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Preserving Palma's architectural heritage

Experts work on the town hall's beautiful carvings

Palma's magnificent town hall building, known as the Cort (Court) is around 400 years old and is considered to be one of the city's most emblematic buildings as an example of civil architecture in Mallorca. It's noted for the cantilevered roof high above the ground which juts out so that rain water running off does not hit the town hall itself.

palma town hall

The work of the sculptor Gabriel Cladera Torres, the roof is supported by 11 massive pine wood beams, each of which is decorated with gigantic carved faces which are about one metre long. As well as these there are also intricate carvings of bunches of fruit and creatures of mythological origin.

Quite a bit of maintenance has been carried out over the years, but hardly any records of what was done remain. As you can imagine with 400 years' worth of weather, pollution and natural hazards the wood urgently needs some tlc to remove muck, embedded dust, several layers of linseed oil and other products and damage by fungi, wood-eating insects, small cracks and rotting.

A project like this is going to take more than a couple of light coats of Cuprinol so the council have a team of experts up on the scaffolding for a job which is going to take about six months and cost almost a quarter of a million Euros! By the time its finished the work will have restored the beams and carvings to their original state without altering their material structure and respecting their authenticity.

If you're in the area go and take a look at the work in progress, but be prepared to crane your neck, and you'll see just how big the carvings are when compared to the people working on them!

Our photo courtesy of Palma Council