Travel Guide to Palma de Mallorca

The lively eclectic city

Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the island. Due to its privileged location and its riches, many people fought over it in the past. On another hand, Palma de Mallorca is a melting pot of different cultures. It has one of the liveliest atmospheres year round and all types of attractiveness. Are you ready to explore this travel guide to Palma de Mallorca?

Plan your escape to Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is one of the cities in the world with the greatest number of varieties of attractiveness which you can enjoy year round. It´s places of interest and artistic spaces are enough to explore for two days from one place to another. In this travel guide to Palma de Mallorca we will highlight the most important ones.

The possibilities for tours are numerous. There are endless places for trekking in the Serra Tramontana Natural Park. There you can find very charming places such as the Torrent de Pareis and other numeroud locations of great interest. These include Soller, Deià y Valldemosa. As far as the southeast, you can find the popular town of Andratx.

Up next, the history and continuation of the travel guide to Palma de Mallorca.

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The travel guide to Palma de Mallorca is directly linked with it´s history. It is believed that the first settlement zone that occupies the actual city was a Talayotic settlement, the culture of the Balearic Islands. Prior to that, it was invaded by the Romans under the command of consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus. In the year 123 B.C: the city was founded under the name Palma.

The rest of this Roman core is found under the actual neighborhood of La Seu, the one in the cathedral. The wall that sorrounded the perimeter of the villa, resisted the prior ocupation of vandals and byzantines upon the fall of the Western Roman empire. After this, they would maintain Palma under their control for about three centuries.

With the Islam conquest in the year 902, Palma de Mallorca was baptized as Medina Mayurqa. From this perios of Arab domination, there are many traces n the city. An example of this is the Palacio Real de la Almudaina, the baths and Islamic city, burried upon the current one. After being assaulted and looted by Catalans y Pisans, it was conquered in 1229 by King James I of Aragon. He named it Ciutat de Mallorca. To erase the trace of the culture and Muslim religion, he built over the mosque a temple dedicated to Saint Mary. Today, the grandious cathedral of Palma is one of the most impresive sites in our travel guide.

The economic and commercial gowth that began from back then, has suffered a couple of times after. Such as when the Mallorcan farmers began to revolt from the year 1451. Also when the Revolt of the Brotherhoods reached its higherpoint from 1521 to 1523. This finished provoking a period of decadence in the city.

A couple of year later, in 1562, the past medieval wall was replaced by another that would be resistant to the bombings of the ottoman pirates. These would constantly attack the archipelago. When Phillip V passed the Nueva Planta Decrees in 1715, the villa recovered the Roman given namde of Palma. The use of catalán was prohibited and the municipal government regime was separated from the rest of the island.

Antigua foto de La Lonja y el Consulado del mar
The Lonja and council of the Sea

In this same century, XVIII, Charles III freed the commerce with América. This is how the commercial and port activity began to grow actively. In 1835 the conents and churches where demolished due to the liberal movement. With the demographic growth they had to build neighborhoods past the walls and the walls bagan to be demolished. The urban saturation of the city was reduced with the expansion, marked by the avenues that occupy where the walls used to stand.

Since the fifties, the demographic growth has not stopped increasing. With it, the amplification of the urban area of the city and the creation of new neighborhoods. Palma de Mallorca has been the summer location of the Spain Royal Family for several decades. This brings numerous famous Spanish and international celebrities to the city, as well as the press and paparazzi.

Up next on the travel guide, what to see in Palma de Mallorca.

The travel guide to Palma de Mallorca begins next to the sea, by the walls that kept away pirated and looters. It is a city that counts with more than 700 streets and numerous religious and civil monuments to see in Palma de Mallorca. Along with beautiful patios, which are internationally famous.

A city characterized by eclecticism in its historic past, and its monumental and cultural bagagge. The location is dedicated to the sea, with its port and famous Sea Club. A city converted into a vacational destination for tourists, both national and international.

Out of all the buildings in Mallorca, the best monumental symbol from its past is the Cathedral and the Royal Palace of Almudaina.

The cathedral is the main relogious building to see in Palma de Mallorca. It is a temple with seniority installed on the shores of the bay and of the fishing port. Popularly it is known as “The Seu”. Since 1931 it is a Historic-Artistic Moument. It is a building of Gothic Mediterranean style, It is characterized for not following the classic French norms. On the contrary, it uses a German style plant, strictly basilical, with three ships. The temple was began to be constructed in 1229 (when James I conquered the island) over the Muslim Mosque and dedicated it to Saint Mary. It was consegrated by James III in 1346.

It would continue to be reformed still centuries later. For example, in 1904 when there was an intervention by the modern arquitect Antonio Gaudí. Among other things, he realized the iron canopy which is kept in it´s interior. The Cathedral of Palma has the greatest central ship of all of the European Gothic Temples, being 121 meters long and 55 meters wide. It has three parallel chapels in the headboard and numerous lateral chappels on the buttress.

It is also worth counting with the greatest Gothic rose window in the world, known as “The Gothic Eye” (13.8 meters of diameter by almost 150 meters squared). A key infrastructure to see in Palma de Mallorca. Another location on this travel guide worth visiting is the Portada del Mirador, with its geometric ornaments. There is a reason why it has become famous in the last years is for the intervention done by the artist Miquel Barcelò in the Chapel of the Holyest. He reinterprented the miracle of the bread and fish with his particular language and a technique of mixed paint and ceramic.

The Palace of Almudaina along with the Cathedral is one of the most famous sites to see from the sea in this travel guide to Palma de Mallorca. It was built on top of remains of a Roman fort, a Byzantine fort, and a Muslim alcázar. This impotent alcázar was reedificated by James II in 1309. It was the headquarter of the prosperous Mallorca King.

Around the XVIII century it suffered a period of abandonement. It was about to dissapear. Fortunately it was rehabilitated in it´s last years. Since June 1931 it has been protected as a Good of Cultural Interest. In the northern style, it has murals of rock from the Caliphate era, here the Major Portal, Through where you can access the interior of the joint. Sorrounded by the robust wall with it´s towers, the interior consists of a patio of arms which is where the different parts to see in Palma de Mallorca are distributed. These include, the Major Salon and the Royal Warehouse, the King´s Palace, the Muslim baths, and the Spout patio.

Also worth seeign is the Queen´s Palace, the Chapel of Santa Ana, and the Tower of the Angel, the tallest of the three, which it gets it´s name from the main sculpture. Everything in the past from alcazaba and the Royal Palace is now a museum and the official residence of the Royal House. Since the Palace of Almudaina and the Plaza of Admiral Moreno we can first cross to the other side of Antonio Maura Avenue. This way you will be able toexplore the popular neighborhoods of Sant Joan and Puig de San Pere, know for their Arab origins.

The first mandatory stop in this travel guide is in the Sa Llotja Building (The Lonja), situated in the close Sagrera promenade. The ancient lonja in a late Gothic masterpiece. It was build in the XV century by the architect Guillem Sagrera. It is a singular rectangular space in which its interior is very surprising. From its black floor, six helicoid columns open unto the nerves of the spectacular crossed arch.

The four octagon towers to the extremes, ten towers that act as buttresses, eight windows, and gargoyle and statue decorations which characterize its interior aspect. In its main entrace the Ángel of Mercadería catches your eye, character which observes the bargaining of the buying and selling. Presently, it hostes temporary expositions.

Next on the travel guide to mallorca.

Very close, the Council of the Sea is located. It is a beautiful renaissance building to see in Palma de Mallorca. Today it is the headquarter of the Balearic government. Following the Sagrera promenade you will reach the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Es Baluard. Containing works of art from international artists such as Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso, Magritte, Tàpies, Kiefer, Schnabel and Barceló, among others.

In Mallorca you can enjoy other museums and foundations, Such as: The Pilar i Joan Mirón Foundation, created with pieces donated by the artist from the four studios he owned in Mallorca. Also important, the Bartolomé March Foundation, the Military Castle of Saint Charles Museum and the Museu dels Molins. Also, the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art, the Juan March collection, or the Aquarium. .

Next on the travel guide we can head towards the Born Promenade. It is one of the main sights to visit in Palma de Mallorca, built over the riverbed of an old current, It still separates the historic sites to the popular and marine neighborhoods. Once you reach the Plaza of King Juan Carlos we can head towards the Foundation the Caixa through Unión street. The foundation is found in an old building of the Grand Hotel. It is a construction for tourism of the island designed by Lluìs Doménech i Montaner in a modern style.

It hosts an intersting permanent exhibition with pieces by the painter Anglada Camarasa. Periodically it organizes temporary exhibitions.

catedral palma mallorca
Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

Now on our travel guide, another site to visit in Palma de Mallorca in the Major Plaza. Situated in the center of Mallorca, it was of strong modern inspiration, it was the headquarters of the Inquisition until 1823.

It has a rectangular floor with a gated porch in which various buildings stand, such as the Can Forteza-Rey. This is a spectacular modern place to see in Palma de Mallorca. Notorious are the monstruous faces of two dragons which is located on the second floor.

Close to the Major Plaza, in the historic center you can find the Church of Saint Eulalia. It was the first Christian building constructed in Palma. It´s attention is given by its grand bell, a must see sight in this travel guide to Mallorca. The interior of the Temple has three main ships, the main altar of Barrocan style and a ambulatory with seven chapels.

Next to this church you can find the Ayuntamiento or Cort de Palma (1649-1680). presided by the local political life with it´s Barrocan style with mannerism elements. Its clock is popularly known as “en Figuera”. In it´s interior you may visit the Hall of Plenos. In its murals you may see the most illustrive pictures of the Mallorcans. Lets continue with this travel guide.

Heading back to the zone where the Cathedral and the Palace of Almudiana is located, we can visit the streets on the sides of the Cathedral. Other buildings to visit in this travelg uide are the Episcopal Palace and the Museu de Mallorca, which occupies the ancient Christian Ca la Gran.

From here you can see the Ancient Jewish Neighborhood and in Sa Calatrava visir the Arab Baths (X s.). They are almos the only visible remains from the Arab presence in the city. To these remains lets add the remains of the Arch from the first dockyard of the alcazaba in the actual Gardens of S’Hort del Rei. Also, the Church of Saint Clara and the Church of Montisió. In the heart of the Call or Jewish neighborhood, Barrocan temple built upon an ancient Sinagoge.

Noter example is the Convent of San Francisco. Composed by the church, declared a Historic Monument. It holds the tomb of Ramón Llul in one of it´s chapels, a magific Gothic philosopher that holds concerts today.

Situated three kilometers from the historic center, it is worth getting close to the Castle of Bellver. Itsname translates to “good view” and this is due to the beautiful panoramic view which you can see from the lookout points. It is the only medieval castle that is round in Spain. The first to be constructed in Europe from the three that include these characteristics in the entire continent. Includes a defensive architecture and of very simple exterior appearance.

The castle has four towers, the most famous is the Tribute, 33.7 meters tall. In its interior it hosts a dungeon. During the War of Indepedence, the Castle of Bellver served to host the prisoners of the French War. This is the reason why the walls are filled with marks from where the prisoners were held during its captivity. The use as a prison extended up to the XX century. One of the most famous prisoners was Gaspar Melchor of Jovellanos.

Lets conslude this travel guide and intense visit. It wouldn´t hurt anyone to relax over the white sandy beach of the Beach of Palma. You may even take a swim in it´s crystal clear water.

These are the most important sights to see and do in this travel guide to Mallorca.

Must-see...

Palma de Mallorca Council
Bellver Castle

Practical data

Coordinates

39° 34′ 0″ N, 2° 39′ 0″ E

Distances

Aeropuerto de Son San Joan 8 km, Sóller 24 km, Manacor 53 km,
Pollença 60 km

Altitude

0-13 m

Inhabitants

398 162 (2013)


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