Palma Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

Palma Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca (must see)

James I of Aragon was in grave danger. On his way to conquer the Balearic Islands in December, 1229, his fleet of ships was overtaken by a violent storm. In peril of foundering, young James swore to God that if he survived and conquered Mallorca, he would build there a great cathedral.

God held him to it. Construction began in 1230 on the Palma Cathedral or La Seu, as it is popularly known. Building went on for 350 years. Finally the nave and the main portal, the last elements, were finished. James had really kept his promise. The dimensions of the church are vast: width, 108 feet; height, 145 feet; length, 361 feet.

The nave, last to be finished, is among the largest in Europe. A Gothic rose window dominates the eastern wall. It has a diameter of 41 feet and it is composed of around 1200 pieces of stained glass. Every sunrise the cathedral interior is flooded with sparkling reflections of colors in the morning light. But there is more to this light.

There is a game, called "Light Game of the Eight." The game occurs just twice a year, on February 2nd and November 11th. At 8am the rays of the sun shine through the rosette window on the eastern wall and project the image of the window exactly on the opposite wall below the rosette of the main facade.

But there is yet more to this light. Twenty days on each side of the winter solstice the sunrise is viewable through both enormous rosettes.

The cathedral shows a range of architectural styles. There are clearly Gothic influences in the seaward facing portal that date from the 13th century. The portal on the opposite side is late Gothic from the 16th century. The Gothic is replaced by the Renaissance. The chapels are Baroque. There is Classicism in the Baptistry.

Two kings, James II and James III, are laid to rest in the Trinity Chapel. The chapel is not open to the public. Visitors are charged a small entrance fee. The cathedral is open after 10 am.

Why you should visit
Here is all uplifting spirit of Mallorca spelled out in stone and light. The great cathedral reaches for the sky as the soul might reach for heaven.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Palma de Mallorca. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palma Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Palma Cathedral
Sight Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain (See walking tours in Palma de Mallorca)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Palma de Mallorca

Create Your Own Walk in Palma de Mallorca

Creating your own self-guided walk in Palma de Mallorca is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Palma de Mallorca Introduction Walking Tour

Palma de Mallorca Introduction Walking Tour

Before it became a Roman camp, the area called Palma was a Talaiotic settlement, a place of mysterious Bronze age megaliths. Even the Romans were mystified. In time the camps and the stones disappeared and the city of Palma formed.

The Romans were succeeded by Byzantines, pirates and Islamic rulers. The Muslim period extended from 902 to 1229. In December of 1229, after a siege of three months,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Fervent devotees of the past will undoubtedly find Palma de Mallorca's old town quite alluring for a chance to get closer to the island's culture and discover firsthand the unspoiled Mallorca as it once was. Indeed, the historic center of the city is ideal for an acquaintance with the local heritage richly presented in the form of multiple historic buildings.

Some of them, like the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles