History of Palma Mallorca

Palma in Mallorca got it’s name from the Romans around 120BC when they set up a hilltop base at Palma. Although little Roman architecture remains now, some of the walls from this settlement can still be seen. The Moors in the 10th Century also built a wall around the area, but sadly this is no longer visible, in fact, the only piece of Moorish architecture remaining in the Palma area is the Arab Majorcan Baths which are situated at the Majorcan Museum. At the baths, there is a warm room or tepidarium, then a larger caldarium or hot room. The tepidarium has a large orange dome on the ceiling which is supported by 12 pillars.

Bellver Castle which is a gothic marvel was constructed at the beginning of the 14th century by Jaum II. It’s architecture is quite unusual as it is shaped like a giant doughnut with a huge curcular courtyard and a separate tower which is joined to the rest of the building by a large archway. The Castle can be reached by road, or you can brave the 500 plus steps which lead up the Puig de Sa Mesquida to get there. When you visit the castle, it’s well worth a trip up onto the flat roof where you get an amazing 360 degree view of the city, bay of Terreno and the surrounding countryside. There are also two museums here as well, one is the Despuig collection of classical sculpture, and the other is the City history museum which leads you through the history of Palms from prehistoric to present day.

Above the harbour rises the Gothic Cathedral La Seu. An incredible building to look at from a distance, close up it is beautiful to behold. Building work began on it around 1230 and lasted for around 350 years. There are many gargoyles which adorne the outside of the church and there is also the vast eastern rose window which measures 12 metres in diameter and is made up from an amazing 1200 pieces of stained glass. The cathedral has 3 ornate entrances the most spectacular of which is the 14th century Portal de Mirador which overlooks the bay to the south. Inside, the vault is supported by 14 pillars, and the nave which is one of the highest in Europe is 44 metres high. The tombs of Jaume II and Jaume III are to be found in the Trinity Chapel.

Next door to the cathedral is the Palau de Almudaina which was built in the 14th century and incorporates the walls of an Arab fortress. Today it houses another museum.

The hotel Born is located in a side street just off the Placa rei Joan Carles I. It was originally built in the 16th century as a palace for the Mar5quis de Ferandell and was later restored in the 18th century.

Palma has several other smaller museums dotted around including a museum of antique dolls which houses several rare 19th century dolls from Germany and France.

palma history

If you wish to visit Palma from Puerto Pollensa for the day you can catch an hourly bus from the bus terminus in front of the marina at Puerto Pollensa. The bus takes and hour and is less then 6 euros for a single ticket. When you get off the bus the first place you should stop at it the tourist infomation office which is very near the bus terminus

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