The Cathedral of Mallorca holds the title of Historic-Artistic Monument. And it is not for less, because it is the building with the most representative heritage value of the Balearic Islands.
Also known as The Seu, this cathedral is one of the most important gothic buildings in the world and one of the essential visits of your trip to Mallorca.
Brief history of the Cathedral of Mallorca
The origin of the Cathedral of Mallorca dates back to the 13th century, after the Christian conquest. It is at that time that King Jaume I would lay the first stone of this cathedral. However, this construction would not start from scratch, since It was built in the same place where the old mosque was located. which had been erected by the ancient Muslim settlers. This “replacement” was very common, since it meant completely breaking the defeated culture.
A) Yes, around 1229 this huge cathedral began to be built, a process that would last until approximately the year 1587. However, its total consecration would not arrive until 1601. And this would not mean the end of the works in the cathedral of Mallorca, since it has undergone multiple interventions from 1601 to the 19th century. One of the most important was the one directed by the architect Antoni Gaudí between 1904 and 1914.
The intervention carried out by Gaudí consisted of moving the choir that was located between the second and third sections of the nave. In addition, he was in charge of removing the main baroque altarpiece, as well as incorporating it into the presbytery of the episcopal palace.
With all its history and what it represents, the Cathedral of Mallorca is without a doubt one of the most important monuments of the Balearic capitalsolemn representation of the faith of man.
7 curiosities of the Cathedral of Mallorca
This famous cathedral, with centuries of history and tradition, hides some surprising facts that will invite you to discover it. Next, we will tell you 7 curiosities of the Cathedral of Mallorca.
1. The cathedral and its connection with the sea
Originally, the walls of both the cathedral and the episcopal palace had an extension that allowed them to reach the sea. Even today we can appreciate the old entrance from the sea to the city, which is located next to the Almudaina Palace. This entrance is currently guarded by 2 beautiful swans.
Both the cathedral and the palace protected and guarded the port of Palma; the second is today one of the many official residences of the King of Spain. Little by little he lost his connection with the sea and, around 1960, the artificial lake was built that is located in front of the cover of this cathedral. This lake is part of the Parque del Mar de Palma and reminds us that, once upon a time, the walls embraced the sea.
2. The largest rose window in Gothic architecture
The main rose window of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, which It also receives the name of “Gothic Eye”has been named by many as the greatest of Gothic architecture and has a large glazed area.
Many connoisseurs consider this rose window one of the largest in the history of the Christian religion. The dimensions of this range between 12.8 and 13.8 meters in diameterwith an area of about 100 square meters and 1236 crystals.
3. Touched by the hand of Antoni Gaudí
The Cathedral of Mallorca bears the signature of the famous architect Antoni Gaudí, who made various changes to its structure. Also, optimized the acoustics of the nave and removed an addition of a baroque altarthus leaving the old Gothic altar exposed.
Many of Gaudí’s proposals, with a modernist vision, ran into the conservative character of the ecclesiastics in charge of the Gothic cathedral. Because of this, they decided to cease the activity of this famous architect in the cathedral around the year 1914.
When you visit the building, you should pay attention to the golden wrought iron candlesticks that are located on the main altar supporting 8 candles. It is an original design by Gaudí.
4. A ship that touches the sky
The main nave of the cathedral of Mallorca it is one of the tallest compared to the gothic style cathedrals of the European continent. The building is large, with a vault that reaches 44 meters in height. The European cathedrals that have a greater height and that exceed The Seu They are the Beauvais Cathedral, with 48 meters, and the Gothic cathedral of Milan, with 45 meters.
The Mallorca Cathedral building covers around 6,655 square metres, with an interior volume of 160,000 cubic metres, 109 meters long and 33 meters wide.
5. The fortified bell tower of the Cathedral of Mallorca
The Cathedral of Mallorca has a fortified bell tower that supports 9 bells, each one with its own name. We can highlight the bell known as N’Eloiwhich stands out for its size: a diameter of 2 meters and a weight of 4517 kilos.
6. The light show of the eight
Light is a fundamental part of the Mallorca cathedral; in certain periods of the year, this takes on special importance. The phenomena known as “the spectacle of 8” can be enjoyed twice a year, on February 2 and November 11.
These days, sunlight streams through the larger rose window and casts a colorful spectacle on the opposite wall. For a short period of time, we can see the reflection of one on the other, which forms a double rose window.
7. The cathedral as a royal mausoleum
In 1306, through a document, King Jaime II ordered the construction of a chapel that would serve as his sepulcher. Thus, the Chapel of the Trinity, located in the presbytery, fulfills the function of a royal mausoleum.
It is here where the tombs of the kings of Mallorca are located, Jaime II and Jaime III. Due to this, the Royal Chapel can be considered as a temple within the cathedral of Mallorca.
In short, the cathedral of Mallorca is a work of art that is worth visiting and contemplating. Currently, this cathedral is considered one of the most valuable Gothic buildings in Spain and Europe.