Mallorca is the second biggest island in Baleras, having a size of 3,603 km2. It is the second most populated island in Spain after Tenerife. Mallorca has a long and diverse history. The island has been a settlement to many civilizations from Phonecian, Roman, Byzantine, Moorish, and Spanish. These civilizations left their trademarks to the island, particularly to the capital. Some of the buildings remain today, and they have become iconic landmarks of the Palma. There are historic buildings all over the city that vary from medieval to modern era, stand out with their architectural style and represent the era it was constructed. Here is a website that provides touristic information about Mallorca.
Popular historic buildings of the city are Arab Baths, Belver Castle, Cathedral and Royal Palace of Almundania.
Arab Baths (Hamam): These baths were constructed in 10th century BC when Palma was an Arab city called Medina Mayurga. The island was dominated by Moors. The baths were believed to be part of a nobleman’s house. Click here for more information.
Bellver Castle: It is a 14th century Spanish Castle designed with outstanding circular gothic architecture. Bellver means lovely view, and there you can enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the city of Palma. The castle had been used as a royal summer residence and prison in history.
La Almudania Royal Palace: This 14th-century palace is the royal family’s official residence during their visit to Mallorca. The palace is built over a Muslim fortress that was constructed in the 13th century. According to some historians, the building dates back to the ancient times that Moors transformed the fortress from a Roman citadel. The interior is designed with Gothic arches. The palace is partially open for visitors. Here is information about opening times and admission prices.
Cathedral de Mallorca
Catedral-Basílica de Santa María en Palma (Mallorca) is a giant Gothic structure that stands on the shore of Palma next to Almudaina Palace. The cathedral was built on the site of the main square of the former Muslim city Medina Mayurka. In 1851 the church was damaged by an earthquake. Afterwards, Neo-Gothic motives were added during the restoration. The cathedral is one of the most prominent Gothic examples of Spain.
The construction begins with King Jaume I’s laying the first stone to the church in 1229. It took approximately 400 years to construct the cathedral and was completed in 1601. The entrance gate faces the port, and there is one of the city’s most beautiful sights. There are nine belltowers with a diameter of 2 meters and 4,517 kilos. The roof terraces of the cathedral are open to visitors, and it takes 215 steps to climb on the top. There is an enormous view of the city.
The cathedral is called “Color of the Light” because of the beautiful light reflection on the interior. The best view is when the light hits the window at 90 degrees, and it is reflected on the floor. This happens two times of the year: on the 2nd of February and the 11th of November.
Valuable treasures and relics reside inside the cathedral. The tomb of Bishop Gil Sanchez is placed in the middle where visitors can face when entering the cathedral. There is an altar that belongs to King Jaume I, and various relics from the saints. There are two paintings by the artist Monti-Sion named El Calvario (the Calvary) and Nuestra Senora de Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy). There are silver candelabras that are also worthy of attention.
In 1899, Pere Campins, who was the bishop of Mallorca, asked Antoni Gaudi to recreate the cathedral’s altar. It was one of his latest works before he died from a tram accident. As an Art Noveau artist, Gaudi had out-of-the-box ideas that didn’t conform to the conservative Gothic Christian style. Gaudi stopped his work and left Mallorca. If you are planning to visit the cathedral here you can find the opening times and other practical information. Click here for a virtual tour of the cathedral.
Variety of Style
The centre is like an open space gallery for architectural exhibitions. Baroque style is the leading architecture in the town, yet it is also possible to see the prominent examples of modernism. Art Noveau, a new art movement with Rococo curves and Celtic motives, emerged in Europe after World War I at the beginning of the 20th century. The style led over furniture, posters, architecture, jewellery, glass design, and architecture. Click here to read more about art Noveau.
City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Palma de Mallorca): This three-storey building is designed with a combination of Gothic and mannerism styles. It was built between 1649 to 1680 by the architects Re Bauca, Miguel Oliver, and Bartomeu Calafat. The original watchtower was damaged in a tornado in 1848. The one that is present today was installed in 1863. The building is open to visitors; however, it requires a reservation. Click here for more information.
Plaza Mayor de Palma: The grand square of the city was constructed in 1838. Restaurants, shops, and bars on the ground floor surrounded by elegant buildings make the place attractive. In the higher stores, there are apartments and offices. On the ground floor, there sides an artist quarter where you can buy artworks of mime artists. There is also an open market in the middle of the square, which is accessible on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Here you can find practical information about Plaza de Mallorca.
Art Nova Buildings: There are prominent examples of Art Nova architecture all around the center. Grand Hotel is one of the leading examples in the island. Can Rei building with colorful tilers are another modernist highlight in the city. The store window design of the pastry shop is worthwhile photographing when passing by Plaza de Weyler.