The Palma Cathedral

The Palma Cathedral, commonly known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (La Seu), is a Spanish architectural treasure located on the island of Mallorca, in the capital city Palma de Mallorca. This magnificent cathedral is a true tribute to the skill and genius of its builders and workers. It is a must-see location for each visitor to Mallorca, because to its astounding size, detailed intricacies, and beautiful works of art and sculptures.

The history

The Palma Cathedral was built in the 13th century during the reign of King James I of Aragon. The cathedral was erected on the site of a former mosque, and it is thought that some of the mosque’s elements were utilized in the cathedral’s construction. This is a prevalent architectural theme in Spain, where numerous cathedrals and churches were built on top of old mosque grounds as a sign of victory over the Moors during the Reconquista. The cathedral took almost 400 years to build, with numerous architects and builders contributing to the project throughout the centuries. This is reflected in the cathedral’s various architectural styles, with aspects of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque forms all present.

The Palma Cathedral’s stunning façade is one of its most outstanding characteristics. The façade is ornately carved and sculptured, featuring representations of saints and scenes from the Bible. The center portal, with its rich design and detailed embellishments, is especially remarkable. The façade also includes two towers, one of which is open to the public and offers tourists a panoramic view of the city. The towers are especially eye-catching, with a blend of Gothic and Mudéjar characteristics. Mudéjar is a distinctive feature of Spanish architecture that mixes aspects of Islamic and Christian architecture.

The Palma Cathedral’s interior is similarly stunning. The nave is lined with chapels, each with stunning works of art and sculptures. The intricate decorating on the high altar, as well as the exquisite altarpiece sculpted by Spanish artist Gabriel Mòger, are particularly remarkable. The altarpiece is a work of art in Spanish Gothic art and one of the most important in the country. Many valuable works of art and sculptures can also be found in the chapels, including a lovely figure of the Virgin Mary and a painting of the Last Supper. The chapels are a monument to the artists’ talent, and they are a great centerpiece of the cathedral.

The “Cloister of the Cathedral” is one of Palma Cathedral’s most distinctive characteristics. The cloister is a courtyard with arches and columns that is open to the public. The central garden is a tranquil oasis in the midst of the bustling city, and it is a popular area for visitors to unwind and admire the cathedral’s grandeur. The cloister exemplifies the Spanish architectural tradition of establishing a tranquil and quiet place within the constraints of a massive and intimidating structure. The garden is also home to several plant and bird species, making it a refuge for nature lovers.

The Palma Cathedral has a long history and has contributed significantly to the island’s culture and heritage. The Cathedral has hosted numerous notable events and rituals, including the crowning of Mallorca’s Kings. For centuries, it has also served as a focal point of the island’s religious and cultural life. It is still an important religious and cultural center today, and it is a popular tourist and local destination. The cathedral is open to the public, and guided tours are provided for those interested in learning more about the cathedral’s history and art.

Best time to visit

The optimal time to see Palma Cathedral is determined by your own preferences and the purpose of your visit.

The best time to visit Mallorca in terms of weather is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November), when the weather is moderate and comfortable. Temperatures are not as high during these seasons, and crowds are not as dense as they are during the summer months.

If you want to go to the cathedral particularly, schedule your vacation to avoid peak tourist season, which is normally in the summer months of July and August. During this period, the cathedral can become extremely crowded, making it impossible to fully enjoy the architecture and art within.

If you want to attend mass or other religious services, it’s best to verify the schedule before making your journey.

It’s also worth noting that the Palma Cathedral is closed on Sundays and that the entrance price is lowered or waived on certain days. Before organizing your journey, it’s a good idea to check the Cathedral’s schedule.

To summarize, the best time to visit the Palma Cathedral is in the spring or fall to enjoy pleasant weather, avoid peak tourist season, and check for service schedules or admittance costs.

Additional information

There are a few other things to consider while organizing a visit to the Palma Cathedral:

  • Dress code: When entering the cathedral, visitors are advised to dress modestly. This includes covering your shoulders and knees and wearing modest apparel.
  • Tour Guides: Guided tours of the cathedral are provided, which can provide a more in-depth understanding of the cathedral’s history and art. It’s a good idea to arrange a tour ahead of time, especially during peak tourist season.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted within the cathedral, however visitors are asked not to use flash or tripods.
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessibility is provided through ramps and elevators in the cathedral.
  • Audio guides: Visitors can also hire and use audio guides throughout their visit.
  • Entrance fee: The cathedral charges an entrance fee, which may be reduced or waived on specific days. Before organizing your journey, double-check the schedule.
  • Opening Hours: The cathedral is available to the public from Monday to Saturday and closed on Sundays. The hours of operation vary based on the season and day.

Overall, visiting the Palma Cathedral is a one-of-a-kind and remarkable experience, and by keeping these considerations in mind, you can guarantee that your visit is both pleasurable and respectful to the location and its history.

Book a ticket

Learn more about the cathedral by having a look at our listing or go ahead and book a ticket directly with our partner GetYourGuide.

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