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A tour of the city’s modernist and Art Nouveau architecture


Great names of Catalan Art Nouveau such as Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner shaped the architecture of Palma de Mallorca with their aesthetic in the early 20th century. Today, the historic city center preserves valuable examples of this artistic movement that broke with classical schemes and also contrasts with the medieval legacy of the city.

Among the most representative modernist buildings, the Parliament of the Balearic Islands stands out. Art Nouveau motifs can be seen in the windows, columns and capitals. Very close by we find Can Corbella, an unusual block of flats in a Neo-Mudéjar style. The wooden columns superimposed on the façade, with horseshoe arches and stained glass on the ground floor, are some of the most outstanding elements.

On Plaça Weyler we find one of the city’s most significant modernist buildings: Gran Hotel. It has many striking decorative Art Nouveau elements, with sculptures, plant motifs, polychromed ceramics, balustrades and wrought iron. Inside there are notable architectural solutions designed to maximise natural light. The building is now a cultural centre belonging to the Fundación La Caixa: it has a permanent collection of works by the modernist painter Anglada Camarasa and different temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Still on Plaça Weyler, we find another unique example of Art Nouveau decoration, this time applied to the exterior of the bakery Forn des Teatre.

Casa Forteza Rey, on Calle Colón, is another of the most admired places due to the ornamental richness displayed on its facades. The mixed colours of the ceramics and broken tile mosaics (trencadís), the sinuous balconies and wrought iron railings, the abundant sculptures and the walls decorated with floral, plant and animal motifs have a tremendous visual impact.

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