Museu de Cabrera. Es Celler
The Museum of Cabrera is located in the Can Feliu winery, close to the houses of the former owners. The structure and part of the interior layout of the old building, which has a certain ethnological value, have been conserved. Despite being classified as an archaeological museum on the official webpage of the Ministry–the owner of the centre–this is not strictly accurate. The exhibitions combine several themes, successfully in our opinion: archaeology, ethnology and ecology. The combination of these three concepts makes up Cabrera’s landscape.
This museum of Cabrera is reached on foot along a well sign posted trail, leading inland. Despite being one of the Mallorcan museums, it is located on the island of Cabrera. It is approximately three kilometres from the port and about 600 metres from the small beach. From the furthest point it is an hour and a half’s walk. On hot summer days it is important to protect yourself from the sun as there is virtually no shade.
This building of this Mallorcan museum, constructed in the late 19th century, is surrounded by a small botanical garden with a selection of the plants that are found in Cabrera, some of which are endemic to the Balearic Islands.
The architectural modifications maintain the sense of the building’s original volume while dividing the space into three floors, combining glass and wood in such a way that they do not block the view.
The museum’s approach is very simple: each floor covers one of the thematic blocks. Access is from the main floor, where the archaeological collections are located. The aim is not so much to provide a historical overview but rather to show the island’s archaeological wealth.
The museum’s collections complement a visit to the Pla de les Figueres and Clot del Guix excavations. The materials recovered from old excavations are displayed in this room. Much of the known material from the Vandal and Byzantine eras in Mallorca come from Cabrera’s archaeological sites, in particular pottery. Unfortunately the materials are fragmentary, and so the display does not include spectacular pieces from this period. The necropolis of the Pla de les Figueres, the burial area of the Cabrera’s Late Antiquity hermitage is very well represented in the museum. Two tombs have been recreated in life size, one including a replica of a skeleton, to explain the lives of these monks.
The other group of archaeological materials consists of underwater finds, from some of the many wrecked ships that are recorded around the island. Although the shipwrecks around Cabrera come up to the present day, the collections on display are essentially from the Roman era. The star pieces are the amphorae of oil, wine and food preserved in salt, three products that travelled all around the Mediterranean in the boats’ holds. Metal ingots also formed part of these cargoes, lead in the case of those recovered from the Cabrera V site. These pieces, as well as being a trade product were also carried as ballast for the vessels. The stamps on them make it possible to know their source and time period.
Pieces from the Punic and Medieval eras are also on display, as well from the tragic episode of the imprisonment of the French in the 19th century.
The ethnography room focuses on fishing tackle, history in images and a collection of objects relating to fishing. It also refers to the different uses the island has had.
The ground floor focuses on the natural space, and the sea bed is interestingly depicted with a recreation of a subaquatic excavation, something that underlines the island’s rich heritage.