Modernism was a phenomenon of cultural and artistic renovation that marked the Europe in transition from the 19th to the 20th centuries, and it had a strong influence on architecture and the decorative arts.
Palma is no exception and contains authentic jewels of Modernism, that rose up as a consequence of this innovative aesthetic spirit. Buildings like the Gran Hotel, Can Casasayas or Can Forteza Rey lent a colourist note to the austerity imposed on the historic city centre by the stately homes.
Modernism was an internationally-reaching phenomenon in cultural and artistic renovation that marked the transition period between the 19th and 20th centuries. Within the movement, initiatives from different sources converged, sharing the desire to build a modern and cosmopolitan culture that would match the new socioeconomic and political situation. The latter had arisen thanks to the success of the Industrial Revolution, the growth of commerce and the financial wellbeing of the middle class. The movement adopted several names and featured the individual characteristics of the different European countries.
Palma, Sóller and Lluc were the most important modernist centres in Mallorca. The emergence of Modernism in Palma coincided with the gestation period and approval of the Urban Expansion Plan designed by the architect and town planner, Bernat Calvet. In the early 19th century, Palma (alike other Spanish cities) essentially maintained the 17th century structure, enclosed within the monumental ring of its walls. In the mid 19th century, there was a desire to pull the walls down and work began in 1902.
The late demolition meant that Palma’s historic centre and its immediate surroundings continued to represent the city centre and the place of residence for the new, emerging bourgeoisie. The latter was amongst the advocates of the modernist movement, which is why the majority of the most important modernist works can be found in this area.
Centro de Itinerarios Turístico (Tourist tours center).
C/ Sant Domingo 11. 07001 Palma.
Information and bookings:
From Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tel.: (+34) 971 720 720 / 636 430 000
Fax: (+34) 971 720 721
Consejería de Turismo (Regional Tourism Ministry). Instituto de Estrategia Turística (Tourism Strategy Institute of the Balearic Islands). Carretera de Valldemossa Km 7,4. Parc Bit. 07121 Palma
Approximately 2 hours.
2 Plaça de Cort
15,25 Plaça de la Reina
15, 25, 46, 7, 3 Plaça de Joan Carles I
Route timetable: (please consult calendar at www.itineraris.org)
Adults: 10 €
Pensioners and students: 5 €
50% discount with green card.
Under - 12s free.
This route includes a visit inside the La Caixa Cultural Foundation.
Plaza de Cort, next to the olive tree.
Other buildings of interest:
Ciudad alta (High city): Can Barceló (1902-1904), Plaza de Quadrado 9, Former Banco de Crédito Balear, C/ Palau Reial 17.
Ciudad baja (Low city): Can Coll (1906-1907), Plaça de la Llotja 3. Ensanche: Can Gaietà Segura building (Cristal bar), Plaça d'Espanya 7, Can Maneu building, Puerta de Sant Antoni, C/ San Miguel buildings, 58 and 60.
Santa Catalina district: La Central ironmongers C/ Sant Magí 37, Cuba Guesthouse C/ Sant Magí 1, Can Pujol C/ Pou 24. Can Quetglas C/Quetglas 5.
The Cathedral. Between 1903 and 1914, the architect Antonio Gaudí undertook important works in Mallorca Cathedral which can now be admired.
Can Marquès. This old stately home can be found in calle Can Sanglada in Palma. Significant refurbishment work was carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries; the modernist-style stairwell is an example of this.
Gaspar Bennàssar i Moner.