Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

In Palma de Mallorca, next to the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, behind the eighteenth-century walls that protected the city from pirates and corsairs, is the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, popularly known as ‘La Seu’.

History of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

The cathedral of Palma de Mallorca was built during the reign of James I on the site of the former mosque.

The first chapel was consecrated in 1269 and work continued until 1587. Since then, the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca has undergone several modifications. The most significant was the one carried out by Gaudí in 1904.

Built in the Mediterranean Gothic style, the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca follows the pattern of the Barcelona cathedral. It differs from the Castilian ones, which are characterized by their classic Gothic style. The cathedral of Palma de Mallorca has a basilica or hall plan. It has three naves divided into eight sections by octagonal pillars. The building has three chapels at the head and several side chapels between the buttresses.

The beautiful Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

What to see in the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

On the outside you can appreciate the strong horizontality of the Mediterranean Gothic. We can find three facades in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. The Portada Mayor, in the Plateresque style and dedicated to the Virgin. The Portada de la Almoina, where the Immaculate Conception appears. Finally, there is also the Portada del Mirador or Portada de los Apostoles. This one stands out for its ornamentation based on geometric and vegetable motifs.

The western façade is not the original one, but a neo-Gothic restoration from the 19th century. It was intended to solve a problem of inclination present since previous centuries.

The main decorative element that can be seen in the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca with attention is its enormous rose window. It is the largest in Europe, with the same diameter as the one in Strasbourg Cathedral. It is decorated with plant and geometric motifs that form a star of David.

Catedral de Palma de Mallorca
Portada Mayor

The interior of the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca houses interesting altarpieces in different styles. The most fascinating is the one in the Chapel of the Monarchs of Mallorca. It is the family pantheon of the island’s private dynasty, where the cenotaphs of James II and James III of Mallorca are located.

In addition, the wrought iron baldachin stands out. Also the ceramic decorations of the walls. They show the coats of arms of the Mallorcan bishops, all of which are the work of Gaudí.

Currently the most famous attraction of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca is the intervention of Miquel Barcelò between 2001 and 2006 in the Chapel of El Santísimo. There the artist made a large ceramic altarpiece. In it he reinterprets the miracle of the loaves and fishes. His particular language and the combination of his painting and ceramic skills stand out.

Cathedral of Palma
Interior of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca
Cathedral of Palma
Interior of the Chapel of El Santísimo

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