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The Palau March in Palma

The Palau March in Palma, near the Cathedral and the Palau de l’Almudaina, belongs to the Fundació Bartolomé March and was built in 1975. Tomeu March was the son of Juan March Ordinas, the founder of Banca March and erstwhile contrabandist, by many considered a crook. As it turns out, his younger son made a career away from the world of finance and became a philantropist, bibliophile, art collector and a generous patron of the arts.

The Fundació Bartolomé March was inaugurated in 2003 as a museum and as a library. The museum owns a collection of scultures by contemporary artists such as Henry Moore, Eduardo Chillida, Max Bill, Barbara Hepworth, Auguste Rodin and others, a collection of maps and portolan charts by Mallorcan cartographers from the 15th and 16th century, a beautiful 18th century nativity scene from Naples composed of 2,000+ pieces (photo bottom), as well as some imposing Mudéjar coffered ceilings (photo centre). It also houses some impressive salons and ceilings designed by Josep Maria Sert with impressive murals by him (photo top). There are also some prints by Salvador Dalí which I don’t consider of great importance.

The museum is certainly worth a visit. Opening hours are Mondays to Fridays, 10h00 to 18h30 (slightly shorter during the Winter months). Admission has gone up to 4.50 €. The library is in the same building but has a separate entrance and also, distinct opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 09h30 to 14h00, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 16h00 to 20h00 (slightly shorter during the Summer months; August is closed altogether). The visit to the library is free of charge; admission is granted for the asking.

One more word on palaces in Mallorca. Many stately houses call themselves Palau or Palacio or are called so by the public, such as the Palacete in the case of a former president. But strictly speaking, there are only two palaces in all of Mallorca entitled to that denomination, that of the Spanish king and that of the Mallorcan bishop. So, Palau March is a bit of a misnomer.

The photos were taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 7th, 2012. The time was 13:42:30, 14:21:29 and 14:25:26, respectively.

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