It is well known that the city of Palma possesses one of the most beautiful old towns in Spain. Taking a walk down its cobbled streets will remind you of a different historical period with every step. The thing is, Palma is absolutely full of small cultural remains, and if you know how to spot them you will be fascinated. Today we suggest you visit a route that won´t take longer than two hours to see and brings together two essential corners of Ciutat (the city).
El Gran Hotel (The Grand Hotel)
It is a modernist style building that was built in the early twentieth century. It is almost obligatory to stop if you walk through Palma, since it is considered the most emblematic building in Palma. It was designed in 1903 by architect LluisDoménech i Montaner, architect also of other major works such as the Palau de la Música in Barcelona (the Palace of Music in Barcelona). It said to have been the first hotel to open in Palma, and that its target public consisted of a people that swam between luxury and opulence. After the Spanish Civil War the Grand Hotel closed its doors and was sold to the Spanish State, when it became the National Insurance Institute until 1933. The bank LaCaixa purchased the building that year and restored it back to its original aspect, leaving it to become a cultural reference center in Mallorca.
What: it is essential to be attentive to the temporary exhibitions.
When: from Monday to Saturday from 10h to 20h; Sundays from 10h to 14h.
How much: 4 Euros per person. La Caixa clients, free.
Where: Plaça de Weyler, 3, 07001 Palma.
El Paseo del Borne
Designed by the architect Isidro González Velásquez, from Madrid, Paseo del Borne was installed in Palma in the nineteenth century in an attempt to Europeanize the city. The Paseo begins in the Plaza de Juan Carlos I (known by the Mallorcans as the plaza of the turtles) and ends at the Plaza de la Reina, where the beautiful Jardines del Rey (the King´s Gardens), la Lonja and a path to the La Seu begin. Today, it is a nice spot to have a good coffee on Cafe Cappucino´s terrace, or enjoy an afternoon of shopping and visiting the city´s most exclusive stores. At the beginning of the Paseo you will find the very well known Casal Solleric, one of the island´s most active exhibit rooms. Inside, in addition to enjoying a tasty coffee, you can contemplate traveling exhibits or participate in several cultural activities.
What: Visit the Casal Solleric.
When: preferably during the early afternoon, when the shadows of the trees that protect the building are out.
How much: whatever you want to spend at the stores or cafes.
Where: Plaça de Juan Carlos I (Plaza of the Turtles).