serve as mere backgrounds for cocktail bars, disco lounges, tapas places and chichi restaurants. The artesans’ work places are now converted into interior design outlets, estate agencies and other trivialities.
What a great shame.
The photos were chosen from my archive. They were taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 7th, 2008. The time was 17:22:12 and 17:20:28, respectively.