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Corpus a Palma

The spring religious and music festival in Palma, Majorca

sunny 28 °C

Palma June 2007 Corpus Christi Festival

Luton Airport
This really should be called Luton Shopping Centre where airplanes take off and land. The This airport is was used by charter flights and. It was scruffy and was the butt of many jokes for being down-market. The airport was modernized and opened in July 2005. Initial impressions are fine … unless you want to sit down. On the Sunday that I traveled, I got there early (allowing for possible Sunday travel disruption) and found that the limited seating areas were fully occupied and because of that, all of the seating connected to the eating and drinking facilities were also packed. The screens with departure information are poorly sited which meant there was a large group of people standing while they waited for their flight information.

The impression on return is even worse. OK- Easyjet is a no frills airline so I had to walk from the airplane to the terminal but to have to go up a flight of stairs, through drab corridors and down another flight to the Immigration area is not acceptable . The whole thing looked like something out of Old Eastern Europe .. but of course there are no ‘shopping opportunities’ on arrival .. that shows where the airport planners’ priorities lie. Enough!! Don’t use Luton if
you have an alternative.

Corpus Festival

Late May and early June is a good time to visit Palma. It is not too hot and although there are always lots of tourists it does not yet have the school kids. More importantly, there are fascinating events associated with Corpus Christi, an important feast in the Spanish religious calendar. In Palma, there are three aspects to what is known as the Corpus a Palma Spring Festival (1) Tours of patios in Palma’s Old City (2) a series of free evening concerts and (3) a religious programme at the Cathedral which includes a procession around the area of the Cathedral. Each of these in their own right are interesting, but in combination they create a very special occasion.

DSCF0677.jpg

The Patios of Palma
For the Corpus Festival, over 50 patios are opened (not full time) for either viewing or for concerts. Many of these are private and only accessible during the festival. Walking tours of just over 2 hours are organized each day. You don't have to be an architecture fanatic to enjoy this tour because the guide provides information about the uses of the patios over the years as well as the various differences in them due to refurbishment or extension of the houses.

Music
Free classical music concerts are given in the fortnight leading up to Corpus Christi. I attended three of them: an all Bach programme at the Cloisters of Mount Sion, an organ recital at the Cathedral and a string quartet at Can Catlar. Each of them were good in their own way, but the Quartet Ise (young musicians from the Paris Conservatory) was outstanding ; they played Borodin’s Quartet No 2 and Debussy’s Quartet Op 10.

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The Religious Procession

I went to this with my friend Gurnos who came to Palma for three days. We were surprised that there were so few tourists watching the procession which started at 7pm ; this remains first and foremost, a festival by and for the religious. The procession was headed by groups of men in costume, doing ritualistic dances and reenactments (which did not appear to me to be religious in tone), then the artifacts from the Cathedral were paraded, including a giant Monstrance of gold and silver. The carpet of flowers on the street at Plaza Cort was not disturbed during the procession, but as soon as it finished, people gathered up the greenery and flowers until the whole display was nearly gone.
The Barcelo chapel
The Mallorcan cathedral, most well known as La Seu, contains a great work of art by the contemporary painter and sculptor, Miquel Barceló Artigues (Felanitx, 1957). This is the reformation of the Saint Peter's chapel (known as the "Santísimo"), situated in the right hand side apse at the head of the Gothic temple.

Photos of the chapel:

http://www.mallorcaquality.com/fotos/fotos_catedral_barcelo_palma_mallorca_00.htm

Banys Arabs (Arab Baths)DSCF0704.jpg
These 10th century baths are virtually all that remain of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa. They were probably part of a nobleman's house and are similar to those found in other Islamic cities. The tepidarium has a dome in the shape of a half orange, with 25 round shafts for sun light, supported by a dozen columns. Notice how each of the columns is different - they were probably salvaged from the ruins of various Roman buildings, an early example of recycling. Hammams were meeting-places as well as wash-houses, and the courtyard with its cactus, palm and orange trees would have made a pleasant place to cool off after a hot bath.
Carrer Can Serra 7 * Tel: 971721549 * Tel: 9.30AM - 6.00PM. Entry fee 1.50 Euro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_baths_in_Palma_de_Mallorca

Trees in PalmaDSCF0617.jpg

Although it essentially a hot and dry city, Palma has some exceptional trees. one of my favourites is the huge banyan trees near the Ramblas .. construction work is being down around it so I have not been able to hug it, but hope to do so on my next visit.

The Fine Print:[i]

This section contains information on costs, locations and has links to Websites which provide more information>

For more information on the feast day:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Christi_%28feast%29

For more information on Corpus a Palma :
http://www.palmademallorca.es/portalPalma2/fnot_d4_v1.jsp?contenido=11621&tipo=8&nivel=1400&language=en&agrupacion=01#

The Patios of Palma
For the Corpus Festival, over 50 patios are opened (not full time) for either viewing or for concerts. Many of these are private and only accessible during the festival. Walking tours of just over 2 hours are organized each day at a cost of 3 Euros (walking tours are normally 10 Euros)
http://www.palmademallorca.es/portalPalma2/fnot_d4_v1.jsp?contenido=11621&tipo=8&nivel=1400&language=en&agrupacion=01#
contains more information on the patios and the tours.

Posted by MarshallC 06:52 Archived in Spain

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