History of Palma Cathedral
In the heart of Palma city lies the Palma cathedral, making it the landmark and main attraction of the city.
The builders of the Palma Cathedral completed its structure in the 19th century, and today it is one of the most valuable Gothic buildings in Spain.
It is locally known as “La Seu” – the bishop’s seat.
This iconic structure results from several architects’ centuries of construction, restoration, and contributions.
The history of Palma Cathedral starts with a vow made by the then-King of Aragon, Jaume I.
During his journey to conquer Mallorca from the Moors, the king faced a heavy storm and promised that if he landed safely, he would build a church in honor of the Virgin Mary.
After the liberation of Majorca from the Moors in 1230, King Jaume 1 laid the church’s foundation.
It was then, in the 14th century, under the reign of Jaume II, the son of Jaume I, that construction began.
In the early 20th century, famous Modernist Antoni Gaudí undertook renovations in his distinctive Art Nouveau technique.
Although Gaudi’s work stopped abruptly after ten years, two successors eventually completed them.
These contributions remain some of the cathedral’s most distinctive and unique features.
Visitors should watch for Gaudi’s spectacular wrought-iron crown-like hanging over the main altar.
If you wish to know more about Palma Cathedral’s history, we suggest booking a guided tour to help you discover the Gothic church.
Facts about Palma Cathedral
The Palma Cathedral is one of Europe’s most significant architectural pieces and one of Spain’s largest Gothic churches.
Before you go to this monumental cathedral, here are a few Palma cathedral facts.
The cathedral’s construction began in 1229 and took more than 400 years to complete.
The cathedral is a Gothic architecture masterpiece and features Baroque, Renaissance, and neo-Gothic elements.
The eastern main rosette of La Seu is considered the largest in the world, with a diameter of almost eleven meters.
Created in the 14th century, it took more than 1,200 pieces of colored glass to make the rosette’s patterns and floral ornaments.
The central nave of the cathedral has a height of 44 meters, while the two aisles measure 30 meters each.
All in all, La Seu is 109.50 meters long and 33 meters wide.
The cathedral’s walls stretched out to the sea a long time ago. The small harbor is still visible below the Almudaina Palace, next to the cathedral.
The Almudaina Palace is next to the Cathedral La Seu in Palma and is the official residence of the King of Spain.
In 1851, an earthquake destroyed large parts of Palma Cathedral.
The reconstruction and renovation work was partly done in the artificial neo-Gothic style to the suffering of the original essence of the cathedral.
The Cathedral of Palma has a fortified bell tower that holds nine bells.
The bell ‘N’Eloi’ is the biggest of the nine bells, has a diameter of 2 meters, and weighs an incredible 4,517 kilos.
The 15-meter-high entrance gate, which is faced the sea, the El Mirador portal, is one of the most exceptional pieces of Spanish architecture.
The built area of the Mallorca Cathedral La Seu is 6,600 sqm and can accommodate 18,000 people.
The cathedral is built on the site of a former mosque and incorporates some of its architectural elements, including the horseshoe arches and the mihrab.
This monument is the burial site of King James II of Mallorca and Ramon Llull, a Catalan philosopher and writer.
The cathedral hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibitions, and religious ceremonies.
We recommend the guided tour if you want to know more about Palma Cathedral facts.
Featured Image: Nils Jacobi / Getty Images