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11 unmissable exhibitions in the 2016 Temps de Flors festival

From May 7 to 15, the city of Girona blooms with flowers and cultural activities. Read on to discover our highlights

© Pere Duran
Temps de Flors

Temps de Flors (Flower Time) is coming once more, and the flower festival is a must-see if you're in the Girona area. What awaits you is almost 140 spaces (including courtyards, monuments and gardens) as well as neighbourhoods all featuring around 200 floral projects. That's a lot of flowers to choose from, so here's our selection of the exhibitions that you mustn't miss. Enjoy a good breakfast, put on your best walking shoes and let's go!

Iron flowers in the Jardins de la Mercè

'A flower of iron, a flower forever' - that's the motto of the Girona sculptor Marc Pujol Busquets, the man responsible for decorating the Jardins de la Mercè. After it's extracted from the ground, the iron is melted down and transformed into the shape of flowers, says the sculptor. Over time it slowly gets rusty, which means that whenever it rains, the rust gradually returns to the ground and bit by bit the iron's 'circle of life' keeps on moving.

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The Cinema Modern blossoms again

It's more than 15 years since the public entered the building of the old Cinema Modern. Or at least the main part of the building, which is located at the heart of the Barri Vell and where audiences went to watch films from the 1940s to the 1990s. The Temps de Flors festival allows people to see the space once more, but this time adorned with flowers and audiovisual works - colour and action return to Girona's Cinema Modern.

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The courtyard of Can Ninetes

The building currently occupied by the Santa Eugènia civic centre has a noteworthy history: it's a 'masia' (country house) from the 15th century called the Mas del Marquès de Camps. Down the years, the house has been remodelled and, at the start of the 20th century, three families were living there in three different spaces: Can Abres, Can Dositeu and Can Ninetes - it's this latter name that the centre is known by today. During Temps de Flors, you can visit the interior courtyard and find it decorated in a vintage style. Pieces of crotchet and patchwork, recycled and freshly painted materials, découpage and scrapbooking, ceramics and jewellery, decorative flowers and plants, photos... A veritable treat for the eyes!

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Centre Cultural La Mercè

Pure black indicates an absence of colour. But at the same time it's the result of combining the three primary colours in such a way that they absorb the light from the visible spectrum. The installation that you can see at La Mercè Cultural Centre during the flower festival is made up of a sphere created with black petunias that play a double role: during the day they capture the colours from the textile curtain that surrounds them; at night they transmit light.

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AQVA Gerunda - an urban spa

AQVA Gerunda - an urban spa

The most important new feature of this year's Temps de Flor festival is that visitors will be able to see the venue that in a few months will be inaugurated as an urban spa in the neighbourhood of Sant Pere (the spa will be called AQVA Gerunda). The building, which dates from Roman times, has been used as a hostel and, during the Middle Ages, housed one of the first hospitals in Girona. For the flower festival you'll have the chance of seeing walls from the Roman era that date from between the second and fifth centuries, as well as industrial objects from an ancient draper's.

Flowers on the path to Calvari

Flowers on the path to Calvari

This is another unmissable part of Temps de Flors: different displays related to oral projects have been created under trees, in fields and other special spots at various points along the route from the Passeig Arqueològic to the terraces of the fields of Can Colomer and La Mina, and on to the Hermitage of Calvari. This is an exhibition that will enhance even more the natural beauty of Girona.

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Església de Sant Fèlix

The Basílica de Sant Fèlix, or Sant Feliu, was the main church in Girona before the construction of the cathedral. It's one of the most iconic Gothic works in the Girona region, and also the site of one of the must-visit displays during Temps de Flors. Inside the basilica you'll find a series of circles made out of wood and suspended by iron cables with orchids and magnolia leaves, all inspired by the body of Christ. 

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Flowers at the beach

Flowers at the beach

One of the most special projects of the 61st edition of Temps de Flors will be the one prepared by the municipal authorities on the banks of the river Ter. It's set to be a unique, never-seen-before project that will feature beach equipment set up for visitors to make the most of this corner of the city - the 'beach' - that is lovely but unknown to many locals.

Fountains of flowers

Fountains of flowers

Water is, without a doubt, one of Girona's main assets. And each year Temps de Flors aims to include elements related to water in the festival's projects. As well as displays on the bridges and at the rivers around the city, this year local fountains will also be incorporated into the event. Head to the fountains on C/ de l’Argenteria, on C/ de les Ballesteries, C/ dels Calderers, C/Nou del Teatre and on the steps of the Cathedral.

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Arab Baths

Arab Baths

The Arab Baths in Girona are public baths from the Romanesque period that imitate Roman baths, Muslim baths and Jewish mikvas - the tradition of public baths became popular again from the 11th century on with the growth and development of cities. Today the Arab Baths are one of Girona's most emblematic sites. This year, there will be six different exhibitions both in and outside the Baths. 

Out of these, we recommend the one by Montse Ollé and Toni Vallory: It's a game of balances that pays homage to the city's Devesa park. There's a balance between the elements of natural cork, which represents strong, thick, heavy trees, and delicate orchids that are in bloom for Temps de Flors. They also use a Girona icon, the plane trees of La Devesa, as the base and support for the orchids that hang from original, stripped-back indoor trees. 

Flowers at the Casino

Flowers at the Casino

'We want to convey the invasion of spring in a literal way, so that we don't just have it appear in our surroundings but also let it in to our very beings.' This is the objective of the flower exhibition at the Casino in Girona. 'We allow nature to invade our home and bring us the sensations that spring evokes in us. We give flowers the protagonism, and strengthen their colour through a contrast with the space itself. We also provide virtual interactive content.' Sounds good, right?

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