On our tour of the architecture and the heritage emblematic of each Autonomous Community, we have also asked our readers for their favorite examples in the cities of the Balearic Islands, with a very close first place. So close that in the end it has been impossible to undo the tie in votes that crowns our list. The Palma de Mallorca Cathedral and the Casasayas Building have received 25% of the votes of our readers.
Popularly known as La Seu, the Palma Cathedral began its construction in the 13th century and was completed in the 1630s. It belongs to the Mediterranean Gothic tradition, but over the centuries, it has incorporated the cultural forms of modern times and contemporary. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931 and has the largest rose window in the Gothic world. The first architect was Ponç des Coll, and Gaudí restored the choir, eliminated the main altarpiece and made the canopy of the main altar around 1904. As if this were not enough, in the Capilla del Santísimo there is a mural made by Miquel Barceló between 2001 and 2006.
Building Casasayas, next to the pension Menorquina, is a construction conceived with an original symmetry and dynamism included in the modernist trend art nouveau in Palma de Mallorca. It was built at the request of Josep Casasayas Casajuana, owner of the pastry shop Can Frasquet. The project is by Francesc Roca, who directed the works in a first phase. They ended under the direction of Guillem Reynés. The ground floor of both exteriorizes the construction elements, such as the metal columns. The floors have a wavy design and treatment that achieve great dynamism and plasticity. ”
In second position, with 12% of the votes, we find the Balaguer House, a palace in the historic center of Palma, a family home grown over the centuries, beginning in 1300, then in 1500 and finally in 1700, which now loses its domestic use to be a public building, a Cultural Center for the whole city, according to the memory of Flowers & Prats, in charge of the reform. “We act from within, and the result is a new generation, with inherited things and new things, a work of deformation that takes the existing and draws from it. It is a geometric metamorphosis, but also of materials, of proportions of voids and dimensions. The effort focused on getting the old palace to express its spatial, material and historical qualities to the maximum; the new function gives us great freedom to design a new building within the one that precedes it, exploring the qualities of the old construction ”.
In the third position and with 10% of the votes, we find the La Llotja building, also in Palma de Mallorca. From Tourism they tell us that “Guillem Sagrera, a Mallorcan sculptor from the 15th century, was commissioned to build an appropriate place for the tasks and needs of merchants. The result was a simple building, with a very balanced composition, a sample of the Gothic style on the island. Its plan is rectangular, with a single space divided into twelve sections by the peculiar pillars without base or capital, whose shafts with helical edges rise towards the ceiling to form the ribs of the vaults. The exterior maintains its regular appearance in which the canvases of the facades are configured by a game of rectangles. The ornamentation focuses on the large warheads that decorate the windows. In addition, each of the exterior corners is topped by orthogonal towers, increasing the integrity and unity of the building. Along the entire perimeter, a gallery of ogee windows opens at the top of the building ”.
In fourth position (8% of the votes), the Bellver Castle. Its name comes from old Catalan and means beautiful view, something that undoubtedly characterizes this castle, located 112 meters above sea level and surrounded by forest. The other peculiarity is that it is one of the few castles in Europe with a circular plan, and today it houses the Museum of the History of the city of Palma. It has also been used as a fortress and prison. “It consists of a Gothic-style building with a perfectly circular floor plan, which is organized around a central courtyard, also circular, with four large towers facing the four cardinal points. The so-called main tower or the homage tower, heading north, is exempt from the rest of the complex, while the rest of the towers are embedded in the main body. The material used in the construction is marès, a type of sandstone easy to work and found throughout the Balearic geography. A good part of the stone comes from the caves that are under the castle ”.
And to close this top five, another tie for fifth place with 5% of the votes. the Royal Palace of Almudaina, or what is the same, the Alcazar of the city of Palma de Mallorca. Its construction began in 1281, lasted until 1343, and the building is made up of a rectangular tower where the King’s Palace was housed, a wing that extends along the west facade, which formed the Queen’s Palace. .
An honorable fifth position that he shares with the Sant Francesc Xavier Church of Formentera. This small church is just one of the many charms that Formentera has, which still preserves wild scraps and beaches to get lost. First church of the repopulation of Formentera, fortified and of great austerity, built between the 1720s and 1730s and located in the main square of Sant Francesc Xavier. It is a massive and austere volume, with whitewashed walls and without any ornamental element.
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