Gran Hotel in Palma de Mallorca
On the way from the “Plaça de la Reina” with its popular Bar Bosch through Calle Unión towards the “Teatre Principal” municipal theatre, lovers of Art Nouveau are rewarded with an architectural highlight. Hardly any tourists know the name of this square, which visitors to Palma’s old town pass by, but the Art Nouveau houses on its edge, including the former Gran Hotel, are frequently photographed. In the centre of the “Plaça del Mercat” stands the statue of Mallorcan politician Antoni Maura (1853-1925), surrounded by a few trees. A branch of the gum tree that broke off in a storm had torn it from its pedestal in 2014, but the monument has been restored since November 2015. Lovers of special properties in Palma’s old town should now direct their eyes to the other side of the street: The former Gran Hotel is a unique example of the art of Catalan Art Nouveau, the “Modernisme”, on the whole of Mallorca. The magnificent building, which opened on February 9, 1903 as the city’s first luxury hotel with all the pomp that goes with it, was designed by the architect Lluís Domenec i Montaner.
THE Art Nouveau building in the old town
It is now considered Palma’s most famous Art Nouveau building, and stands out among all the old town properties for its magnificently renovated façade. Today, the building houses the headquarters of Palma’s “Fundació La Caixa” foundation and houses an art gallery. There are a number of exhibition halls and rooms in the building that are suitable for cultural events. By the way: If you get hungry while strolling through the old town and or looking for your dream property and feel like a snack, you should stop at the “Alaska” snack bar on Plaça del Mercat: The kiosk, which has been here since 1936, sells what are said to be the best hot dogs in town. Of course, this is a matter of taste.
A tip from the Minkner & Partner team in Palma: If the hot dog is too simple for you, treat yourself to a vermouth on tap and a “Gilda” at the “Vermutería La Rosa” opposite.