One of the most typical photographs of Mallorca is usually the Cathedral of Santa María with the sea in the background. This is how the famous Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca is known: a symbol, icon and wonder of which they fall in love. We are going to know its history, how it was built and some curiosities that will leave you with your mouth open. You are ready? Join us!
History of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca
Mallorca, from the Middle Ages, was united to the Crown of Aragon. For this reason, the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca is often known as the Seo. It is the name that the cathedrals received in the kingdom, as is the case with the Seo de Zaragoza.
As such, it is located on the foundations of protective Roman walls and the remains of an old Muslim mosque. The beginnings of the works began in 1229, when King Jaime I conquered the island from the Muslims.
The future Cathedral of Santa María would be built as a tribute to the Virgin, who saved the warriors from dying in a heavy storm when they sailed to Mallorca to conquer it. This was promised by King James I, and he did so when he achieved glory.
Stages of construction
The first stage of the construction of the cathedral began at the end of its construction in 1276. However, in the year 1300 its style began to be modified to the Gothic. First it was the Royal Chapel and then the bell tower, ending this almost in the 16th century.
During that same century the splendor in the constructions took place, mainly due to the influence of Humanism. The rose windows were created and the front door was installed. Later, with the arrival of the Baroque, the style of the cathedral faced the last change.
With the new style, altarpieces, paintings and sculptures gradually took over the interiors of the cathedral. And finally, in the 20th century, Antonio Gaudí himself was commissioned to adapt the cathedral to new needs. The distribution of the cathedral changed, but the Gothic and Baroque essence was maintained.
The splendor of Miquel Barceló’s art
Along with the contributions of Gaudí, the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca has a more hidden treasure. In 2007, the artist Miquel Barceló designed a ceramic mural for the Capilla del Santísimo. It is inspired by the fish and loaves passage in the Bible.
What makes it different is that the fish and the loaves have relief and, therefore, the mural gains realism. It seems that the fish are real and that the loaves can be caught. Without a doubt, it is one more reason to visit the cathedral. A different chapel, but unique in the world.
A very special place
Among the most curious facts about this cathedral, we can tell you many that will leave you quite impressed. First of all, its rose window is the largest in the Gothic style, measuring 13 meters in diameter. In addition, the nave is one of the highest of the style in all of Europe. It is only surpassed by the Cathedral of Milan and the Cathedral of Beauvois.
Also, the cathedral is the only one that overlooks the sea, which is peculiar and wonderful at the same time. Or is it not amazing to be at sea and see such a majestic cathedral?
Finally, we would like to highlight that twice a year, on February 2 and November 22, the sun passes through the rose window and its light is reflected identically on the wall in front. The result is a phenomenon that really draws attention, since it seems that there are two rose windows: the glass one and the light reflection.
This is the story of one of the most special cathedrals in Spain or, who knows, maybe Europe or the whole world. Everything depends on the criteria of each one, but one thing is evident, and that is that the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca has plenty of reasons to believe itself special. Don’t think twice and go visit it!