We continue with the second part of the Palma Plazas Route, in which we will discover charming corners where we can enjoy some relaxing moments. Today we will visit big plazas and small plazas that coexist in the old town, and all of them can be referred to as essential.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España in Palma still maintains the aims that is was built for. It’s a very centric meeting point, in which most of the services that the city offers converge. The central station is situated there and borders with the Ses Estacions Park, a recreation area in the centre of the city. The bars and restaurants that surround the plaza are very well known, characterized by their antiquity. Bar Cristal stands out, built in 1916, decorated as an old Parisian Bistro, shows the wide influence of the French modernism in the architecture and decoration on the island.
During the Christmas holidays a big market is installed in the centre of the plaza. In this market, visitors can have a taste of the typical sweets from Mallorca, as well as buy Christmas souvenirs.
The Plaza de España has always been, and still is today, a meeting point for get-togethers between the local people. It is very easy to shift by foot to any other place in the city, since it’s near everything.
Most of the Spanish cities have a Plaza Mayor. They started to get built at the end of the medieval times. Their construction obeyed a wish to organize the administrative elements of the city, in a way were they would all be situated in the same place. For example, the Town Hall or the central Post Office were normally located at the Plaza Mayor. The Plaza Mayor in Palma isn’t one of the biggest in Spain, but we could say that it’s of the ones with most charm. The current layout was inaugurated during the 19th century, by the Mallorquin architect Gabriel Alomar, who devised the Internal Reform Plan of the city of Palma. It took more than twenty years to finish this renovation, which finally included a big set of stairs that communicated directly the Plaza Mayor with Las Ramblas. In its current version, the Plaza Mayor is already surrounded by many bars and restaurants located under its porticos, as well as other different businesses. The street artists make the visit more pleasant with their comical acts, or sometimes dramatic opera interpretations. On special dates, this plaza is where local people choose to meet, as for example, during the fiestas of the saint of Palma, Sant Sebastià, during which there are countless concerts and bonfires all over the city.
Plaça de l’Olivar
The visit to this plaza is a must, not really for the plaza itself, which doesn’t have much architectonic or historic interest, but because of what it houses. The Plaza de l’Olivar can show off as having one of the oldest markets in Palma: el mercat de l’Olivar, since 1951. After a thorough renovation the market has been fighting to not become obsolete by adapting to new times with a renewed and modern image which has resulted in the attraction of young costumers interested in natural food. It has become a reference in gastronomy, where many residents spend their Saturday mornings. Tourists are normally very satisfied due to the cheap prices on typical products from the island and the fact that they can know the origin of these products, important if one is interested in cooking. In the vicinity there are children’s parks where kids can play and have a good time whilst their parents are doing the shopping.
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