Gran Hotel in Plaça Weyler in Palma, created by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was the first luxury hotel in Palma when it opened. With beautiful balconies and columns, and a magnificently sculptured façade, it is one of the most important examples of Catalan art nouveau style on the island.
The opening is supposed to have been a very special occasion: the bishop blessed it, a band played and a gala supper was held for a select group of people. Speeches were held to honor the celebration.
Amid this pomp and ceremony, Palma’s Gran Hotel threw open its doors in 1903 which marks the birth date of Mallorca’s tourist industry. Today the gorgeous hotel has been transformed into a cultural centre and an art gallery with a café. There is a permanent exhibition of paintings by the modernist artist Hermen Anglada Camarasa.
Domenech i Montaner’s work inspired many art nouveau creations in Palma, where several early twentieth century buildings are sprinkled with decorative Modernista architecture: the colourful façade of Forn del Teatre pastry shop opposite the Gran Hotel, numbers 13 and 14 of the Plaça del Mercat and C’an Rei at the Plaça del Marques de Palmer, adorned with gargoyles and ceramics.