Heritage | Tourist route H004

The patios of Palma: Lower old town

What is it?

The patios in the mansions in the old town have become one of the most attractive and characteristic parts of the town's architecture.  Today they are a jewel that we cannot help admiring and this route is an excellent opportunity to get to know the legacy of its heritage.  The Palma lower old town route goes through the fishermen's part of town, around the Fish Market, along the Passeig de Sagrera, etc.  The patios, which are a little more austere than those in the higher part of the old town, hint at slices of the lives of the people who lived in this enchanting area.


Length: 2 hours

Location and contact:

Start point: Casal Solleric, Passeig del Born, 27. 07012 Palma

Telephone: +34 902 102 365. Service times: 09.00-20.00

Web site: www.balearsculturaltour.net

E-mail: palmainfo@palma.es


Available public transport

 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
Monday to Friday

Public Transport

Detailed description

There are 15 patios on this route around the lower old town.  The route reveals the old merchants' quarter, the parish church of Sant Jaume and its surrounding area and also where the old course of the Sa Riera gulley was.

The patios are as follows:

01. Cal Marquès de Solleric (Can Morell - Casal Solleric)

One of the few examples of a new-build house from the second half of the 18th Century, which means it has a unified design with no medieval remains in the patio.  The plans for the house are attributed to the Majorcan, Gaspar Palmer.  The decorative elements are the work of the Italian sculptor, Antonio Soldatti.

02. Can Marcel

In the 16th Century this was owned by Canon Hug de Palou and then passed to the Morell, the Brondo and then the Mesquida families.  In 1764 it was in the hands of the Marcel merchant family who came from Marseilles.  In 1778 it belonged to Antoni Marcel Pujol and in 1864 to Claudi Marcel i Rullan.  It is currently home to the Abaco bar.  Gothic in origin, the house was renovated in the 18th Century.  The main façade is presided over by a large semi-circular voussoired arch.  Inside there is an enormous entrance hall which goes round a patio with Tuscan-style columns and pillars which support low arches.   The façade on the Carrer dels Apuntadors has medieval features, such as a "finestra coronella" (a pair of windows divided by a column).

03. Can Chacón

This late 17th Century mansion was owned by the military engineer Martín Gil de Gaínza.  It was bought by Fernando Chacón in the 18th Century.  In the 19th Century it was the residence of the Marquises of Ariany.  At the beginning of the 20th Century it was bought by Francesc Blanes who gave it to the charity known as Ses Minyones in 1925.  It has been owned by the Balearic Islands Government since 1984.  The patio is spacious, with two low crossed arches and a wide covered part to the right where the staircase is.  On the Passeig de Sagrera side, the elegant gallery with seven semi-circular crossed arches and Ionic-style columns is a highlight.

04. Can Ripoll – Department of Tourism

During the 17th and 18th Centuries this belonged to the Binimelis and Ripoll families.  In the late 19th Century it was owned by Gabriel Verd i Mayol.  Catalina Verd i Mayol de Bàlitx married Pere Morell i Verd.  Their heirs sold the house to the Balearic Islands Government and today it is occupied by the Department of Tourism.  The patio is accessed through a large, low archway with marble pillars with Ionic-style capitals.  The staircase is on the right and has an iron banister with flat balustrades.  There is a gallery on the first floor with an arch and Baroque balustrades.

05. Can Burguès

In 1523 this belonged to Francesc Burguès, the royal procurator.  On 26 November 1541 Emperor Carlos V stayed here after the failed military campaign against Algiers.  It was the most expensive house in the valuation of 1576.  In 1636 it was owned by Nicolau Burguès.  It is currently owned by the Blanes family.  A large, semi-circular gateway leads to the entrance, with the staircase on the right.  A segmented arch with the Burguès coat of arms on the capitals leads into the patio, with the Blanes coat of arms on the left.

06. Can Belloto

Originally a medieval house, in 1606 it was owned by the Genoese lawyer, J. Francesco Pavesi, who rebuilt it in the Mannerist style, which was more in keeping with the owner's home town than with traditional Palma architecture.  The traditional patio layout was maintained.  It was renovated in the 19th Century, when it was converted into flats.

07. Can Weyler - ARCA

The mansion was built in the first half of the 14th Century.  It was successively owned by the Despuig's, the Belloto's, the Teatine Order, the Alorda's and the Weyler's.  In 1911 Valerià Weyler Nicolau sold it to the Casa Bressol del Nin Jesús.  It has been the headquarters of the ARCA association since 1990.  The façade has a commemorative stone in memory of General Weyler.  There are three "finestres coronelles" (pairs of windows divided by a column) on the first floor and, on the floor above, four smaller ones.  The interior has a central patio with low arches with the anagram of Jesus on the capitals.

08. Can Muntaner

The main doorway is lintelled.  The entrance has a coffered ceiling and cobbled floor.  A segmented arch leads to the enclosed patio.  The pillar on the left has a very interesting capital with bestiary figures.

09. Can Castelló - "Sa Nostra" Arts Centre

Typical 18th Century patio with basket handle arches and red marble Ionic columns, probably built by the Fonticheli's, who were an important Genoese merchant family who bought the house in 1724.  The staircase, which originally had two flights, was lengthened in a 19th Century renovation.  The modernist style of the façade is the result of renovations managed by the architect Jauma Alenyà in 1909.

10. Can Forteza del Sitjar

A patio with great purity of design, with a coffered ceiling in the hall, made up of four low arches resting on eight sandstone pillars with capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and coats of arms.  The rest of the house has undergone extensive alterations to adapt it for use as a school.  It is currently home to a school run by Trinitarian nuns.

11. Cal Comte de San Simón

The house was built between 1854 and 1856 from plans by Miquel Ferrà i Font, ordered by Luis de San Simón y Orlandis, the Count of San Simón.  The building's design completely breaks with Majorcan tradition and has a strong French influence.

12. Can Rul·lan – Barceló Foundation

The house fell into the ownership of the Counts of San Simón in the middle of the 19th Century.  They demolished the old building and funded the current one.  It is a Neo-Gothic work built in 1883 to a design by Bartomeu Ferrà i Perelló.  It was also the Rul·lan family residence and known as Can Rul·lan.  It has been the home of the Barceló Foundation since 1990.

13. Can Ferrandell (Can Maroto) - Hotel Born

Prior to the 18th Century, this was the Gual-Moix family mansion.  In 1790 it was owned by Josep Ferrandell, Marquis of la Cova.  In 1805 his niece, Francesca de Villalonga, adopted the name of Marchioness of Casa Ferrandell.  In 1788 she had married the army officer Ramón Maroto González.  In 1954 major renovations were carried out to turn it into a hotel.  The entrance is 18th Century.  It is spacious, with red marble columns in the Ionic style, low arches, groin vaulted ceiling and some Neo-Gothic doorways.  The staircase to the main floor is to the right of the entrance.  The patio is square and has the Ferrandell coat of arms and the date 1723.

14. Can Sureda d'Artà - Pelaires Contemporary Arts Centre

The house was originally medieval and has undergone various alterations throughout its life.  The current patio design is 17th Century and was carried out by the Verí family, who owned the property for many years.  It was acquired by the Sureda family at the beginning of the 19th Century.  It has a large entrance with a renaissance doorway and capitals with heraldic relief.  The staircase, with the doorway to the studio, stands out to the left.

15. Can Berga

During the 16th Century and part of the 17th Century this magnificent building was owned by the Santacília family and then, after 1677, by the Berga family.  Around 1754 Gabriel de Berga i Safortesa embarked on radical alterations to the building.  The patio is accessed through a semi-circular arch emblazoned with the Berga coat of arms by the sculptor Joan Deyà.  In 1942 the building was sold to its current owner, the Ministry for Justice.

A visit to the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, in the building designed by Moneo, is also recommended as it houses a selection of paintings, drawings, graphic works and sculptures by the famous artist, Joan Miró.  There are also temporary exhibitions by young artists.

Additionally, the route goes around an area with a varied selection of shops and restaurants giving the visitor the opportunity to mix the visit with other leisure choices.

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