Palma, city of patios
Palma, capital of the Balearic Islands, is a bright city, always full of surprises. Its has a maritime atmosphere and a wealth of cultural heritage. A good example of this heritage are the patios to be found at stately houses that abound in the old town. These are large houses with beautiful architecture that reflect Palma’s identity. Come and discover them on a very special route.
Majorca is a privileged destination with close to 550 kilometres of coastline where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches and coves in the Mediterranean. It is also noteworthy for its artistic heritage with monuments such as Bellver Castle and Palma Cathedral. Here we suggest some other, more unusual, but equally charming sites to discover: the patios to be found around the city, which have led many to call Palma the city of patios. You can discover them on a walk through the old town or with the special route that is organised to celebrate Corpus Christi.
More than 40 patios
The beauty and unique nature of Palma’s patios once captivated Jules Verne, who made them the setting for his protagonists’ adventures in “Clovis Dardentor”. There are more than 40 patios to be found around the centre of Palma. Many are located at public institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art, the Palau March Museum, the High Court or San Pere i San Bernat Hospital. Others, such as Can Oleza and Can Sureda, are private houses and their patios can only be seen through the gates, except during the Corpus Christi celebrations. They all offer rich architectural heritage that is a faithful reflection of Palma’s history. They are also sometimes the setting for classical music concerts.
The origins of Palma’s patios go back to the Roman period, but they took on more importance from the 13th century. At the beginning they were austere-looking, in Gothic style, but with the economic prosperity of the 17th and 18th centuries came far more luxurious, refined decoration in Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Special route during the Corpus Christi celebrations
During Corpus Christi, a religious celebration that takes place in May and June, a special guided route is organised that brings together Palma’s 40+ patios on a walking route through the centre of the city that takes barely two hours.
Another option is to visit them without a guide. Here we suggest some of the patios not to be missed on your route: Can Berga, home to the High Court, is the largest of Palma’s patios, and special mention should be made of the imperial staircase that links its three storeys. The patio of Oleza Palace, one of Palma’s most beautiful buildings, and Can Vivot, with its red-coloured marble columns, are both fine examples of Baroque style. Can Pásquela, meanwhile, presents a mixture of styles with its 20th-century staircase, neo-Gothic windows and Baroque columns. Ca la Gran Cristina, setting for the Majorca Museum; Can Marquès, with clear Modernist influence; Can Lladó, of medieval origin; Marquès del Palmer, with a stunning Renaissance façade; along with Can Catlar del Llorer and Can Alemany, whose patios display their Gothic origins, are all recommended stops for your route.
To organise your visit, contact Palma’s tourist offices. They will give you all the information you need about the most important patios and the best route to follow. In just a few hours you will be captivated by these charming patios.
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