Shepherd Entertainment takes you on a tour of Palma de Mallorca, the largest city in Mallorca and the capital of the Balearic
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Visit Palma de Mallorca on the island of Mallorca, Spain
Many think that the capital of the island Palma de Mallorca is the nicest city of the Mediterranean Sea area, already James the first thought the same in spite of the fact that he has not seen the famous cathedral that was built by his order. According to legend, the king’s ship was caught in a storm and he pledged to have a huge church built if he survived. The Mallorca mosque in Medina was demolished and construction began on a new Gothic church in its place, according to plans by Guillem Sagrera.
The last stone was placed 130 years after the architect’s death but restructuring was carried out on it throughout the following centuries. Even the outstanding representative of Spanish architecture Antoni Gaudi added his own ideas to it. His modern slightly bizarre vision became embodied in the wrought iron canapé above the altar decorated with lamps tapestries and a colored crucifix. The outside walls are made of the golden yellow limestone of the Santanine quarry and snow white marble from Carara was used for the interior.
The cathedral in Palma is larger than the one in Cologne. The buttress is spaced closely together radiate an unusual and powerful atmosphere, 14 columns hold the 44 meter high ceiling of the main nave, its huge rows window measuring 11 meters across is the largest in the world. The windows decorated with figures or geometrical forms reflect the sunshine in every color of the rainbow when the sun shines through them. Nine bells peel in the tower built in 1389. Capella de La Trinidad is the resting place of the Aragonian kings James II and III.
The old town is not too big but more pleasant. The elaborately decorated churches with their fragrance of incense, dignified medieval palaces, and gleaming public buildings are all equally proof of the former richness of Palma. The dark wall buildings are shut off from the world by huge wooden gates preventing passersby from seeing the richness of the interiors.
Most of the palaces of the 15th and 16th centuries are inhabited by the builders’ descendants. There is not much chance to get inside but through the wrought iron grating it is worth admiring the small intimate inter courtyards and patios frequently decorated with a fountain and plants.
Here the streets are mainly wider and straighter; the houses are higher than expected. Of the many squares, there are small shady ones full of life like Placa Mercat or Placa Vyler and big ones such as Placa Mayor or Placa Court but all are similarly friendly.
The Ayuntamiento, the City Hall stands on the Placa Court surrounded by arcaded houses. The 16th century building with wooden beams is a citadel of the island but also its collection of paintings is remarkable, where we can even find pictures from Bali quest. It is also worth visiting the ruins of the Arabic baths which were domed steam baths heated from below, built according to ancient Roman style and the Saint Francesc church where the tombstone of Rimanus lulus, the greatest Spanish scientist a, philosopher and writer stands.
In front of it a statue of Junipero Serra can be found who established the first Californian missions, he was also born in the island. Pedro Johann Miro however was born in California but in lived on Mallorca for 40 years. His house is an art center today with picture gallery and library and a permanent exhibition in his formatiere. Palau Episcopal, residents are the Archbishops of the cathedral is also a notable building.
The Casa Oleza is fascinating with its yards connected by white archways, stairs and balconies which could be the scene of a Shakespeare drama. Once Placa Mayor was the city market place, today we can buy vegetables, fruits, fish and other food stubs in the covered market. Baratillo is even more important for tourists as a second hand market is held there on Saturday mornings. Those who are not only interested buying artwork but also in their production should visit Poble Espanyol, a tasteful outdoor museum with typically Spanish houses, shops and workshops. The Museum of the Cathedral is a rich storehouse of religious treasures; we can see here reliquaries, golden crucifixes decorated with precious stones and other treasures.
The Moorish conquest forms a thread running through the history of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Palau de Almudiana, palace of the former Moorish leaders which the Catholic Kings turned into a Gothic palace, stands opposite the cathedral. From the sea side, the palace and the cathedral with their hanging gardens and castle walls are a marvelous spectacle. The national museum is open to the public with the Saint Anne chapel in its yard. The other part serves as a military headquarters.
In 5000 BC the Balearics were already inhabited, the megalific memorials we can see in Mallorca at Copa cortvel and the spices originate from 1200 BC. The Romans name the conquered island Balearis Mayor. Goths, Vandals and Byzantines were also here while the Moors arrived in 711 and decided to stay for a longer time. This period was the golden age of the island. The Aragon Christian army occupied the city of Palma only in 1229. During the reign of Isabel and Ferdinand, Islam was finally chased out and whole Spain was united.
However they paid less attention to the Balearics therefore pirate attacks became a daily occurrence. When Mallorca became the province of Aragon, a continuous decline started in the middle of the 14th century. Through the winning in the Sea Battle at Lepanto, the Turkish reign in the Mediterranean Sea area could be broken. In the war succession that started in the early 1700, the Habsburgs gained power. 1814 was the year of the war of independence against the French. After the Spanish civil war and the two world wars, the reign of General Franco followed while in 1983 the country began its way towards democracy and in 1986 it became a member of the European Union.
The open air stage of Parc de la mar under the city walls is the location of occasional performances where it is a pleasure to have a cool rest next to the big pool. The exit of the huge underground garage leads here. It is best to park here if you wish to visit the cathedral, the Almudiana Palace or the Old Town but by starting here we can also walk all over the harbor. Palma’s tourist center is the harbor, observing from the front of the cathedral it can be easily seen that long peers divided into several parts; accordingly we can find here a Fisherman’s harbor, a Ferry harbor and a Yacht harbor plus a special one for the pleasure boats. The one hour ship journey throughout the capital departs from here. A bicycle path runs along the pier but we can also go by handsome cab. Understandably a majority of the restaurants here regardless of their price category specialize in fish and seafood.
Because of the view of the city and the harbor, it is worth visiting the other royal palace of Palma Castell de Bellver. Today a historical museum can be found in the former residence of James I and II while in the yard surrounded by massive walls, classical music concerts are held on summer evenings. Watching from outside the walls, we do not even suspect how romantic the inner courtyard is with the lorges around it. The rocky eastern coast is colored by small idyllic bays. Holiday resorts here are the most cheerful sediments of the island.