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Known as the “Cathedral of Light” thanks to its 59 very tall & 5 rose windows, the Cathedral of Mallorca is one of the most important religious buildings in Spain & one of the main places to visit on your holidays to Majorca.
Also known as La Seu, the cathedral is Majorca’s most emblematic construction, an architectural ensemble built over several centuries to become a true work of art.
Built close to the Almundaina Palace, at the time of its construction, the cathedral was located by the sea, but years later an extension of the site was carried out, which would eventually be occupied by the Parc del Mar, a pleasant space with an artificial lake that envelops the cathedral in a warm embrace.
Its official name is the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma de Mallorca & was built on the site of the island’s former mosque after the island was reconquered from the Moors in 1232 by James I of Aragon.
The purpose of building the Cathedral on the foundations of the mosque was to show all arriving in Majorca via Palma, that the island was Christian.
However, this led to the unusual situation of the cathedral facing towards Mecca, as opposed to the traditional direction of Jerusalem!
When Was Palma Cathedral Built?
The cathedral was built almost 800 years ago in the Mediterranean Gothic style.
It was built between 1229 & 1346.
Is Palma Cathedral Open On Sunday?
Official tours are not performed on the religious day of Sunday & the cathedral is closed to the public.
What To See In The Cathedral
The Cathedral of Mallorca is a grandiose construction and it would be possible to spend hours enjoying it.
Once inside, you will find one of the tallest naves of the Gothic period in Europe, a space with a height of 45 metres only surpassed by the nave of the Cathedral of Beauvais, in France.
Here are some of the points worth highlighting during your visit to Mallorca Cathedral:
Main Rose Window
Known as the Gothic Eye, the cathedral’s main rose window is almost 14 metres in diameter, making it the largest of its kind.
These dimensions project an almost magical halo of light over the interior of the cathedral, dressing the walls of the temple with brightness & colour.
Portal Of El Mirador
Located on the south side of the cathedral, it is formed by a gateway more than 15 metres high, considered one of the most important pieces of architecture of the Gothic period in Spain.
The Palma Cathedral Terraces
If Palma Cathedral surprises its visitors with the majesty of its exterior and its detailed interior, the installations have an ace up their sleeve that is revealed when you walk around the impressive terraces located on the roof of the temple.
The tour through the terraces of Palma Cathedral allows you to take in the city from heights & different points of view, offering an unparalleled panorama.
During the tour, the guide will tell you interesting facts about the cathedral and its impressive rose window, which you will have the chance to see from the outside and be amazed by its monumental dimensions.
It is important to bear in mind that the terraces of the Cathedral of Mallorca can only be visited between March and October and it is necessary to book a guided tour.
As this is such a popular activity and there are a limited number of places available each day, it is important to book your visit in advance.
Please be aware that there are hundreds of steps to climb & eventually descend to get to the terraces & they are all in confined spiral stairwells.
This is not an activity for those with walking/climbing issues or claustrophobia.
Every year, there are two very special days when visiting Palma Cathedral becomes a real luxury.
On 2 February and 11 November, the so-called “spectacle of eight” takes place, a peculiar light effect created when the sun’s rays pass through the rose window to project their light, drawing two rose windows in the shape of an “eight”.
Palma de Mallorca Cathedral has a total of 9 bells of different sizes and, as is tradition, all of them have names.
One of the most outstanding bells due to its size is ‘N’Eloi’, a piece with a diameter of two metres that weighs more than 4,500 kilos.
Guided Tour Of Palma Cathedral
The best way to get to know the Cathedral of Mallorca is to book a guided tour in English.
You’ll get to know the most interesting nooks & crannies of the cathedral whilst also discovering the most interesting stories & legends about the temple.
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Mark Kaye is a travel writer and content creator living in Majorca, Spain. Originally from the UK, Mark moved to the island and quickly fell in love with Majorcan culture, food, and scenic landscapes. When he’s not busy writing detailed guides about Majorca’s top tourist attractions and hidden local gems, you can find him out exploring coastal trails or wandering the streets of Palma’s Old Town in search of his next great restaurant discovery.