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All you need to know about Palma Cathedral

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Why visit Palma Cathedral?

History of Palma Cathedral in a nutshell

Palma Cathedral began construction in the 13th century and was completed in the 1630s. Originally a former mosque, it was converted into a Christian worship site under King James I in 1229. The construction of Palma Cathedral began in 1230 under King James II.

The bell tower, housing nine bells, was completed in 1498. In the 17th and the 18th centuries Baroque elements, like altarpieces and sculptures, were added. However by the late 18th century the cathedral faced disrepair worsened by an 1851 earthquake. Architect Juan Bautista Peyronnet led a monumental restoration, including a whole new facade. Antoni Gaudí’s interventions between 1904 and 1915 modernized the interior and made Palma Cathedral, the architectural gem it is today.

Architecture & design of Palma Cathedral

Palma Cathedral is a beautiful example of Mediterranean Gothic architecture. It includes  influences from various periods over its 4 centuries-long construction. The cathedral's design evolved through the 13th to 17th centuries, with notable features being added constantly such as the Royal Chapel of the Holy Trinity and the bell tower, housing the biggest Eloi bell. 

Reflecting the architectural trends of each era, Baroque elements were later added and they made the interior even more beautiful with several altarpieces and sculptures. 

Juan Bautista Peyronnet led major restoration projects in the 19th century and Antoni Gaudí added several modernist interventions in the early 20th century leading to a mix of historical and contemporary design elements that we see today.

Palma Cathedral highlights

Bell Tower & Rooftop Views

Climb the cathedral's bell tower and rooftop terraces for beautiful views of Palma and its surroundings. You can see the city's skyline and the Mediterranean Sea, which makes the 200 step climb worth it! You also get the chance to learn about the nine bells  N'Eloi, Na Bàrbara, N'Antònia, Sa Nova, Na Mitja, Na Tèrcia, Na Matines, Na Prima and Na Picarol. These are the bells' names - from the largest to the smallest!

Cathedral Museum

Inside the museum you can see liturgical objects, sculptures, paintings, and valuable relics that provide insights into the cathedral's long history. Be sure to visit the Gothic Chapterhouse, the Baroque Chapterhouse, and the Sacristy of the Vermells for a deeper understanding of the cathedral's background.

The Magnificent Rose Window

The rose window stands out as one of Palma Cathedral's most remarkable features. Palma Cathedral’s rose window is not just breathtaking but also impressively large. Spanning 12 meters in diameter, it's about the size of a small swimming pool! Crafted from over 1,200 pieces of stained glass, it's like putting together almost 10,000 LEGO bricks. It's also known as the ‘Gothic Eye’ because of the way it reflects light!

Palma Cathedral's Organ

You cannot miss the world's most impressive organs at Palma Cathedral. With over 4,000 pipes, this organ fills the huge halls with powerful music. Palma Cathedral hosts regular concerts showcasing the organ's versatility and beauty. Installed in 1477, the main organ has been the heart of Palma Cathedral's music for centuries. Don't miss the chance to hear the beautiful sound!

More about Palma Cathedral

Frequently asked questions about Palma Cathedral

What is the architectural style of Palma Cathedral?

Palma Cathedral has primarily Gothic architecture, with pointed arches and ribbed vaults. It also has elements of Catalan Modernism introduced by Antoni Gaudi such as ornamental roofs. 

How tall is Palma Cathedral's bell tower?

The bell tower of Palma Cathedral is approximately 44 meters, it's the same height as nine and a half double-decker buses stacked on top of each other!

Can I access the bell tower and rooftop terraces?

Make sure to select a ticket with terrace access included to climb the bell tower and the rooftop terraces for panoramic views of Palma and the Mediterranean Sea.

Is Palma Cathedral accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, Palma cathedral is wheelchair- accessible and has facilities including ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms.

Can I attend mass or religious services at Palma Cathedral?

Yes you can! Palma Cathedral holds regular religious services, including Mass on every Sunday, which you are welcome to attend.

What is the best time to visit Palma Cathedral to avoid crowds?

It depends on personal preferences however, early mornings or late afternoons are generally quieter times to visit Palma Cathedral, especially during peak tourist seasons from July to August.

Is there a dress code for visiting Palma Cathedral?

While there isn't a strict dress code, you should cover your shoulders, torsos and knees out of respect for the religious nature of the site.

Are there any facilities for children or families visiting Palma Cathedral?

Yes, there are many family-friendly facilities available, including children's audio guides and educational activities geared towards children!