STATELY HOUSES AND RENAISSANCE WINDOWS

During the “Guerra de las Germanías” (Revolt of the Brotherhoods) in 1521-1523 noblemen from the city of Palma took refuge in Alcúdia, introducing humanist ideas which were adopted by the local aristocracy. With these ideas, a new design language was introduced that was applied to works on the most important houses in the town. They replaced ogival windows that were so characteristic of Majorcan Gothic with large Renaissance windows, decorated with adjoining columns, pilasters and heraldic coats of arms with plant, animal, ornamental and anthropomorphic motifs.

Renaissance houses in Alcúdia were inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Although the structure was the same with regard to the concept of space, a remodelling of the buildings took place, introducing windows “a la romana”,with elements that were typical of classicism and coats of arms that paid homage to the people who lived there, groined vaults, low arches, coffered ceilings, entrances with arches, stairways, interior courtyards, and many other features.

Many of them still survive to this day, almost without alteration. Thanks to this, in the historical centre of Alcúdia, visitors can still enjoy wonderful examples such as Can Fondo (or Can Castell) - Home of the Municipal Historical Archive -, Can Canta (or Can Barrera), Can Domènec - Offices of the Roman City of Pollentia Consortium -, Can Costa (Can Sureda), etc.

The stately home of Can Canta located in Carrer Major 18, was built in the 16th century and belonged to the Barrera/Escarp family. It is notable for its three Renaissance windows on the first floor with smooth, plain columns, Corinthian capitals and excellent decoration: the window on the left presents a richly decorated frieze with two large faces and two children or angels pulling on a cord that is holding the Escarp family coat of arms. The central window is decorated with two faces and two lions that are holding the coat of arms of the Barrera family in the centre. The window on the right only has fluted decoration.

Can Domènec, located inCarrer dels Albellons 7, is a 16th-century stately home, with an austere façade and is noteworthy for having only one Renaissance window and the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which was previously on the Porta de Mallorca gate.

Can Castell, nowadays known as Can Fondo,is a building with Gothic origins that was reformed at the end of the 16th century/beginning of the 17th century. These reforms increased the height of the building, with new floors and a cellar, and Renaissance windows and a coffered ceiling were crafted in the main room on the first floor. During the works, some interesting monochrome fresco paintings were discovered here. They are of a religious nature and represent the Virgin Mary, Saint Anthony of Padua or Saint Rafael. This is one of the most representative buildings of Alcúdia’s architectural heritage and it belonged to the Castell family between the 15th and 18th century. The coats of arms on the windows are interesting, amongst which there is one belonging to the family, considered to be the oldest in the town. It is in Carrer Serra 11.

The building of Can Costa, situated in Carrer de Sant Vicenç 14 that has nowadays been converted into a restaurant, is a three-storey house that belonged to Canon Moragues and later to Catalina Costa i Llobera. On the ground floor there is a wonderful doorway with a rounded arch and a heraldic shield above. There are three windows on the main floor and on the top floor there are 11 ogival windows. Also on the main floor there are the various rooms of the house as well as a chapel with a neo-Renaissance altar, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Opposite Can Costa there is another restaurant, Sa Portassa that was formerly the coach house belonging to Can Costa.

And finally, the stately house known as Can Torró located in Carrer Serra, is a 14th-century building that currently houses Alcúdia’s public library - Can Torró. This is a building with three floors whose main façade has two doorways with a rounded arch on the ground floor. Can Torró was the home of the Roig family, who had lived in Alcúdia from the 13th century. In the 18th century the house passed into the hands of the Font dels Olors family and was later bought by the Ques family (nicknamed “Torró”). It was the Font dels Olors who extended the house and built its characteristic cellar in 1883. At the back of the building there is a courtyard with a well that belonged to the previously-mentioned, neighbouring building, Can Fondo. Both were separated in 1926 when the owner was Francesc Ques Ventayol.

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