Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Hilltop view of yacht harbor with Cathedral in background, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Hilltop view of yacht harbor with the Cathedral in the background, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, just 60 miles east of the coast of Spain, is the largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community and province of Spain.  The islands are very popular vacation spots, particularly in the summer.

Typical public building architecture, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Typical public building architecture, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, the capital city on the southern coast of the island, has a population of 407,000, with total population of nearly one million in the overall region.  When approaching the city from the sea, the massive Beliver Castle on a hill on the west side of town, and the Catalonian Gothic cathedral, La Seu, situated at the foot of the harbor dominate the skyline.  The city’s architecture is a mix of Gothic and Moorish designs, with many modern, late 20th Century apartment buildings across the city (outside of the historic Old Town which is predominantly a pedestrian district).

Yacht harbor and cruise ship port, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Yacht harbor and cruise ship port, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Situated just inside the old fortress city wall, across from the contemporary yacht harbor, Es Balluard Museum (opened in 2004) showcases modern and contemporary art.  The permanent collection has some works by Miro, Barcelo and Picasso.  The sculpture garden, adjacent to the excellent restaurant, atop the old fortress wall (with excellent views of the harbor and Old Town in the distance), is pictured below.  The stair step sculpture is by the contemporary Spanish architect, engineer and sculptor Santiago Calatrava, known for his modernist bridges and buildings that seem to defy gravity.  (In Valencia, Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences and the Opera House have become famous worldwide as one of Europe’s great city cultural and educational urban redesign projects.)

Contemporary Spanish sculptures atop the old fortress wall at Es Baluard, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Contemporary Spanish sculptures atop the old fortress wall at Es Baluard, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

The indoor food market, Mercat d’Olivar, has hundreds of stalls of fresh items and several places for snacking (on barstools) and dining.  Mid-morning we enjoyed several “tapas” of fresh and smoked salmon in different preparations, along with some very good espresso.

Jamon Iberico and Jamon Bellota Reserva at the Mercat d'Olivar, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Jamon Iberico and Jamon Bellota Reserva at the Mercat d’Olivar, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

The Catalonian Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, commonly referred to as La Seu, dates back to the Thirteenth Century.  Local tradition has it that a storm arose as Jaume I (James I The Conqueror, King of Aragon, Valencia and Mallorca from 1213 to 1276) was sailing towards Mallorca.  He vowed that if he landed safely he would build a great church in honor of the Virgin.  On New Year’s Day 1230, a day after the fall of Palma, the foundation stone was symbolically laid on the site of the city’s main mosque.  Work continued for 400 years — and had to resume in 1851 when an earthquake destroyed the west front. More touches were added to the interior in the early 20th Century by the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi (1852 – 1926).

La Seu, The Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

La Seu, the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Facade of La Seu, The Cathedral Palmas de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Facade of La Seu, the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Interior of The Cathedral Palmas de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Interior of the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

In addition to the metal ring of lights on each column, Gaudi — from 1901 to 1914 — designed the “halo” (canopy) pictured below along with numerous other features that made the gigantic cathedral more “personal” to worshipers.

Gaudi's "halo" added in the 20th Century, The Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Gaudi’s “halo” added in the 20th Century, the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

One of several rose windows in The Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

One of several rose windows in the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Side chapel with the "Last Supper" in The Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

Side chapel with the “Last Supper” in the Cathedral Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

2 thoughts on “Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

  1. I think James would be amazed at the pre and post-earthquake splendor of the Cathedral for which he laid the foundation stone.

    Gorgeous indoor photography of the Last Supper Rich. Wow – you captured so much there.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s