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MALLORCA

Mallorca

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Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic islands and possibly the most beautiful of all Mediterranean islands. Miles of white, sandy beaches, a deep turquoise sea, the spectacular rock formations of the Serra Tramuntana, the joyous countryside in the island’s interior, the lively scene in the capital Palma,

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and the warm and at the same time pleasantly fresh climate make the island particularly attractive. Here everyone is guaranteed to find what they are looking for: an Eldorado for outdoor sports fans who seek to relax while golfing, rambling, mountaineering, cycling, riding or sailing; a delight for nature

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lovers with a flora and fauna rich in species thanks to onethird of the island being a protected nature reserve; numerous museums and galleries, churches, monasteries and palaces to attract art enthusiasts; plus excellent wines and a creative island cuisine to please the most jaded of gourmet palates.


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ABOUT THIS BOOK InGuide Mallorca is illustrated with the stunning photographs you would expect to find in a large coffee-table book yet it is also a highly informative travel guide. Inspiring images and vivid descriptions introduce all the sights, revealing many amazing facts about the island and its people, about art and

culture, about the everyday and the unusual. In “Compact Mallorca”, insider tips point out the best restaurants, hotels and shops, as well as what is trendy, important addresses, and useful facts. Another chapter introduces the top museums in detailed descriptions and photographs. Finally, there

are suggestions for a City Walk and for Scenic Drives packed with shopping and dining tips that will inspire you to explore the entire island. A detailed, removable island and city map completes this unique picture travel guide, and makes it easy for you to find the island’s highlights by grid reference.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA Parc de la Mar Sa Seu Cathedral: Exterior Sa Seu Cathedral: Interior Sa Seu Cathedral: St Peter’s Chapel Palau de S’Almudaina Palau March Banys Arabs City Palaces: Formiguera, Marques del Palmer, Vivot Sant Francesc: Exterior, Cloister, Basilica Ajuntament, Parliament Plaça del Mercat “Modernisme” Teatre principal, Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo Plaça Major Mercat de l’Olivar Plaça de Sa Llotja, Sa Llotja Castell de Bellver

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08 10 12 14 16 18 20 22

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SOUTH-WEST MALLORCA Portals Vells, Portals Nous Peguera, Cala Fornells Andratx Port d’Andratx Sant Elm, Dragonera Estellencs, Banyalbufar SERRA DE TRAMUNTANA Calvia, Galilea Almond Blossom Time Galatzo Esporles, Sa Granja Valldemossa Port de Valldemossa Son Marroig, Sa Foradada Miramar Deià, Cala de Deià Llucalcari Picturesque Olive Groves Sóller Port de Sóller, Cap Gros By Train From Palma to Sóller Raixa, Jardins d’Alfabia Mallorca’s Festivals Fornalutx

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Puig Major, Embassament de Cúber Sa Calobra Cala Tuent Santuari de Lluc

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74 76 78 80

THE NORTH OF MALLORCA 98 Pollença, Puig de Maria 100 Cala Sant Vicenç 102 Badia de Pollença, Port de Pollença 104 Formentor Peninsula 106 Cala Figuera, Cala Pi de la Posada 108 Cap de Formentor 110 Alcúdia, Port d’Alcúdia 112 S’Albufera 114 Colònia Sant Pere, Ferrutx, Cala Mesquida 116 Artà 118 Prehistoric Mallorca 120 Capdepera 122 Rajada, Punta Capdepera 124

82 84 86 88

ES PLA – MALLORCA’S CENTRAL PLAIN 126 Santa Maria del Camí 128 Inca 130

58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72


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CONTENTS

Mallorca, Spain’s largest island, belongs to the archipelago of Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. The original Latin name, “insula major”, meaning larger island, later became Maiorica.

Coves de Campanet Sa Pobla, Muro Sineu Sineu: Farmers’ Market Petra Manacor Rural Luxury: Fincas Montuïri Algaida, Vidres Gordiola Windmills Puig de Randa Llucmajor, Porreres Felanitx Santuari de Sant Salvador, Castell de Santueri

132 134 136 138 140 142 144 146 148 150 152 154 156 158

MALLORCA’S EAST AND SOUTH COASTS 160 Cala Millor, Porto Cristo 162 Coves del Drac, Coves dels Hams 164 Porto Colom 166 Cala d’Or, Porto Petro, Cala Mondragó 168 Cala Figuera 170 Platja Es Trenc 172 Cabrera National Park 174

COMPACT MALLORCA 176 Palma 178 South-West Mallorca 184 Serra de Tramuntana 188 The North of Mallorca 194 The Middle of the Island 196 South-East Mallorca 200

HOTELS Tips for Special Hotels Great Hotels

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MAJOR MUSEUMS Es Baluard Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró Fundació Yannick i Ben Jakober

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CITY WALK AND SCENIC DRIVES Palma’s Patios The Island’s Vineyards The Island’s Attractions

APPENDIX Index Picture credits Imprint

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Mallorca’s bays are an El Dorado for sailors, and so it’s no wonder that Palma has not just one, but several yacht harbors. The most exclusive of these is the Real Club Náutico de Palma, which hosts the Copa del Rey regatta.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA Palma, the shining jewel of the Mediterranean, has many facets: the lively metropolis which rarely sleeps, boasting trendy nightclubs, excellent restaurants and very elegant, trendy boutiques. The Old

Town, featuring tropical and floral Art Nouveau façades and restored palaces in whose courtyards time seems to have stood still, and with the Sa Seu Cathedral watching over it all like a mother hen. The city of

art, with large museums and names such as Miró, Dalí, Tàpies, Saura and Barceló. And last but not least, the mile-long beaches and countless pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants to suit every budget.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA At one time, the waves used to break at the base of the formidable fortress walls, but a wide strip of land, which also provided lots of space for the present-day park, was reclaimed from the sea to build the port road. The extensive complex planted with palm trees, containing an artificial

Mallorcan families go for weekend walks in the “multi-purpose park” (large picture and small picture, top) created by the city of Palma for its citizens as a place of relaxation. In the evenings, it is pleasant to sit by the roadside in the Café Nu Parc and look out over the lake at the cathedral and Almudaina Palace – occasionally accompanied by the sounds wafting over from the lakeside stage.

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lake and scattered with contemporary sculptures, is now a relaxing oasis for young and old during the day. In the evenings, it is popular with lovebirds wanting to watch the sometimes dramatic sunsets. On summer weekends, the Ses Voltes, an open-air concert space and exhibition center


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PARC DE LA MAR

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located right beneath the cathedral and above the Parc de la Mar, holds cultural events such as concerts, folkloristic shows, plays or other interesting events – often featuring well-known artists from the music and theater scene, whose guest performances are regularly sold out.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA Sa Seu – The Bishop’s See – is what the Mallorcans call their cathedral of St Mary in Palma. In 1230, shortly after the island was recaptured from the Moors, King Jaume I laid the foundation stone for a church on the site previously occupied by an Islamic mosque, which itself had replaced a Byzantine

Solid yet also delicate, Sa Seu (all pictures) stands on high ground and looms up majestically next to the royal palace. The church is 109.9 m (361 ft) long, 33 m (108 ft) wide and 44 m (144 ft) wide. The nave measures 75.5 m (248 ft) in length, making it larger than that of Cologne cathedral in Germany. Sa Seu’s western façade had to be rebuilt after an earthquake. It has three doorways and two main spires.

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chapel. The year 1306 marked the start of construction on the cathedral, which was also to serve as a burial church and mausoleum for Mallorca’s royal dynasty – Kings Jaume II and IV are buried here. The oculus was added in 1370, but was not fitted with glass until 1599. It is today considered one of the


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SA SEU CATHEDRAL: EXTERIOR

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finest rose windows in the world. The nave was completed in 1587, and the main entrance in 1601. Artists from Mallorca, Burgundy, Flanders and Germany created the three-dimensional decorations and sculptures. The cathedral was not finally completed until the start of the 20th century.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA The cathedral was built using sandstone from SantanyĂ­, which is what gives the brickwork its warm, honey-like hue. It can hold up to 18,000 faithful, making it one of the largest from the Gothic era, and many artistic styles left their mark over the centuries of construction: high and late Gothic,

The cathedral has 21 chapels from various epochs. Small picture, top: the Capella de Corpus Christi, or Corpus Christi Chapel, impresses visitors with a carved retable by Jaume Blanquer. Above: The Capella de Nostra Senyora de la Pietat, or Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy, gives visitors access to the chapter houses and treasury. The impressive Gothic cross-ribbed vault is supported by fourteen monumental columns (large picture).

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Renaissance, Mannerism, as well as baroque and classicist elements, make for an eclectic mix. With 1,236 vivid glass panes, the cathedral’s large rose window diffuses an unusual light, particularly in the early morning. Only the rose window at the entrance to Strasbourg Cathedral and the


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SA SEU CATHEDRAL: INTERIOR

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two rose windows of NotreDame Cathedral in Paris (built in 1250 and 1260) are larger. An architect’s sketches show that, alongside the many Mallorcans involved with the building’s construction, “slaves, neophytes, whites, mulattos, Saracens and Greeks” also worked on the site.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA Following the work by Gaudí and his student Jujol, contemporary artists continue to add to Sa Seu even today. Born in 1957, Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló began redesigning St Peter’s Chapel, known as Santísimo, in the right-side aisle in 2003. The 54-year-old, who also designed the dome of the

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Palais des Nations at Geneva in Switzerland, covered the chapel in ceramic reliefs depicting the Bible’s miraculous Feeding of the 5,000 (where 5,000 people were fed with two fish and five bread loaves), and the transformation of water into wine at the Wedding in Cana. Some fifteen


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SA SEU CATHEDRAL: ST PETER’S CHAPEL 4 tonnes (16.5 tons) of terracotta stretch up to 12 m (39 ft) high next to the main chancel. As if in a mysterious underwater world, vivid schools of fish flit across the walls, while octopuses, sea snakes, melons, bread loaves, pomegranates and pumpkins all come together in an array of colors.

The layer of clay is 6 cm (2 in) thick, and the painter, Miquel Barceló, who calls himself an atheist, had to use a great amount of force to press the moulds into the clay from the reverse side until they bulged out. He then further modeled the front side with his fingers, before painting over the whole thing. Barceló transforms biblical history into a lavish, billowing collage of ceramics.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA The Palau de S’Almudaina is strategically perched high above the Bay of Palma, and everyone who ever settled on Mallorca from the Stone Age onward built on this same prominent site. Religious and secular power was always established within close proximity of one another – when

The Palau de S’Almudaina, covering an area of 20,000 sq m (215,200 sq ft), is situated opposite the cathedral. The façade is adorned with four towers, and the Torre de l’Ángel, built in 1117 with an angel at the top, is particularly striking. The Romanesque doorway is one of the few to still be preserved from that time. A flight of stone steps (large picture) runs between the buildings. The square is dominated by the cross sculpture.

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the Moors conquered Mallorca in the year 903, they reconstructed the existing fortress and called it Al Mudaina (Arabic for “citadel”); they then built a mosque opposite it. Of the original fortress, only the jagged exterior wall extending toward the sea remained; the rest was developed into the


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PALAU DE S’ALMUDAINA

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royal residence after the Reconquista of 1229. The cathedral was erected on the site of the mosque, directly opposite the palace, which continues to be used as a royal residence even today – this is where King Juan Carlos receives his official guests when he is at his holiday home in Mallorca.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA In the 1940s, Mallorcan billionaire Juan March (1880–1962) had a magnificent palace built in the immediate vicinity of the Parliament, between Calle Conquistador and the steps of the cathedral. It was meant at the same time as a defiant gesture to the long-established aristocratic families who liked to look

The Palau March is located on the site of the former Santo Domingo monastery. The central sculpture in the outdoor area is called Orgue del Mar, or “Organ of the Sea” (large picture). The assemblage of giant golden balls was created by Catalan sculptor Xavier Corberó (large picture and above), while the two white sculptures to the right and left of the entrance are the work of Henry Moore (small picture, top).

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down on the self-made man because the origins of his immense wealth appeared to be rather dubious. Today, the Fundación Bartolomé March is based at the Palau. The building houses a museum, a lecture hall and auditorium as well as a library holding some 60,000 volumes and around 2,000


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PALAU MARCH

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manuscripts. The museum hosts changing exhibitions, and also boasts a permanent collection of historic nativity figurines, as well as works by the surrealist Salvador DalĂ­ and sculptures, including some by Henry Moore, Chillida, Berrocal and Alfaro that transport visitors into a world of fine arts.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA Following the recapture of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors in 1229, the Christians hastened to erase all traces of Muslim influence. The Arab Baths on the idyllic terrace of the Can Fontiroig private palace are among the few structures that remained intact from Moorish times. Wealthy

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Christians had probably enjoyed the luxury of the baths for too long to do away with them just like that. Built in the 10th century on the ruins of Roman walls, the Arab Baths are rather small in comparison with Roman thermae, but they were an oasis of relaxation. In Moorish times, there were five


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BANYS ARABS

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public baths in Palma, which were used by the upper classes for purposes other than merely purification and relaxation; a visit to the baths was also always a social event, for this was where patrons could discuss important business at ease. The baths formed part of a complex hydraulic system.

Water is a particularly precious commodity in Mallorca, and visitors are reminded of this in the idyllic garden of the Banys �� rabs (small picture, top). Water was scooped out with clay jugs (above) and used for showering. Visitors today can still see the caldarium, the bathing room and another room featuring a barrel

vault

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slender

columns (large picture), which have been preserved from the former Arab baths.

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In the 14th and 15th centuries, many Mallorcan aristocrats and wealthy citizens, fearing pirate attacks, built a number of wellfortified city palaces. Their windows were positioned as high up on the walls as possible and rarely facing the street, while solid wooden gates usually barred entrance to the court-

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yards, or patios. According to a royal decree, these patios had to have sufficient room to accommodate twenty-five horsemen, while two fully armed knights had to be able to ride side by side through the main gate. When, later down the track, the times became less dangerous, the owners began

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to rebuild their palaces in the Renaissance and baroque styles of the day. The city palace was where music was made, where the locals gathered, and where social activities took place. The palaces also served to show off their owners’ power, with the most important families living right next to the cathedral. The


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CITY PALACES: FORMIGUERA, MARQUES DEL PALMER, VIVOT patios’ simplicity and beauty are mentioned in works by writers and chroniclers such as Archduke Ludwig Salvator, Jules Vernes and Josep Plas. Today, some have been divided up into privately owned apartments, while others have been converted into hotels, art galleries and boutiques.

The extensively renovated city palaces in Palma’s Old Town are bright and ritzy. Palau Vivot, dating back to 1725, on Carrer de Can Savella, is entered via a baroque patio (large picture), and is home to beautifully painted wood paneling (above). Situated on Carrer de Sol is the 16th-century Can Marquès de Palmer, with a grand outdoor flight of stairs and a drawing room appointed in period style (small picture, top).

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PALMA DE MALLORCA In 1281, during the reign of Jaume II, the Franciscans began building a single-nave basilica and a Gothic-style monastery on the site of the former Ahmed Yalafa Mosque. The baroque-style façade dates back to the 17th century; it was rebuilt after the church had been hit by lightning. Sant

The basilica’s interior is divided into eight sections with side chapels and intricate ogival arches (small picture, top). The romantic cloister with palms and cypress trees is surrounded by a total of 115 columns, and is considered to be the largest preserved cloister from the Gothic period. The remains of an old well can still be seen in the center of the interior courtyard (large picture) – an impressive relic from days gone by.

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Francesc is the second-largest church in the Balearic Islands, after Palma’s cathedral. Behind the altar, with its baroque retable, the Nostra Senyora de la Consolació chapel is home to the tomb of the famous Catalan mystic and philosopher, Ramon Llull, built by Francesc Sagrera in 1480. But


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SANT FRANCESC: EXTERIOR, CLOISTER, BASILICA 8 Sant Francesc was not always a haven of peace: on 2 November 1480, the old feud between two aristocratic families flared up again with unexpected vehemence – a grim battle in the church ended tragically with around 300 members of Mallorca’s higher nobility lying dead on the floor.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA In the middle of Plaça Cort outside the town hall stands a gnarled olive tree estimated to be 800 years old. It is one of the most popular icons of the city of Palma. It is no wonder that the 16th-century town hall itself is reminiscent of its counterpart in Florence, for its façade is unmistakably con-

The original clock above the town hall’s main entrance (large picture) had an unusual chime and a peculiar striking mechanism in case of imminent danger. But no emergency chimes have sounded since 1863; the French clock, which was then renovated, no longer provided for such situations. The Parliament of the Balearic Islands (above and small picture, top), whose largest island is Mallorca, is based in the capital, Palma.

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structed in Italian baroque style. The principal cornice is supported by five male and female figures which are said to have been carved by a mere shipwright. The island parliament convenes in the Antic Círculo Mallorquín, the former casino, but this doesn’t mean Mallorca’s politicians indulge


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AJUNTAMENT, PARLIAMENT

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in gambling whilst there – in the first half of the 20th century, the building simply served as a ritzy meeting place for the island’s political and financial elite. It was not until 1983, several years after Franco’s death, that the Balearic Islands became independent with the city of Palma as their capital.

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PALMA DE MALLORCA In many areas of Palma, the city’s history can today be read like the annual rings of a tree; the alleyways in the La Portella quarter of the Old Town continue to follow the Moorish residential street layout even today. Almost all the churches stand on the site of what were formerly mosques. In Moorish

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times, goods were hawked at Plaça del Mercat, where a market is today still held once a week. Two houses constructed in the flawless modernisme style are particularly striking: opposite the magnificent Gran Hotel stand Can Casasayas, two buildings designed by Francisco Roca Sima. One of


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PLACA DEL MERCAT

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them, known as Pensió La Menorquina, dates back to the year 1908, the other was built in 1909. The wavelike façades of the upper levels, which necessitated wavy windows and shutters, and the open ground floor create the impression that the two adjacent, mirrorimage buildings are floating.

Together with the Gran Hotel, fully refurbished in 1993, and the vivid façade of the Forn des Teatre bakery, the mirror-image Can Casasayas structures form an enclosed modernism-style complex in Palma. The carefully and extensively restored buildings clustered around the small square in the center of Palma’s Old Town today house the upscale boutique of Galician designer Purificación García, as well as an advertising agency.

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A new style spread throughout Europe like wildfire at the turn of the 20th century – known variously as Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany, Secession in Austria and Modernisme in Catalonia. Inspired by the Industrial Revolution, artists and architects tried to give the incipient modern era

These two examples demonstrate how Modernisme can vary from one place to another: the floral elements at the entrance to the Forn des Teatre bakery at Plaça Weyler enchant the beholders (small picture, top), while straight, geometric lines draw one’s eye to the Art Nouveau façade of house at No. 58 on Carrer Sant Miquel (large picture). The painted neo-Arab tiles and curved balconies are particularly attractive.

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an appropriate style. Until around 1920, this style shaped everyday life with its designs for buildings, furniture, books, advertising and basic items such as crockery and cutlery. Today there are around 2,000 Modernisme-style buildings in Catalonia, many of which are situated in Mallorca. They were

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predominantly influenced by the eccentric Antoni Gaudí, whose Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was only recently consecrated by the Pope, in 2010. In Palma, Gaudí led the restructuring of the cathedral from 1899 onwards. However, Palma’s townscape was characterized by Gaudí’s friend,


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“MODERNISME” Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and his pupils. In 1903, Montaner built the Gran Hotel at Plaça Weyler in Palma – the city’s first luxury hotel. Not far from this are the twin Can Casasayas buildings at Plaça del Mercat, and directly opposite is the vivid façade of the little Forn des Teatre bakery.

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Inguide - Mallorca