Girona celebrates ‘Temps de Flors’, Catalonia’s most important flower exhibition
Thousands of people are expected to visit the 61st edition of Girona’s ‘Temps de Flors’, which sees the exhibition of a wide range of flower artwork featuring different spots of this medieval city located 80 kilometres from Barcelona. As happens every year, the stairway of Santa Maria’s Cathedral is one of the highlights, but in this edition it has raised even more attention due to the filming of HBO’s series ‘Game of Thrones’. Hundreds of flowers fill other historic sights, patios and ancient neighbourhoods, as well as the fountains in the historical centre, which have also been included in the exhibition in a harmonious mixing of water and flowers. Many cultural activities are also expected over the weekend, from the 14th and 15th of May, such as ‘Castellers’, traditional Catalan human towers.
Girona (CNA).- From Saturday the 7th to Sunday the 15th of May, Girona celebrates the 61st edition of itsexhibition of flowers and gardens better known as ‘Temps de Flors’ (‘Time of Flowers’). During eight days, this festival displays flower artworks all over the city, especially in the historical centre, filling historic sights, patios, ancient neighbourhood and iconic spots of this medieval city. As happens every year, the stairway of Santa Maria’s Cathedral is one of the highlights, but in this edition it has raised even more attention due to the filming of HBO’s series ‘Game of Thrones’. However, ‘Temps de Flors’ goes much further andinvolves all five senses, including taste, since flowers not only decorate historical buildings but are also included in gastronomic creations. El Celler de Can Roca, recognised as the best restaurant in the world, has added some special dishes to their menu based on flowers and blossoming.
Millions of flowers fill the medieval city of Girona, located 80 kilometres from Barcelona. The festival ‘Temps de Flors’ turns the city into a living exhibition of plants and flowers which goes much further than just enjoying the views. Theatre, live music, gastronomy and even Castellers complement the experience. Moreover, as some of the city’s highlights have come to life on the big screen due to the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones in Girona, the festival has raised even more interest amongst visitors. Indeed,the stairway of the church of Sant Martí has been decorated with a big sword inserted among the red roses in honour of the series.
The mystery of Sant Feliu
Visitors could not see the artwork in front of the basilica of Sant Feliu on the first day; indeed, it was not revealed until Saturday night when an open-air performance took place. Organised by the Comediants Theatre Company and the artistic landscaper Marc Grañén, the show “Lymbus” started with dark aesthetics and gradually, for the 45 minutes that the show lasted, transformed into colours and light.
According to Marc Grañén, the aim of the performance was to emphasise the communion between human beings and nature while building the new attraction in Sant Feliu, based on a wild forest of trees. Different actors crossed the square making the audience feel the warmth of sparklers, flares and fire while live music offered a wide range of styles, from opera arias to Hallelujah composed by Leonard Cohen. It finally ended with a fireworks show. In addition, all the plants used in the project will be left to the city, especially to local schools.
Peal of bells at midnight
The bells of the Cathedral and five more bell towers offered a 45-minute concert on Wednesday the 11th of May at midnight. The performance was composed and directed by Llorenç Barber, a well-known musician who has rung bells in more than 150 cities in different countries around the world, such as Cuba, Brazil, Netherlands and Japan. Six professors and 19 students of the town music Conservatory collaborated in the concert as well. In fact, this is not the first time that the ringing of bells has taken place, since the city organised an important concert in 1993 that lasted 33 minutes.
“The students were distributed over different bell towers and each one played a bell, pulling the rope by hand” said Maria Pérez, one of the students who helped ring a bell in St Feliu bell tower. “Professors helped us with a chronometer to control at which second we had to jingle the bell, since all six bell towers had to be coordinated to play the same song” she added.
This year, the old town neighbourhood association wants to restore the sound of the bells, because a few months ago the ringing of the Cathedral bells at night was forbidden by the Town Council due to a complaint from a hotel. However, last Monday the Town Council approved the qualifying of the sound of the bells as a local and cultural heritage in order to protect it from any further complaints.
‘Temps de Flors’involves all five senses including taste, since flowers not only decorate historical buildings but are also included in gastronomic creations. El Celler de Can Roca, recognised as the best restaurant in the world, is one of the restaurants that has added some special dishes to their menu. “We have a couple of ‘very blossomed’ desserts, called Turkish perfume and Chromatism” said Jordi Roca, the best pastry chef in the world. “Rose, acacia, violet, cinnamon and orange blossom are just some of the ingredients”, he added.
‘Rocambolesc’ is the artisan bakery of Jordi Roca close to the red iron bridge called ‘Peixateries Velles’,designed by Gustave Eiffel, where visitors can find special ice creams and creations by one of the Roca Brothers from El Celler de Can Roca. During this week a special sorbet is on offer at the bakery, elaborated with mandarin, passion fruit, orange blossom and basil. Moreover, other restaurants offered degustation menus, such as the chef Oscar Vilà at his restaurant Sentits,where a customer can find pesto made from flowers and oysters with blossoms, strawberries and spices.