Palma is not called little Barcelona for nothing. In central Palma and Old Town is the place to admire the wonderful modernist architecture and all its amazing buildings. Modernism, which was active during the late 1800s and early 1900s, is also called Art Nouveau and Jugendstil depending on where in the world you are. It is an architecture that breaks classical norms and is inspired by imagination and creativity with abundant ornamentation, asymmetry and curved lines. Gaudi himself, perhaps the most prominent architect of the time together with Domenech i Montaner, lived and worked in Mallorca for 10 years when he renovated the interior of the Cathedral. Most buildings only have a modernist architecture on the outside in Palma, unlike many buildings in Barcelona which also have an equally imaginative interior in many cases.
Our walk starts at Plaza Weyler and the Gran Hotel (1901-1903) which was the first modernist building in Palma. Lluis Doménech I Montaner and Jaume Alenyá are the architects behind the building which, at the time, was a pioneer in the luxury hotel industry on the island. Nowadays, the building houses the Caixa Forum, a cultural center in Palma.
Just across the street we find Forn del Teatre (1916) which is an excellent example of modernism in business premises. Green wooden panels adorn the doors and windows, the walls with plant motifs and perhaps the most eye-catching are the impressive metal dragons and hawks.
If we continue to Plaza Mercat, we find the neighbouring buildings Can Casasayas (1908 -1910) and Pension Menorquina (1909 – 1911). On the facade, you can see similarities with Casa Batlló in Barcelona in the curved shapes and parabolic-like arches. Both buildings, like many other buildings, consisted of business premises on the ground floor and the family lived on the first floor to rent out the rest.
Through the narrow alleys we then reach Can Corbella, which is located by the Plaza Cort. Can Corbella is one of the most unique buildings in a pre-modernist style from the end of the 19th century by the architect Nicolau Lliteras. The windows on the ground floor are decorated with colorful windows and an octagonal tower crowns the building.
Not far away, at Calle Colom 11, we find the building known as Casa de la Medias. The facade is decorated with colorful Mallorcan ceramic tiles and what stands out the most are the triangular balconies on the fourth floor.
If you then walk from Calle Colom towards Plaza Mayor, you will surely see people photographing Can Forteza-Rey, the modernist jewel of Palma. The name comes from the creator Forteza-Rey who undoubtedly found inspiration in Gaudí’s Parque Guell and Casa Batlló. The facade is decorated with typical trencadís (tile fragments), dragons, wrought iron balcony railings and abundant floral decorations.
Right next door is Almacenes El Aguila (1908) the creation of Gaspar Benazar and Jaume Alenyá. The facade consists of huge windows that let in a lot of sunlight and cast iron decoration. The inspiration comes from the underground station Karlsplatz in Vienna, which looks like a glass box. A few minutes walk away we reach plaza Josep Maria Cuadrado and Can Barceló (1901-1904) by Bartomeu Ferrá. The beautiful facade is decorated with blue tiles with scenes from everyday life.
As the last visit, we practically chose Bar Cristal. This is a meeting place for many Majorcans. Looking up at the building one can enjoy a beautiful building adorned with cast iron balconies
Team Assistant @ Mallorcaresidencia