Palma de Mallorca, the Balearic island’s capital is many things – sandy beaches, clear blue water, tasty Mallorquin tapas andfideua(the local variant of paella made with noodles rather than rice), the historical Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma. But, its contemporary cultural capital is often overlooked.
These were Juan Carlos I of Spain’s thoughts too, when he remarked: “if we wish to benefit from quality tourism in Mallorca (…) culture is the path to follow for the future of our island.”
By January 2014, before the former king’s reign was over, his wish materialized in Es Baluard, Mallorca’s only Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
The core of the museum’s collection is taken from the Serra Art Foundation, the museum’s permanent collection boasts works from Joan Miró, Picasso, Magritte and local contemporary artists like Miquel Barceló.
But that collection has grown – with over 600 works dating from the late 19thcentury to the present day. Thanks to donations from the Palma City Council and individual artist and collectors, Es Baluard manages to cover the most important artists and movements of the past two centuries.
Located in a historical part of Palma, Es Baluard lies withing the square of Porta de Santa Catalina, on the perimeter of the bastion of Sant Pere, part of the Rennaisance walled enclosure of the city of Palma.
The main building, designed by four architects, Lluís García-Ruiz, Jaume García-Ruiz, Vicente Tomás and Ángel Sánchez Cantalejo, is respectful to the heritage of the site, with simple, clean lines that don’t overtake the surrounding ancient structure. Concrete and glass were used to integrate inside and outside.
A lovely central courtyard with terraces and patios is used as a space for culture and social interaction. Recline there underneath a parasol to enjoy the extensive views over the bay of Palma and have a bite to eat at the adjoining café-restaurant. Or take the 15 minute-stroll back to your Hotel Sant Francesc, where an equally stunning historical setting will bring you all the relaxation and luxury you crave.
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