Catedral de Palma

The Cathedral of Palma, also known as La Seu to the inhabitants of the island of Mallorca (that is the Catalan word for the see, understood as the ecclesiastic office of the of the diocese of Mallorca), is one of the most impressive cathedrals in the whole of Spain and Europe, in beautiful Catalan gothic style. It is also the only cathedral in the world that could see its reflection on the sea (nowadays, after the construction of an immense public park, a lake was built so that it continues to be reflected on water). It is now the 7th most visited monument in the whole of Spain.

It was ordered by Jaume I, the Conqueror of Mallorca in 1229, after taking Madina Mayurqa from the Arab rule. As per the norm at the time, he consecrated to Virgin Mary the mosque that existed in the same place and started working on what would be the most important religious building in Mallorca. Works started in 1230 and parts were finished progressively. The Royal Chapel, which served as the burial place for the Monarchs of the Kingdom of Mallorca, was finished in 1327 and the tower of the cathedral would not be done until 1498. The Royal Chapel is where the body of Jaume II lies and where the kings Sancho, Jaume III and Pere el Cerimoniós were crowned. The cathedral is an open book on the history of Mallorca!

I totally recommend a visit to the cathedral if you are in Palma, the interior is stunning and is a great example of Catalan gothic and Medieval architecture. I am usually impressed by the size of the columns that have allowed the cathedral to stand there for over eight centuries so far! There is a museum prior to entering the temple which is also worth a visit – they claim to have important religious relics which you can see there!

You would be impressed by this, but did you know that the rose window at Palma cathedral is the biggest one of its kind in the whole world? It is really impressive and every winter solstice it is amazing to see how light goes through it and you see the colour reflection on the opposite wall of the cathedral. A real must if you are able to see it! And if you’re not able to make it to Barcelona yet you want to see something made by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, you should know he also contributed to the cathedral of Palma during its reform in the early XX century. He designed the Modernist railing that goes along the altar, as well as the candelabrum.

The cathedral has nine bells in total and the biggest one is called Eloi, which is 1.95 metres tall and 2 metres in diameter and weights a total of 4,500 kg. How did they manage to get it up there?

It is an ever-changing space, continuously adding interesting stuff. The last chapel to be redesigned is the Capella del Santíssim and it was done by the Mallorcan painter and sculptor, Miquel Barceló. It represents the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish and, to be honest, it is a complete change with regards to everything else in the cathedral. It was open in 2007 so imagine how modern it is!

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