January 13, 2016
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Palma de Mallorca is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. It has numerous tourist attractions that make this city a world benchmark. Its streets are riddled with history and buildings of architectural importance. Some of them such as the Gran Hotel, Can Forteza King or Can Casasayas are considered true jewels of modernism. For first-hand knowledge of the influence of this artistic trend we will begin our tour of the historic center of Palma.

We start our little tour in Plaça Weyler, where we can find one of the most stunning buildings: the Gran Hotel. Designed by the architect Lluís Domènech and Muntaner, this was one of the first modernist buildings in Palma (1903). The first thing that stands out is its extensively decorated facade with sculptures, railings, windows and bluish colors. The interior is also an excellent display of opulence that flaunted in their best time. It currently houses the headquarters of the "la Caixa" Foundation and has a permanent collection of the celebrated painter Anglada Camarassa.

Another of the most iconographic places is Can Forteza Rey, in Colon street. A dwelling that dates back to 1910, designed by Lluís Forteza Rey, a professional jeweler and an admirer of Modernism, who also designed jewelry inspired by modernist aesthetics. The facade of the building is full of decorative elements and monstrous figures that correspond to a head of a serpent-dragon and a face of human appearance. It is without doubt one of the more original constructions in continuing our tour, at Plaza del Mercado we can find Can Casasayas and la Pensión Mallorquina, both buildings were designed by the architect Francesc Roca and Simó. These two buildings were projected simultaneously and built with a one year difference, with a chronology that includes the years 1908-1910 and 1909 until 1911. It consists of a ground floor and four floors, its facades have a modernist style and with Art Nouveau influence. The influence of Gaudí is noticeable in the parabolic arches of the openings and in the undulating shape of the building.

The Majorcan modernism is also present beyond the historic center. For example, in the outskirts of Ensache, where Can Roca is found, there is a building considered modernist-inspired. Other places of interest include the Almacenes El Águila, la Casa de las Medias or Can Barceló.

Modernism  became dormant in the first world war, but its manifestations endure as one of the more expressive and original artistic periods in the history of architecture.

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