Right by the sea, against the Mediterranean's blue, the grand Palma Cathedral, 'La Seu,' stands. A symbol of strength and faith, it marks where King James I built this Gothic wonder after conquering Majorca in the 13th century. Taking 300 years to complete, with some tweaks, 'La Seu' now defines Palma's skyline with its record-breaking, surprise-filled design.
In the special church space, there's a big round window in Palma Cathedral called the 'Gothic Eye.' It's massive, about 13.8 meters wide, and is the biggest one like it in the world. Made in the 1500s, it's placed right above the main church table in a special spot. When the sun shines through, it makes a beautiful light show inside the church with the colors from its 1,236 pieces of colored glass. The window looks like a big Star of David and shows how skilled the people who made it were.
Twice a year, on February 2 and November 11, something magical happens with this window. When the sun rises at about 8:30 AM, it lines up just right with the window because of how the church is built. The light from the big window and a smaller one make a figure 8. It only happens on these two special days, and it's beautiful to see. It's a time when people can enjoy how the light plays with the church building.
From May to October, people can take a special tour of the church's top. It's a chance to see hidden spots, like the bell area, and the view from the top is impressive. You can see the city of Palma and the sea from there. Next to the church, there's a museum with three rooms, each showing different periods. It has lots of religious art, like paintings, sculptures, and items made of gold and silver. Visiting here is like diving into the church's history.
In addition to the impressive art collections, the Cathedral Museum guards precious religious relics with centuries of faith and history. These items are treasures not just for their spiritual significance but also for their craftsmanship and artistry. Anyone who loves architecture will find joy in exploring the three rooms of the museum: the Gothic Chapterhouse, the Baroque Chapterhouse, and the Sacristy of the Vermells, each offering a unique glimpse into the past with their distinctive styles and designs.
Miquel Barceló left a unique spiritual mark on the Palma Cathedral. When he remodeled the Blessed Sacrament chapel, he wasn't just adding art; he was creating an alternative space of spirituality. Completed in 2007, his work includes three ceramic frescoes representing the sea, humanity, and the Earth, alongside stained-glass windows and various pieces of furniture. His art invites us to experience the mystical in a new and unique way, encouraging visitors to explore the deeper meanings behind his innovative approach to religious themes.
Inside Palma Cathedral, you'll find a small museum displaying historical elements of the cathedral, including the Trinity Chapel, which houses the tombs of Kings Jaume II and III. The Gothic architecture, dating from the 1300s, features high stained-glass windows and intricate stonework.
Visitors can indeed go inside Palma Cathedral. Access is available to most people, except those with certain health conditions, and children under nine must provide identification. The cathedral offers tours, including a guided tour in multiple languages, with tickets that can be purchased online.
Must-see highlights within the cathedral include the slim, load-bearing pillars, Gaudi's controversial Crown of Thorns, and the Portal del Mirador, a 15th-century door with depictions from the last supper.
For those interested in art, the cathedral's museum houses various historic sculptures and artwork. The tombs of King James II and King James III are also located within the cathedral's Royal Chapel.
Tickets are required for entry, and there are different rates and schedules available, including a free visit option for residents on Fridays. Guided tours are provided in Spanish, English, and German at specified times.
Photography is allowed inside the cathedral, but flash is not permitted to preserve the integrity of the space and its artworks.
Appropriate attire is expected within the cathedral, with formal clothing suitable for a religious temple being the norm. Swimsuits, shirtless attire, and bulky packages are not allowed.
Visiting Palma Cathedral is considered worthwhile due to its historical and architectural significance, its artworks, and the spiritual ambiance that the building provides.