today and in my next posts it will be a little bit about Mallorca - somehow fits to the current weather I think ;) Today I'm going to visit the cathedral of Palma. Maybe you can remember one of my last posts about the Royal Palace of Palma? Both sights are very close together! If you visit one of them, I can only recommend to take the other one with you ;)
The Cathedral of St. Mary in the port city of Palma, the capital of the Balearic Island Mallorca, is the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Mallorca. It is often simply called La Seu, the Catalan expression meaning "the bishop's see". Even if the cathedral lacks "real" towers, it is one of the most important buildings of Gothic style.
What I like very much: the cathedral is located right at the sea and there is an unbelievable great view as it is located a little further up. I really do not know any other cathedral that is located right at the sea! Write it gladly times in the comments if one occurs to you!
You can visit the cathedral either via the regular ticket sales or during a mass. But we visited the cathedral with a ticket (cost 8 Euro when we were there, that was in summer 2019) and I can only recommend it. Alone already, because one should not walk around during a mass out of respect. But that is exactly what I would do if you have a ticket. Sure, the view is nice, but inside the cathedral there are at least as many great things to see! But I did not take any pictures here. You can buy the entrance ticket directly at the entrance. The ticket counter is located at the side entrance facing the city.
Different style epochs over the centuries
Particularly striking on the cathedral is the glazed round window directly on the main side. It is also called the "largest gothic rose window in the world". In addition to its size, it also stands out due to its location (apse) and the shape of the struts (Star of David). In Palma Cathedral there are five other rosettes (with tracery in Franco-Flemish style) and many other artistically designed stained glass windows with many individual details.
Which I thought was very nice: In the cathedral, many architectural styles have left their mark over time (probably since the Middle Ages). At the beginning of the construction, one followed gothic architectural style in its purest form, as it is known from Catalonia and the South of France. This style was then further developed and decorations increased. This can be seen especially in the side portal, which faces the sea. The alms portal on the opposite side already followed the aesthetic sensibilities of the late Gothic style. The Renaissance, with its Plateresque style typical of the Hispanic area, and Mannerism, left their mark on the cathedral in the 16th century and still do today. Baroque elements can also be found in many of the altarpieces of the side chapels, for example in the chapels of the Immaculate Conception, St. Sebastian, St. Benedict and St. Martin. Classicism is the dominant style of the Baptistery and Mausoleum of the Count of Romana.
Even later in the 20th century the cathedral was restored and further decorated, even then mainly in the style of Catalan Modernism (Art Nouveau). But now enough about the styles ;)
The terraces of the cathedral
It is also very recommendable to buy the tickets online, as we saw a very long queue in front of the ticket sale that day and were very glad to have bought a ticket before.
There are several possibilities to buy the ticket online: Either you buy it on the official website of the cathedral for 8 EUR, but here the input mask is unfortunately only available in Spanish. Or you can use an intermediary platform like GetYourGuide and pay 50 cents more.
If you bought the ticket online, you don't have to queue anymore, but go directly into the cathedral at the opposite side entrance (facing the sea).
Now briefly to the dress code, which is always an issue at religious sites: There is no official dress code, but out of respect one should not go in too short clothes and cover shoulders if possible. A normal street outfit is ok, that's how we went there.
You can also have a look at what we didn't do because of time constraints: We were told that the terraces of the cathedral should be spectacular. Up to the roof there are supposed to be 215 steps high - but you will be rewarded with great views - at least as far as I can judge the pictures on Google ;))) At the top there are huge gothic rose windows on the east side into the cathedral. A little tip: On the official website of the cathedral you can find the available dates for the terrace walk. A maximum of 20 people can take part in each date, so you have to reserve in time!
The guided tours are only given in Spanish, but I think the view compensates if you don't have the best Spanish knowledge ! From the top you have a view of the old town and Palma. After visiting the terraces you can stay in the cathedral as long as you like, so you don't need another entrance ticket. If you want to book an audioguide, you walk towards the exit. Before you leave the cathedral via the official exit, you will arrive at the souvenir shop where you can also buy the audio guide.
Important: The terrace tour is only possible from April to October from Monday to Saturday and costs 12 Euros.
I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! See you next time!