Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cathedral de Palma and Palace of La Almudaina

Palmanova, Mallorca---The Cathedral de Palma was only a bus ride from our anchorage and seeing it from the harbor, standing in its grandeur as the largest landmark, I knew I wanted to visit the site. Palma is the largest city on the Island of Mallorca which is the largest Island in the Balearics. Across from the Cathedral was the Royal Palace of La Almudaina.

I wasn’t expecting a sideshow but arriving at the Cathedral but there were artists pitching their wears and people in costumes posing for photos with them in exchange for a Euro or two. It was like Key West’s Mallory Square goes to the Vatican.

The Cathedral was magnificent. Named “Cathedral of the Eucharist, the Sea, Light and Space,” …it was.

Its construction was begun in 1306 and took three centuries to complete. There are a total of 61 stained-glass windows in the Cathedral. Five Rose window preside over the naves, of which the largest, dating from the 14th century and which is over 33 feet interior diameter, depicts the Morning Star, which is the symbol of Christ resurrected. The Mediterranean light shown through these windows illuminated the interior making the interior come alive with color.

Next, I went “across the street” to the Palace. The Royal Palace of La Almudaina has its earliest origins in megalithic settlements. It subsequently became a Roman castrum, the residence of Muslin Malis and later that of the Christian kings or their representatives.

In addition to the palace rooms, it is also possible to visit the Arab baths in the courtyard. In the Middle Ages the waters of Palma Bay came up to the Palace walls and it was possible to board a boat from the king’s tower. It is currently used by the king as an official residence for ceremonies of state and receptions during the summer…to which I did not get an invitation. So instead, I paid my 3.50 Euros to see inside.


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