Oranges and architecture share a long story on Mallorca. The stunning facades of Sóller reflect the changeful history of a vibrant fruit trade. One of the most impressive mansions, Can Prunera, bears witness of commerce and migration. Today it houses a museum that takes you on a voyage back to the early 20th century. Back to Jugendstil, Art Nouveau and Modernisme.
The noble three-story family home is almost unchanged with its original furniture and decoration. Every room features its own pattern of hydraulic tiles, paneled walls, colored stucco ceilings and ornamental window panes. A staircase with a beautiful wrought-iron railing is spiraling all the way up to the attic.
Overwhelmed by the multitude of colors and patterns I step into the small blossoming garden of Can Prunera. A quiet oasis looking out to the Tramuntana with a few exquisite sculptures. The Museu Modernista also exhibits works of other contemporary artists.
Until early December, Girbent is presenting seven large formats inspired by the topics museum and film. Their lonely characters seem to come straight out of an Edward Hopper painting. In the basement, the museum shows an exhibition with photographs of Joan Ramon Bonet. His pictures reveal an intimate view of major Mallorcan artists.
Who might have built such an impressive yet eclectic house? Joan Magraner Oliver made a fortune in fruit-trading in France. When he returned to his native city in the early 20th century he had his new home built Art Nouveau style. Can Prunera is a striking example of a competition between repatriates who wanted to demonstrate both their success and their cosmopolitism.