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Santa Catalina

santa catalina area of palma de mallorca

To the west of the wall and moat on Avenida Argentina are the suburbs of Es Jonquet and Santa Catalina, the first two areas of housing built outside Palma's old town. Es Jonquet sits on top of the crag where the windmills are while Santa Catalina is on the level area inland. Whereas the rest of Palma's suburbs are filled with modern apartment blocks, these two districts are reminiscent of an Andalusian village with streets lined with two and three storey houses with elegant balconies, intricate carvings and green window shutters.

santa catalina area of palma de mallorcaWork started on Es Jonquet in 1865 and most of the people who moved here were fishermen or ship builders. A town planning contest for the expansion of Palma was held in 1897 and Bernardo Calvet's plan for wide streets and low buildings won. He wanted light and airy suburbs in contrast to the dark narrow streets inside the walls and Santa Catalina was the result. By the early 20th Century Santa Catalina and Es Jonquet were thriving areas. Check out the City Planning webpage in the Events section to find out who Palma changed from a walled town into a modern city.

santa catalina area of palma de mallorcaStart from Avenida Argentina in front of Bar Cuba, which stands on the border between Es Jonquet and Santa Catalina. The elaborate facade of the 1904 building was designed by Gaspar Bennazar. Legend has it that the bar was a centre of Mallorca's tobacco smuggling in the past.

Head south, towards the quayside, and turn right into Plaza dels Rentadors and climb the steps to the right, behind the small classic building. At the top follow the narrow street behind the windmills for 150 metres, noting the Andalusian style cottages. Turn left along a narrow alley, where the street turns sharp right, and after a few yards you will see a magnificent view over Palma Bay. The vista stretches from the cathedral to the west, across the hundreds of yachts and boats anchored in the harbour, across to Bellver Castle in the east.

We are also next to the windmills, some of them in a poor state of repair, and there have been mills on this hill top since the 1600s. Looking down onto the Jonquet esplanade, we can see the gardens of St. Dominic of Caleada and the statue of the Spanish hermit, who died in 1109.

santa catalina area of palma de mallorcaWe must remember that the Passeo Maritimo was not built until the 1950s and back in 1928 the seaplane hangars of Aero-Sea Company of Mallorca occupied the sea front. Seaplanes belonging to the French Air Post Company stopped off here en route from Toulouse to Casablanca and Rabat; they also flew to Barcelona.

Follow Calle Molino de Garleta behind the mills and it brings you out in Plaza de la Verge del Miracle, in front of Sant Magi Church. The original building was Our Lady Orphans Hospital built in the 14th Century and a row of alms houses for the poor was built next to it. It was later named St. Magi Oratory because of one of his relics was brought here. The building we see today is called the Church of the Immaculate and it was started between 1867 and 1877 and completed between 1893 and 1894.

Cross the square, heading north, and follow Calle de Mir for 75 metres before turning right onto Calle de Servet. Head east, noting the shuttered windows and balconies which give the area a real Mediterranean feel. You pass the Market Hall in Navigation Square, an old style covered market which is the heart of the Santa Catalina community. Continue to the end of Calle de Servet to reach Avenida Argentina.


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www.mallorcadaysout.com is the property of Andrew Rawson and all content is his copyright and
no part of it may be reproduced without his permission. Contact Andrew Rawson
Webmaster: Ian Morrison, Apartado 59, Porto Colom 07670, Felanitx, Mallorca.