Palma Cathedral – La Seu

I am so glad I decided to visit Palma Cathedral – full name La Catedral de Santa María de Palma de Mallorca, generally known as La Seu. This stunning building is as breathtaking inside as it is on the outside. The foundation stone was laid in 1230, but La Seu wasn’t completed until 1601 – and it has undergone much restoration work since then. It is beautifully located in the middle of Palma de Mallorca, right on the seafront, and is widely known as a prime example of the Gothic style – Catalonian Gothic, to be specific.

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The stunning main façade takes you by surprise as you’re walking down the Carrer del Palau Reial
View from the south. The oldest sections of the cathedral are the ones on the right.
View from the south. The oldest sections of the cathedral are the ones on the right.
Parc de la Mar
Parc de la Mar 
The ocean used to go all the way up to the city walls, and when a new road was built here in the 1960s this lake was created so the cathedral could continue to be reflected in water.
The ocean used to go all the way up to the city walls, and when a new road was built here in the 1960s, this lake was created so the cathedral could continue to be reflected in water.
A sentry box on Dalt Murada, just below the cathedral.
A sentry box on Dalt Murada, just below the cathedral.

The interior of the cathedral was refurbished in the early 20th century, an undertaking that exhausted several architects until Antoni Gaudí was approached. He spent 3 years working on the plans and the next 10 working on the project until he suddenly gave up on it overnight (probably due to criticism from the locals). It was therefore his pupil Joan Rubió and Rubió’s colleague Guillem Reynes that completed the work. Among the alterations carried out by Gaudí and his successors, the wrought iron candelabras mounted on each of the many slender columns and the canopy that hangs above the high altar made the deepest impression on me.

I took loads of photos of the cathedral’s interior and I could easily have spent several days exploring this holy site, but as my pictures can’t possibly reflect what it feels like to actually be here, I will only share a few of them. This is just one of those places you have to visit to in order to grasp its scale and magnificence. If you get the chance to visit this gem of ecclesiastical art, please don’t let it pass you by!

The High Altar
The High Altar
Close-up of the amazing canopy Gaudí created for the high altar
Close-up of the amazing canopy Gaudí created for the High Altar
The impossibly slim columns were decorated with wrought-iron candelabras by Gaudí
The impossibly slim columns were decorated with wrought-iron candelabras by Gaudí
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Close up of the Rose Window
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Light and colours on an unfathomable scale
A touching altarpiece dedicated to Joseph
A touching altarpiece dedicated to Joseph
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Altarpiece dedicated to Saint Jerome, patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopaedists
The San Pedro chapel, which was decorated by the Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló, depicts the feeding of the 5,000
The San Pedro chapel was decorated by the local artist Miquel Barceló and depicts the feeding of the 5,000

I’m so glad I got to visit La Seu – the only disappointing aspect was that I didn’t get to hear any organ or choral music performed there! I am sure the acoustics must be spectacular, and with any luck, I might get a chance to return at some point in the future to attend a mass or concert in this amazing cathedral.

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