Palma City Historic Architecture Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
Few European cities have as long and varied of a history as Palma.
Artifacts and caves from around 6,000 B.C. have been discovered nearby. The area later served as a trading outpost for the Greeks, then the Romans. It has been ruled over by the nomadic Vandals, the Islamic Caliphate of Cordoba, and the Kingdom of Aragon.
As your tour progresses through the city, it's easy to see evidence of this diverse history. The Almudaina Palace, originally constructed by the city's Islamic rulers, was created as both a defensive stronghold and a testament to the importance of Mallorcan kings. Observing its elegant arches, thick vegetation and imposing walls, you'll agree that they did a pretty good job – King James I of Aragon did, anyway, which is why he converted a large section into his personal palace in the 13th century.
But the crown jewel of architectural history in Palma is its towering Gothic cathedral, with its dozens of tan spires stretching into the sky. King James commissioned its construction in 1229, on top of an existing mosque left over from the rule of the Moors. "Extravagant" is an understatement with this massive church, even from the outside: Its nave is the second tallest in Europe, behind only the cathedral dedicated to St. Peter of Beauvais in France.
On the inside, its massive rose windows (also some of Europe's biggest) wash the ornate columns and worship area in a flood of light, a staple of the Gothic style that is pulled off masterfully in La Seu. Intricate vaulted ceilings dozens of feet above the heads of worshippers remind churchgoers just how small they are before the might of God.
Before La Seu was finished, the site's original mosque was used as a place of worship by Catholics, who paid tribute to Christ at an altar originally constructed to honor Allah.
It's the perfect metaphor for the smorgasbord of fascinating human history waiting to be discovered here at Palma.
King James Virgin
While on his way to conquer the island of Mallorca in 1229, legend holds that King James of Aragon and his fleet were caught in a massive storm at sea. Fearing for their fate, James fell into prayer, promising God that if he made it safely to the island he would construct a massive monument to the Virgin Mary. The Aragon fleet eventually reached Palma, and true to his word, James began construction on today's Palma cathedral.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.