Mallorca’s capital city Palma is home to one of the most important gothic style buildings: the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca. Vernacularly the cathedral is called ‘La Seu’ by the locals, which means “bishop’s see” in Catalan language. Being massive and admirable, the cathedral dominates the bay of Palma. The inside holds some of the most impressive treasures of the islands, artistically as well as architectonically. La Seu is well worth a visit. Since the medieval times, many architectural styles and famous artists left their traces in this building. Architectural style go from gothic over renaissance and baroque to classicism. Famous artists contributing to the decoration are the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí and the Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló.
The foundation stone for the cathedral was laid in 1230 by king Jaume I. After the release of the reign of the Moors, he placed the cathedral on top of the old mosque. For this reason, the bell tower point in the direction of Mecca, as it replaces the old minatŕet. The Actual building of the cathedral did not begin until 1306 under king Jaume II, the son of the conqueror. The nave was finished in 1587 and the main church door was inaugurated in 1601. Then, 250 years later, in 1852, the main face of the building was coated in an ostentatious neo-gothic style. The decoration work lasted well into the 20th century.
When entering the cathedral, you will feel the power of the building, as it is famous for its high and slim pillars creating a huge interior. The play of light and colour also adds to skywards striving airiness, which is evoked by the spacious nave. At the end of the main nave, you will find the restoration and decoration works featuring modernism style of the famous Spanish architect Gaudí. Between 1904 and 1014, he transferred the choir towards the presbytery and renewed the chair of the bishop in order to give more light to the interior.
Another must-see in the cathedral is the chapel decorated by the Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló. You will find this rearrangement at the end of the right nave. The work represents the wondrous increase of bread and fish. The mork is made out of clay: in his workshop he threw 60 kilogram heavy pieces of clay against the wall, the resulting pieces now decorate the walls of the Petrus chapel. You will find buzzing shoals, dancing kraken , open melons and crispy loafs of bread. The windows are covered in black, resembling the underwater world, as there is no sunlight.
The interior of the building boosts with art and paintings. You will immerse in a play of colour, coming from the coloured glass windows and rosettes. In fact, the rosette in the presbytery is said to be the biggest gothic rosette in the world. The diameter add up to 12.55 meter, which actually lies behind the one of the minster in Strasbourg (over 15 meter). The rosette is also impressive because of its situation and its form resembling the Star of David. You will find five further rosettes in the cathedral and 60 artistically decorated glass windows. Furthermore, the cathedral features a small museum with artefacts and a small souvenir shop.
You can take the bus to Plaça de la Reina. For example from Plaça d'Espanya you can choose betwen the bus routes 3, 5 and 15. Alternatively, you can just walk there. Pass the old town and walk towards the water front.