After King James I (Jaume 1) conquered the Balearic Islands in 1229, he began the conversion of a Moorish-era mosque in present-day Palma de Mallorca (Majorca) into a grand Catalan Gothic-style cathedral overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The golden sandstone façade, the city’s most notable landmark, took more than 400 years to complete.
Towering Palma La Seu Cathedral looms large over the Mallorca seafront, built as a demonstration of the might of the Christian god for all arriving by sea. As the most prominent building in the island’s capital city of La Palma, it’s impossible to miss. Just about every city tour stops at the amazing structure and it’s also a stop on the Mallorca hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. While impressive enough by day, the building is at its most stunning at night when the stained-glass windows are illuminated from within and floodlights shine on the sandstone façade; see it on a night walking tour of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palma cathedral is a must-see for all first-time visitors.
- If you plan to visit the cathedral terrace and bell tower, be sure to reserve your tour ahead of time.
- Choose between a basic Palma Cathedral entrance ticket or a private or small-group tour that includes entrance to the cathedral.
- The cathedral is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The cathedral is located near Parc de la Mar in an area serviced by public transportation, with several buses stopping within easy walking distance. It’s also possible to get to the cathedral by riding the double-decker sightseeing bus.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open for cultural visits daily except on certain public and religious holidays. Check the cathedral event calendar when you arrive, as it sometimes hosts free organ concerts in the evenings.
Antoni Gaudi and the Palma Cathedral
If you thought all of Gaudi’s works are in Barcelona, think again. The famous Catalan Modernist architect made some changes to the cathedral early in the 20th century, including the addition of a giant (and unfinished) crown-of-thorns canopy made from cork and cardboard hanging over the altar. Gaudíi also designed the wrought-iron candelabra ringing the cathedral’s columns.