Play it Again, Sam

S'Escorxador2

I am rather pleased that the old Renoir cinema in the Escorxador area of Palma managed to be rescued by the very able and enthusiastic XarxaCinema people, a citizens’ initiative. Two months after the old Renoir closed down for good, the old premises opened up again under a new management and the new name of CineCiutat. Some 1,800 people like you and me have signed up as voluntary co-owners of the new venture. Let’s hope enough people will attend the screenings to make the project a viable one, able to survive the dire straits of economic realities, including IVA (VAT) at 21 % and distribution royalties. The new cinema was opened in July 2012 with 4 screens, partially newly equipped with digital screening facilities.

Today, a new venture will be launched at CineCiutat, a film club under the name of CinèFilms. This film club will have two screenings every Thursday, of either Classic films, European films, films of the 70s and 80s or film screenings grouped by themes. The film club starts tonight with the screening of The Maltese Falcon and will continue next week with Manhattan (Woody Allen), À Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard) the week after, and Days of Wine and Roses (Blake Edwards), on February 14th. All films will be screened in their original version, with Spanish subtitles. We finally have a cinémathèque in Mallorca, all going well. Come and support the citizens’ cinema, CineCiutat.

S'Escorxador3

On a different subject matter, I promised to let you know about my new blog adventure, Mallorca Observed. I am happy to tell you that the new blog is up and running now. You can either click on the link given above or else, the link in the blog roll in the column to the right. Once at the new site you can bookmark, subscribe or whatever, as you might see fit. I hope to be able to welcome some of you at the new site.

The old MDPB blog will not be continued after today. However, I shall leave the blog archive with some 1,900 entries on air, so to speak, for the time being, at least until October 2013 when the current domain lease expires. We shall see what happens after that; one can never be too sure what life has up its sleeve for us, or can we?

The photos were taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 22nd, 2013. The time was 16:24:18 and 16:22:13.

Play it Again, Sam

The Capella de Sant Bernat

The Catedral de Mallorca, in Palma, is well worth a visit, not least for the splendour of some of its 15 lateral chapels (there are four more chapels which are not normally accessible, and closed to the public).

I particularly like the altarpiece sculpted by Tòmas Vila in 1921 in the Capella de Sant Bernat, to the right of the Portal del Mirador. Previously, there had been a Baroque altarpiece adorning this chapel by the hand of Francisco de Herrera, but that one was destroyed by a blaze in 1912. The genius of Modernisme, Antoni Gaudí was working on an overhaul of the Cathedral’s interior at the time, and he commissioned a redesign of the Chapel of Saint Bernard. Gaudí abandoned the Cathedral project in 1914, though, due to disagreements with the Cathedral chapter and it was his disciple and assistant, Joan Rubió i Bellver who oversaw and directed the new artistic design of the Capella de Sant Bernat. Behind Tòmas Vila’s altarpiece (photo top) we can admire two stained glass windows designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1903.

The photo was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 10th, 2012. The time was 12:35:10.

The Capella de Sant Bernat

The Coptic Civilization in Egypt

I am a bit biased and partial towards the good people of La Caixa. I am talking about the CaixaForum at the Grand Hotel, that stunningly beautiful Modernisme building opposite the Teatre Principal in Palma.

This exhibition centre is staging some of the best and most educated exhibitions I have seen in Palma over the last 18 years or so – they inaugurated and started doing exhibitions in 1993. So far, they have shown works by van Gogh, Picasso, Dürer and Warhol, staged exhibitions on African Art, Art from Cuba, the Greek Culture, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Etruscans, as well as thematic appraisals of Cocoa, Coffee, Salt or the Desert, presented Charley Chaplin and Federico Fellini and their work, and illuminated us on Ramon Llull, to name but a few.

Now we are treated to an exhibition devoted to the Coptic civilization in Egypt, dating from as early as the Roman times and extending until the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century AD. The exhibition looks at the three historical periods of Christians in Egypt: the Roman period, the age of Byzantine and the Islamic worlds. The exhibition is a must see, if you ask me.

There are over 200 pieces on display, including some stunning textiles and dresses, paintings, ceramics, papyri, liturgical and everyday utensils, allowing us to learn about the Coptic culture based on writing, lifestyle and religious life. An exhibition catalogue is available for 25 €. The exhibition was organized by the Coptic section of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre Museum in Paris. The exhibition is open until May 6th, Monday to Saturday (10h00-21h00) and Sundays (10h00-14h00). Admission is free, as always.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 5th, 2012. The time was 14:16:26. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of obrasocial.lacaixa.es.

Moltes gràcies.

The Coptic Civilization in Egypt

The Gothic Altarpiece

La Seu, Palma’s Cathedral of Light, is always worth a visit. In case you haven’t been back to the Cathedral, you might wish to consider revisiting. Recently, scaffolding was lifted from the Gothic altarpiece mounted above the inside of the Portal des Mirador. A team of art restorers had been busy for months behind tarpaulin cleaning, repairing and re-gilding the Gothic piece which, around 1420, had presumably been created by Llorenç Tosquella the Younger. In its day, this altarpiece formed the major element of the Altar Major like an open cage with the top and the bottom panel of my photo (above) constituting the back and the front of this altarpiece box. During the 18th century, this beautifully carved object was dissembled, moved and stored away. Then, in 1904, Antoni Gaudí rediscovered this masterpiece and elected to put it in its current position during his ten-year stint of re-organising and redecorating Palma’s Cathedral. Since then, the Gothic altarpiece had not been touched, until now.

Treat yourself to some visually stunning piece of Gothic sculpted work. You will be hard pressed to find a better specimen of Mediaeval art anywhere. Mallorca residents can visit the Cathedral anytime free of charge. Non-residents will have to pay 4 € for a visit, entering through the Museu de la Catedral.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 12th, 2011. The time was 10:12:51. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of diariodemallorca.es and the photographer, B. Ramon.

Muchas gracias.

The Gothic Altarpiece

Autumn Fruit And Versatility

Sometimes I keep photos flagged for use at a later stage and then, with the passing of time, I forget where the photo was taken. Take today’s photo as an example. I was pretty sure that it shows a sundial of Es Sindicat in Felanitx, the cooperative wine making bodega founded here in 1919 and built between 1921 and 1922. But then, I wasn’t absolutely sure and thus, I had to do some cross-checking my photo library and archive to ascertain the where and what and when.

I got it right this time. There are occasions when circumstances prevent me from locating the vital data and make it necessary to postpone a blog entry until the time when I get all the facts right on the chosen photo.

The Sindicat sundial is carefully crafted by a presumably unknown stone mason under the guidance of the commissioning architect, Guillem Forteza, probably in 1922. The carving shows grapes, figs and other fruit and berries together with leaves and other unidentified plant material. I quite like the detail and the general craftsmanship. Sadly, the sundial is in a lamentable state of deterioration, as is the whole building. This time it is not La Crisis that we can blame but, ignorance and greed on the part of the current owners.

By the way, the Mallorca Daily Photo Blog was nominated yesterday for the Versatile Blogger Award by Anita Mac, a loyal reader and fellow blogger from Canada. The blog entry yesterday was my 1,600th Mallorcan daily snippet, and this is the first official recognition in the blogging world or nomination for such that has been bestowed on MDPB. Whilst I am grateful to Anita Mac for the nomination, I am still busy doing some web searching to try to find out what the Versatile Blogger thing is all about. I’ll let you know when I have managed to shed some light on the issue. For now, thank you very much, Anita Mac. I like your photos, too, and I am somewhat envious of all the adventures you have embarked upon so far.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 5th, 2011. The time was 12:23:18.

Autumn Fruit And Versatility

MCMXCIX

The sundial facing the Plaça Nova in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar belongs to the Vicario (vicarage) building. I guess that it was designed sometime around 1895 to 1905. The inscription gives the year 1999, though, in Roman numerals: MCMXCIX. One could argue that 1999 could also be written as MIM but, that would not be coherent with the numeral system of ancient Rome. The year 1999 refers to the date of a restoration of the original design. It would appear that not a very good job was done by the restorers as some of the colour of the outer ring is coming off already after barely 12 years.

The photo was taken in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 8th, 2011. The time was 13:38:15.

MCMXCIX

Can Corbella

Can Corbella is one of Palma’s most original buildings, just down from Plaça Cort, on the corner of Carrer Santo Domingo. Its beauty is simply spellbinding. The late 19th century building does not strictly form part of the Modernism movement but pertains to a style that is known as Neo-Mudéjar or Neo-Moorish. The master builder’s name is Nicolau Lliteras. An existing complex of three buildings was reformed and unified behind a superimposed façade devoid of any structural function whatsoever and completely made of wood. The building takes its name from a pharmacy, Droguería Corbella, which was installed in the building’s ground floor from 1895 until 1985. A branch of a local savings bank occupies the erstwhile chemist’s premises. The building extends over five floors. From the street level, the uppermost floor can not easily be seen as it is slightly set back. On top of it all, an octagonal tower extends over two storeys, reminiscent of Antoni Gaudí‘s earlier work. The horseshoe arched windows on the ground floor are topped with stained glass windows and beautifully painted moldings representing the guild associations of craftsmen and merchants of the end of the 19th century.

A few years ago the building’s interior underwent a significant attempt at modernisation when, sadly, a large number of original features were removed.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 16th, 2010. The time was 12:06:44.

Can Corbella