THE conservation and restoration of the area around the Baluard des Príncep - the part of the old city wall in Palma where Avenidas meets the sea - is to begin in the second half of this year.

The area, which until a year ago was the site of a number of apartment blocks used by the army to house soldiers and their families, is to be completely refurbished in two phases.

During the first phase, the wall's façade will be restored, as will the Porta des Camp, the old gate that was discovered during the demolition of the apartments. During the second phase, the area within the wall will be refurbished and an interpretative centre for Palma's city walls will be built. It is expected that all the work will be finished by the end of 2009.

The Head of Planning in Palma Council, Yolanda Garví, who announced the details alongside Mayor Aina Calvo yesterday, has revealed that the council has made a million euros available for the project.

Garví said that the project was the last phase of a restoration plan for the walls that was first approved in 1983.
She added that this latest phase of the plan would be submitted to the Commission for the Historic Centre for its approval and suggestions. Garví said that the restoration of the Baluard des Príncep was in accord with the new model for the city envisaged by the council that consisted of bringing Palma towards to the sea.

The architect Elías Torres said that he wanted the restoration of the Baluard des Príncep to fit it with the rest of the city wall towards the Almudaina. He said that the restoration would respect the original military function of the battlement but that the refurbishment of the area would also create “an open, civic space”.

Torres said that the work would be carried out using the existing levels of the Baluard. Inside the wall, the interpretative centre will have a small exhibition space, shop, bar and cafe, which will serve as a rest area for tourists visiting the walls.