Palma Cathedral, also known as La Seu, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Majorca. It is a magnificent Gothic cathedral that dominates the city's skyline, with its impressive architecture and stunning stained glass windows. The cathedral is a symbol of the city's religious and cultural heritage and attracts tourists from all over the world.
The construction of Palma Cathedral began in the 13th century, during the reign of King James I of Aragon. It was built on the site of a former mosque, which was destroyed during the Christian conquest of the island.
The architecture of Palma Cathedral is a blend of different styles, reflecting the various periods of its construction. The cathedral's exterior is characterized by its intricate Gothic details, such as pointed arches, buttresses, and gargoyles. The bell tower is also a prominent feature, standing at 44 meters tall and boasting panoramic views of the city.
The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, with its high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows. The rose window, located above the main entrance, is one of the cathedral's most stunning features. It is composed of 1236 pieces of stained glass and measures 12 meters in diameter. Other notable features of the interior include the Baroque-style canopy, which is located above the altar, and the Gothic-style choir stalls.
Looming large over the waterfront, Palma's La Seu Cathedral is a symbol of the city. One of the largest cathedrals in the world, this Gothic masterpiece is one of Majorca's must-see sights. With this ticket, you can marvel at its stunning architecture, discover the rich history of the building, and admire the illuminated stained-glass windows.
One of Europe’s tallest Gothic structures, La Seu stands out from its surroundings, located prominently above Parc de Mar with its sandstone exterior and flying buttresses, it truly is a grand building. With the exception of the main façade, which is beautiful and obviously mongrel, the cathedral is a superb example of Gothic architecture.
Parc de Mar is an artificial lake, which was created in the 70s. This is a great spot for taking photographs.
La Seu occupies the site of what once was the central mosque of Medina Mayurka, the capital of Muslim Mallorca for 300 years. The story behind the cathedral is long and full of interesting twists but began with the young King Jaume 1 who vowed to build a grand cathedral if he was successful in surviving a storm and also ridding the island of Moors. He did just that, but it didn’t happen quickly though! King Jaume conquered the city in 1229 but work on the cathedral did not begin for a further 71 years and was not completed until 1601.
Cathedral of Light
La Seu was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1851 and it was at this time that some neo-Gothic elements such as pinnacles and flying buttresses were added resulting in a hybrid of the Renaissance original.
It is only when you enter the cathedral and see the 61 beautiful stained-glass windows crowned by the spectacular central rose window that you understand why La Seu is also called the ‘Cathedral of Light’. The rose window is 12m across and studded with 1,236 pieces of stained glass.
The most famous architect to be involved with Palma Cathedral is Antoni Gaudí who was involved with some changes in the early 20th century. Above the alter, you will see an enormous crown-of-thorns illuminated canopy, which is attributed to Gaudí but was actually the work of one of his apprentices. Further changes occurred in the 21st century by Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló.
Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the cathedral’s roof terraces and it is from here that you get to see the rose window close up. You can also access the bell tower and buttresses in addition to the corridor between the two main towers. The views of Palma and the sea are spectacular from there. Be aware that there is no lift to the terraces but there are nearly 300 steps and that visits to the terraces must be booked in advance and numbers are limited. Mass times vary, but one always takes place at 9am Monday to Saturday.
Overall, Palma Cathedral is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Majorca. Its stunning architecture, rich history, and cultural significance make it a truly unique and unforgettable destination. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a beautiful place to visit, Palma Cathedral is sure to impress.
Further information can be found on the official website – catedraldemallorca.org
Palma offers a rich mix of history, culture and nightlife. We'll drive you through the fascinating central area, where you'll be able to take in the beauty of the narrowed streets and ancient buildings along the way. Just hop on at the beginning of the tour at Antoni Maura and get ready to see 17 bus stops at remarkable destinations. Hop off at any of the stops along the route and hop back on at your leisure with your 24 or 48-hour ticket.