PALMA DE MAJORCA
- Mallorca -
Rapha club house
Rapha club house
Palma's old town
Due to many beaches that Majorca is offering, we spent most of the time of our holiday exploring them and we only took us one day to explore its capital city, which in many aspects reminds us on Barcelona.
Overall Palma is not small, it has almost 400 000 inhabitants and it is a city on a human scale overlooking the Mediterranean.
Palma is situated in the middle of the vast bay with the imposing Gothic cathedral as a focal point, it has an old town dotted with elegant mansions with shady courtyards. Along promende, which is popular for walkers and shoppers.
We haven't visited any from many tourist attractions but we just enjoyed the walk along many narrow streets behind the cathedral which are today intertwined with many shops and ice cream spots. Some of the old town buildings were already from the 16th century owned by nobility and thriving middle class. They were subsequently refurbished according to the taste of their owners. The old town Ciutat Baixa is also a home of many important mansions.
What is interesting from the history of Palma are also The Arab Baths, which are one of the most important features from the 10th and 11th centuries. Even we didn't see the interiors, we were surprised that many of historical buildings were actually Arab legacy.
The most impressive building is definitely the Gothic Cathedral of light. According to the legend, the Christian ship that was heading to conquer Mallorca in 1229 was caught in a violent storm. It is said that King Jaume I prayed to the Virgin promising that he would build a church in her honor if he survived. He stayed true to his own word and the cathedral was built. In 1386 was demolished and the cathedral wasn't completed until 16th century. Today it covers 6600 m2 and has 83 stained glass windows and seven rose windows. The largest rose window is known as Gothic eye stands 30m above the central apse and it covers the area of almost 100m2 - it is the largest Gothic window of its kind.
The turn of 20th century brought within a way of new thinking - Art nouveau was the artistic movement that embodied this fresh mindset. Building such as Grand Hotel which opend in 1903 brought the architects such as Antoni Gaudi to Mallorca and his seal is well recognised on many buildings in Palma.
With rich history background Palma today is a bustling and very vivid city, where someone can enjoy easy lifestyle with good food, lots of shops, many art concepts and lots of greens along the city streets. Since the early ages of this town still today there is many places that offer the comfort of luxury lifestyle across the city.
Rapha club house
For us, one of the priority to visit Palma was also to drop by Mallorca Rapha clubhouse as one of few Rapha coffee & shop places. One of Mallorca's reputation is also cycling. Road cycling is the most developed sport culture on the island. And it hasn't left us cold feet. It is a friendly and cool place to grab a coffee even if you are not a cyclist.
Courtyards of Palama
The walk along the narrow lanes in the old town, particularly those around the cathedral, allows you to glimpse inside the courtyards of mansions that belonged to Mallorca's old nobility and middle classes. Shadey places, protected from the rain were built in different styles. Most of them were renovated in 16th and 17th centuries although some retain their original Gothic elements and are well known as unique architectural features.