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About this City Journal

Situated off the coast of Mallorca, the Mediterranean island of San Gerardo houses the cities of Siccalium and Santa Julieta. The illustrious and precarious history of these two cities is...

Entries in this City Journal

nickzou

 Raycraft Hotel

exterior The Raycraft Hotel was founded in 1932 as American entrepreneur Mortimer Raycraft left New York after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. With his remaining fortunes that he had made over the previous decade he started his hotel on the island of San Gerardo in the then modest town of Siccalium. The resulting invasion of the island by Italian naval forces led to the popularity of the hotel for officers and soldiers alike. After the brief period of fighting, the Raycraft Hotel became one of the few places where negotiations were held between the Italians and the locals. Mortimer Raycraft acted as an emissary between the two parties.

After the war, patronage of the hotel shifted from Italian naval officers to vacationers from Spain and Morocco. As one of the few pre-war American establishments in Siccalium its unique architectural style and New York charm led to its continued success.
 

interior1 In 1950, Mortimer Raycraft commissioned a sculpture from local artist, Sebastian Arteaga for the lobby of the hotel. The resulting work was known as Metaphysica, which now as then sits behind the main desk in the lobby of the hotel.

Today, the hotel still operates at the edge of St. Bartholomews and is owned by Raycraft's successor and son, Damien. A touch of New York, a hint of Art Deco, and the seeds of the city, are all phrases that have been used to describe the hotel and its importance to the development of the city as a popular vacation destination and as a world class city.

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Up Next

icon3    St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, the parish that gave the neighborhood its namesake.

Author's Note: More picture's to come... possibly.

nickzou

Citi Journal: Cafe Palma

Cafe Palma

exterior Cafe Palma opened its doors on December 21st, 1958 and has been the one of the main attractions of not only St Bartholomews but all of Old Town. Known for its special house blend, coffee connoisseurs come from around the world to try it.

Founded by Emilien Gallais, a French traveler, it houses a distinctive wall mural on the interior west wall based off of a 12th century illuminated manuscript Gallais saw years prior. Though the he sold the cafe only a few years after founding it, the mural remains as one of the main attractions to the cafe and to St. Bartholomews.

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Up Next

icon 2    The Raycraft Hotel, a bridge between the past and the future.
icon3    St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, the parish that gave the neighborhood its namesake.
nickzou

 december2010

At the very center of Old Town is St. Bartholomews. A British neighborhood built and settled after World War II. It stands as a testament of the lasting cultural diversity of the island state and a vestibule into the past of Siccalium.

Table of Contents

1 The History and Culture of St. Bartholomews

2 Cafe Palma

3 Raycraft Hotel

4 St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church

map

Only a modest sized avenue, few midsize apartments rebuilt by British immigrants in the 50's, a church, and an Art Deco hotel comprise one of Siccalium's most renowned neighborhoods; St. Bartholomews.


The History and Culture of St. Bartholowmews

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             Although, the Italian invasion of Siccalium was a brief affair, a considerable amount of damage was done during the initial weeks of fighting. The local Siccalese resistance was quickly conquered by the Italian Naval forces; the landscape of the city was changed due to the guerrilla tactics used during this period. One such neighborhood that fell victim to such tactics was an old Spanish neighborhood now known as St. Bartholomews.

aerial1 Prior to the war, St. Bartholomews was much like it's surrounding neighborhoods in Old Town; colonial era apartments built during the latter half of the 18th century. However after the war, many British soldiers opted to settle in the Mediterranean island and immigrated their families. During the early years after the war, St. Bartholomews was one of the only British neighborhoods on the island. As immigration increased, British immigrants began to move out of the neighborhood.
aerial2 The neighborhood remained primarily British through the 60's and 70's, although it was by no means the only British neighborhood in Siccalium anymore. But during the 80's, the British residence began to move out. During the construction boom and urban sprawl of the early 80's, many British families found it prudent to move out to the newly constructed suburbs. 

 

street2 Today the neighborhood is a picture of a very unique past; resided by  artists and young professionals, its hotel attracts tourists from all over the world, and its church, from whence it gets its name, brings the faithful of the community together. While, Siccalium is filled with 2000 year old renovated Roman administrative buildings, Colonial Apartments, and modern office buildings, in St. Bartholomews, amidst a sea of Spanish villas, is a small slice of Britain, a token of appreciation thanks, to the liberators of the island.

Up Next


icon1    Cafe Palma, the premier eatery in St. Bartholomews. 50 years of divine dining.
icon 2    The Raycraft Hotel, a bridge between the past and the future.
icon3    St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, the parish that gave the neighborhood its namesake.
nickzou

 Republic of Siccalium and Santa Julieta

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              Coat of Arms                                         Flag                    
siccaliumfromshore

             Siccalium circa 2010.

Capital: Siccalium

Largest City: Siccalium

Official Languages: Siccalese (Rohidon Greek), Spanish, English

Ethnic Groups: 45% Greek, 30% Spanish, 10% English, 15% Miscellaneous 

Demonym: Siccalene (Siccalium), Aileno (Santa Julieta)

Government: Federal Republic

Legislature: House of Representatives

Area: 1,812 km^2

Population: 1 253  581

-756 428 (Siccalium)

-452 033 (Santa Julieta)

-45120 (Countryside)

GDP: $119 billion

HDI: 0.931

Currency: EURO (€)

Time Zone: CET (Central European Time)

Date: mm/dd/yyyy

Drives on the: right

Internet TLD: .sj

 

More Pictures

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End of Introduction

nickzou

Colonialism to Modernity

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Jandal Ahmar Mosque in Siccalium, built in 1311.
By the 17th century, Isabella had become its own autonomous region under the Spanish Empire. While continental Spain had rid itself of Moorish influence, Islam was still a considerable influence in San Gerardo. But with the influx of Spanish, the island's piece coexistence between Christians and Muslims was becoming more precarious. To this day, there stand several prominent mosques in Siccalium.

During the 18th and 19th century, San Gerardo was a crucial stop for trade from the eastern regions of the Mediterranean. The new port city of Santa Julieta (when the surrounding town Castillo Saint-Julieta and Ailania grew to a considerable size and merged) became the primary stop for Italian, Hungarian, and Ottoman merchants. During this time the shipbuilders of Santa Julieta became famous for their seafaring and navigational talents. Aileno sailors and navigators became highly desired as trips to the Americas became more and more frequent.

 
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Map of San Gerardo circa. 1795.
As the industrial revolution spread across the globe, San Gerardo became a moderate force in shipbuilding for large the empires such as Spain and Britain. This mutual cooperation between San Gerardo and the many empires it provided ships to ensured the state's continued independence until World War II.

In 1936, just a few months prior to the invasion of North Africa, San Gerardo was captured by the Italian naval forces. For the during of the war, San Gerardo served a as a resupply and resupply base for Mussolini's navy. In 1943, as the Allied invasion of Italy swept through the peninsula, San Gerardo was captured by British and American forces. 

For ten years after the war, San Gerardo was under the administrative jurisdiction of the British Empire. In 1955, prime minister Churchill relinquished control of the island, thus forming the new Republic of Siccalium (a referendum was held during the same year, thus changing the name of Isabella back to Siccalium) and Santa Julieta.


nickzou

The Middle Ages and The Reconquista


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Coat of arms of Isabella (Siccalium)
In 452, during the Hunnic invasions of Italy, the Roman garrison at Siccalium was removed from the island and sent to reinforce Rome. As of result of the Roman retreat from the island, the Greek citizens of Siccalium found themselves independent of foreign rule once again. 

A local Roman statesmen by the name of Virgilius Bassianus briefly set up a government after the Imperial garrison had departed to support and maintain the island state. Under his leadership and guidance, Siccalium managed to avoid the effects of the crumbling empire on the penninsula. He established a second city on the northern tip of the island named, Illenia. 
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Culverin situated at the top of Castillo Saint-Julieta.

However his dynasty was brief and his great grandson Atilius was desposed by the citizens and a republic took the place of the Bassianic regime. For the next 400 years, the small island state of Siccalium managed to establish trade with the Visigoth kingdoms in Spain and the Abbasid Caliphs to the south.

Siccalium was invaded by the Berber Empire as stop along the way during their campaign against Spain. Previous to the Berber occupation, the island's religious convictions were split between Neo-Platonism and Latin Christianity. With the regime in place, Islam became the new state religion, although Christians remained a large portion of the population even after a few hundred years.

For the next 200 hundred years, Sikaliam (Siccalium) and its residence lived in relative peace with their Muslim overlords and maintained an amicable relationship with the government in Fez. 

However, as the Spanish Reconquista became more and more prominent, violence often abrupted in the streets of Sikaliam due to the influx of religious zealotry inspired by the reports of the events in Spain.

Finally, in 1493, a year after the Reconquista ended in victory for the Christians in Spain, the Moorish kings were driven out of Sikaliam by soldiers sent by King Ferdinand. The forces of the Aragonese soldiers were welcomed into the city as heroes and the Santo Gloria cathedral was built to commemorate the occasion. The city was renamed Isabella in honor of his first daughter. Just a few miles outside of Ailania (Illenia), King Ferdinand commissioned a fortress, Castillo Saint-Julieta, to be built to watch over the northern shores of the island.

nickzou

 Greek Colonies and Roman Occupation


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Ruins of the Temple of Apollo outside Siccalium.
Archeological evidence suggests that the first settlers on the island now known as San Gerardo were Greek colonists from around 800 BCE making it one of the earliest Greek colonies ever to be discovered. Shortly after arriving, the Greek founded two cities now known later as Aoedeon and Nyxos. There would be the center of civilization for the settlers for the next 600 years. 

Shortly after its foundation, the local settlers lost contact with their homeland, instead opting to travel only to neighboring regions for trade and commerce. The island came into contact with their kinsmen once again during the expansion of the Athenian Empire in the 5th century BCE but did not manage to establish any long standing alliances or trade routes.

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Hoplite Shield excavated during an archeological survey in 1893;

now housed in the National Museum in Siccalium.


The island grew in population and stature in respect to its neighboring states so much so that during the Second Punic War, Hannibal felt it prudent to secure the island as he marched upon Rome in 218 BCE. After Hannibal's eventual defeat by the Romans, the Carthaginian council decided to relinquish control of the island thus leaving its Greek settlers to once again become its own independent state.

Nearly a hundred years later, a Roman invasion, led by Honorius Marcellus, landed on the island. The locals were treated well by the Romans due to their knowledge of navigation and shipbuilding. 

In the 1st CE, the names Aoedium (Aoedeon) and Noxon (Nyxos) disappeared from Roman records. Now, it seemed that only one city existed on the island, named Siccalium. Archeological evidence suggests that Aoedium, which was said to be situated at the base of the Rohion River, and Noxon, located several miles up stream, had by the 1st century grown and merged into a single settlement.

nickzou

Introduction: Overview

Overview

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map of santa gerardo
Map of San Gerardo and surroundings.
The island of San Gerardo is located off the southern coast of the Balearic Island of Mallorca. With a population of just over a million spread across two metropolitan cities and several dozen small fishing villages, San Gerardo is one of the world's most densely populated islands in the world. The city was originally founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BCE and has remained populated ever since.
The population of Siccalium and Santa Julieta are primarily of Greek and Spanish origin. The region has been an area of cultural conflation for centuries as Greek Platonism and Latin Christianity dueled for the intellectual throne for centuries. The island was briefly held by the the Berber empire and enjoyed an influx of philosophical and scientific ideas from the east as Baghdad. As such, Siccalium and Santa Julieta have always been a small but crucial stop in the exchange of knowledge and culture between Islamic North Africa and Christian Europe.   cityhall
"The Feast of Heaven" by Sebastian Arteaga, sculpture in front of old city hall of Siccalium.
nickzou

flag Foreword

"A place where even the ocean waves get lost. A place where quiet is truly quiet. Two Ivory Towers, in the middle of the Great Sea; a place called home.

" -The Book of Songs, 1932

A few weeks after my lung cancer diagnosis was confirmed, I decided that it would be at my childhood home that would spend my final days. A fascination with circles, I suppose. When I arrived, I found my old house along the beach in disrepair; overgrown grass clung to the outer walls of my house as if trying to reach the roof. The large oak tree that seemed to stand enormous in my youth had been, much like me, withered away by time. Still I was glad to be... home.

A few weeks later, a man from a local publishing company visited me at my house. He said he was a friend of my friend, the one with the goofy yellow hat and the aviator sunglasses. I immediately knew who he meant. He asked me to write something for a book he was working on. I simply told him, "you are ten years too late. I have no more words to give you." But he was a persistent man. It took all of my effort and the chastising of my niece to send him away. He said he would be back tomorrow.

And he was.

The truth is I have a life time of stories to share and precious time to write them down. But this is not a tragedy, it isn't even sad. I've thrown away far more than anyone could hope to read. Well hope to read before being bored to death. So for this final story, for this island, for this... my home, I submit to you, the pen. I have lived many lives, with many different people, and it is said that my stories are well known. But these are not my stories. These are yours.

This is a story of a place called Siccalium and Santa Julieta; a place I call home.

The Ivory Towers.

Sebastian Arteaga, poet, novelist, artist, political activist was born in the suburb of Santa Julieta on July 15th, 1914. In 1932, he published his first book of poetry titled, The Book of Songs. Two years later, he published world famous poem, The Ivory Towers, about his home. During the Italian occupation of San Gerardo, Sebastian Arteaga was instrumental in maintaining the island's cultural and political identity through his guerrilla writings and his open defiance of Mussolini and his regime. Arrested many times, and tortured, he was eventually deported from the island and held in detention in Italy until the end the Allied Invasion in 1943. After the war, he returned to San Gerardo a national hero. Years later, he would embark on a journey across Europe. During this time he wrote of his experience in the war and of his homeland in a novel also titled The Ivory Towers. The book became an international bestseller. In 1960, he married a young French woman by the name of Josephine Caillaud and settled in Paris. In late 2008, Sebastian Arteaga was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died on March 6th, 2009.

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