Palma is a diverse city and it has always been over time. A great example of its diversity is this arch, the Arc de l’Almudaina, also known as Porta de l’Almudaina due to its former use as a gate to the old town. It is located off Carrer d’en Morei at Carrer de l’Almudaina in central Palma (just a few steps away from Palma’s plaça de Santa Eulàlia) and is thought to have been built by the Romans in the V century and later transformed by both the Arabs and the Christians. It was part of the old walls of Palma and this was one of its entrances to the town.
The road used to lead to the administrative area of the Almudaina, which was the most important defensive fortification of the city. Under Arab rule, Palma was, in fact, divided in two: the administrative part or the Almudaina (where all the governors and military forces used to live) and the Medina, where the rest of the population lived. Therefore, whenever there were conflicts or uprisings in the Medina, the inhabitants of the Almudaina would close the gates to be isolated from those. It is important to note that during the Arab rule, the Jewish quarter (yes, there was an important Jewish community in Palma at the time) belonged to the Almudaina enclosure. That’s your history lesson for the day!