6 Facts About the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

Situated majestically overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this iconic cathedral stands as a testament to centuries of craftsmanship and spiritual devotion. Let’s dive into the realm of awe-inspiring facts that make this architectural marvel truly remarkable.

1. Gothic Grandeur

The Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, also known as La Seu, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture at its finest. Construction began in 1229 under the orders of King James I of Aragon, after the Christian conquest of the island. However, it wasn’t until the 14th century that the cathedral took its current form, with notable additions such as the iconic rose window and the soaring nave.

2. A Rosette of Radiance

Prepare to be mesmerized by one of the largest rose windows in the world! The cathedral’s main facade boasts a breathtaking rose window measuring a staggering 12 meters in diameter. Crafted with delicate tracery and intricate stained glass, this radiant masterpiece floods the interior with kaleidoscopic hues, casting a spellbinding glow upon all who enter.

3. Gaudi’s Graceful Touch

Did you know that even the legendary architect Antoni Gaudí lent his genius to the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca? In the early 20th century, Gaudí was commissioned to refurbish the cathedral’s interior, infusing it with his distinctive Art Nouveau style. While his plans were never fully realized due to disagreements with the project’s supervisors, his influence can still be felt in the cathedral’s intricate wrought-iron canopy and innovative lighting designs.

4. Hidden Depths

Beneath the cathedral lies a labyrinthine network of catacombs and crypts, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. These subterranean chambers serve as the final resting place for numerous illustrious figures, including kings, queens, and bishops. Adventurous visitors can explore these eerie catacombs, tracing the footsteps of the past amidst ancient tombs and sepulchers.

5. Spectacular Soundscapes

Prepare to be enchanted by the celestial harmonies that reverberate within the hallowed halls of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. Renowned for its exceptional acoustics, the cathedral plays host to a myriad of musical performances and concerts throughout the year, ranging from classical recitals to choral masterpieces. Immerse yourself in the sublime symphonies of centuries past, as melodies intertwine with the timeless beauty of this architectural gem.

6. The Spectacle of Light

Once a year, on February 2nd, the feast day of the Virgen de la Candelaria, and on November 11th, the feast day of San Martín, a truly mesmerizing phenomenon occurs at the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. Starting at 8:00 a.m., the morning light of the Mediterranean sun pierces through the cathedral’s grand Gothic rose window – oriented to the east – creating a spectacular display of light and color. This phenomenon, known locally as the “ocho de luz” or “figure-eight of light,” forms a perfect luminous eight as the rays converge under the smaller rose window on the western facade. This magical moment, lasting only a few minutes, draws crowds of spectators each year, eager to witness the breathtaking spectacle of light and shadow dancing within the sacred space.

As you stand in awe before the towering spires and graceful arches of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, let yourself be transported through time and space, to an era of devotion, craftsmanship, and boundless beauty. Truly, this magnificent monument stands as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come, inviting all who behold its splendor to embark on a journey of wonder and discovery.