Le Temps Revient...

Poetry, Music, Art & Ideas for the Archaic Recurrence...

viernes, 30 de octubre de 2015

Barcelona Masonica

At the top of Passeig Sant Joan we find this statue of Anselm Clavé who was a Catalan poet, politician, musician, philanthropist and free mason. He founded La Fraternitat, a choir for working class people and the first Communist newspaper in Spain.

At Passeig Sant Joan 26 we find a Public library, founded by free mason Rossend Arús i Arderiu, which somehow survived the francoist  destruction of all things masonic. The library houses collections of books documenting the class struggles in Spain during the 19th century.

Entrance based upon Solomon's Temple. The Book of Kings tells us:

"5:1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him  king in the room of his father. 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house. 5:18 And Solomon's builders did hew them, and the stonequarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house. 6:19 And the oracle he prepared in the  house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 7:21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called thename thereof Boaz."

The building of the temple and its twin pillars of Jachin & Boaz are central ideas to free masonry.

The Statue of Liberty whose head is crowned by seven rays of sun light, the sacred number of solar dieties like Apollo.

The Convent of Saint Augustine (Carrer del Comerç 36) was rebuilt in the 18th century and has masonic symbols which survived the destruction of the Franco period. It is thought that Franco himself was rejected by the order, this would explain his hatred of masonry and his paranoid repression of anything associated to such "Jewish" conspiracies!

The Arc de Triomf passageway leads down to the Ciutadella park and ends with another representation of the statue of liberty.

The entrance gate to the Ciutadella park has this statue of the syncreticized god Mercury, who was considered to be the god of wisdom Odin, Hermes, and Thoth in the respective Norse, Greek and Egyptian mythologies. Mercury's staff the Caduceus is a symbol important to free masonry.

The Cuitadella park has a natural sciences museum designed by Lluis Domenech i Montaner. It is called Castell dels Tres Dragons, the castle of three dragons, and has ceramic shields representing various species all around its exterior, one of which is a star fish which it has been claimed represents the masonic pentagon. Perhaps there are other shields too which show masonic symbols, but just one among so many doesn't leave much of a convincing impression.

The Porxos d'en Xifré building, at Passeig d'Isabel II 8-16, is were we find the Seven Doors restaurant, which was a 19th century hang out for Catalan free masons. It has the classically masonic checker board floor of black and white squares, representing yin & yang the opposites of duality.

The exterior of the Porxos d'en Xifré has many symbols associated with masonry, such as Mercury's caduceus staff. Twin entwined serpents again show our dual nature with Mercury's wingéd helmet at the centre which brings balance to these opposing forces. The symbol is widely used by organisations such as the medical community of the Bank of England. As Mercury was a messenger god the idea was expanded to include trade and commerce.

Look out for the clock at the top of the Porxos d'en Xifré. The goddess on the left is holding a compass and the god on the right is Death who is holding a sand clock reminding us of our mortality. Tempus fugat is a masonic theme we will see more of another time.

The corner of the Porxos d'en Xifré has this curious looking third eye balcony design above twin pillars. Could be my imagination, but on a building with well known masonic associations I doubt it!

In the middle of the busy main road next to the Porxos d'en Xifré is this fountain topped by an angel carrying a plumed pen in his left hand and the pentagon in his right.

Mercury's Caduceus again, this time at the nearby Colegio oficial de Pesadores y Medidores Publicos. The idea of Mercury being the god of weights is clarified when we remember that Mercury was Thoth to the Egyptians, the weigher of souls in the afterlife.

The Barceloneta's public library (Carrer Santa Clara 8) was originally a workers cooperative and has "The Fraternity" or brotherhood written just below a representation of the infamous masonic handshake over a triangle. Look carefully!

La Plaça de la Mercè has a Statue of Poseidon surrounded by Sphinxes and other masonic symbols. Poseidon is of interest to masons due to the trident which he carries which is of course a three pointed spear.

Children with masonry tools above the doorway to Carrer Portaferrissa 11.

Mercury again, this time on the Cort Ingles. No surprise there as the caduceus is a symbol of trade and commerce.

The Grand Lodge in Barcelona is at Gran Via 617, ring the bell to visit.

A crucifix from Santa Maria de Pi with various masonic motifs such as the sun & moon duality.

Tempus fugat again, this time in the cathedral.

Santa Maria del Mar has various masonic symbols which don't necessarily point to its original builders being masons, as with most French Gothic architecture. The stained glass windows were destroyed in a fire during the civil war and there were influential Catalans who contributed to their replacement. Curious that this window has such obvious masonic symbols such as the compass & set square at the top right hand side.

The stained glass immediately above the one with masonic symbols is equally interesting for having the shield of Barcelona football club. There is no mystery here as the club were amongst those who financed the new windows for which they are commemorated here. However it is well known that the clubs founder was Joan Gamper a Swiss free mason and Barça's shield is considered to have been influenced by masonry in its design. No wonder Franco hated the club so much!

All tour guides end with the gift shop and so it is here. Finally we have the Barcelona free masonry shop, which hides in plain site by appearing to be another typically cluttered shop of cheap and tacky memorabilia. The shop window is full of the usual kinds of junk, but if you look a little closer you'll find more prestigious objects of desire amongst the detritus. The irony is that this is not just a shop with masonic souvenirs. It is actually the place where Spanish masons get their costumes and ritual fashion wear!