Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca – La seu ( as it is popularly called) is the main religious building of the Balearic Islands. This building is in the Gothic style, is located on the coast of the Mediterranean.
Its construction began in 1229 after the Reconquest of the Islands by the Aragonese king James I. According to legend, the fleet of king Jaime I the Conqueror, on the way to the conquest of the island, was caught in a severe storm, and praying for the salvation of the virgin Mary, the king swore in the event of a successful outcome and the conquest of the island, to build a temple in her honor. The Church was built on the site of the old mosque. The work lasted for almost 4 centuries, until 1601 when the Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Vic i Manrique. The first architect of the project called Pons de Coll, after the project is handed to the author of the Cathedral of Barcelona Jaime Fabre. Work on the Cathedral began with the construction of Trinity chapel.
Until the end of the 14th century (which created the supporting structures of the temple) the structure of the old mosque adapted for Christian service. And only when commenced the erection of the side portals, all the old mosque was destroyed.
In the 17th and 18th century, the Cathedral was restored after the collapse of the arches. In 1851, after the devastating earthquake severe goticheskiy the original façade was reconstructed in neo-Gothic style. In the early 20th century, the Cathedral suffered another dramatic change. In 1904 at the invitation of Bishop Bisbe Campins on the restoration of the original appearance of the Cathedral began to work Antonio Gaudi. Reform of the modernist Gaudi constantly subjected to public criticism. One of the main stumbling blocks has been the dismantling of the “chart of corridor” mudéjar: Gaudi held in the Cathedral of electricity and replaced hinged candle design lamps and chandeliers, placed on the columns and walls of the nave. In addition, Gaudi divided the choirs into two parts and moved them out of the nave into the side. In 1914 gaudí stopped work on the Cathedral.
Rectangular in plan, the Cathedral has a pretty impressive size: 121 meters long, 55 meters wide and 44 meters in height. The space area of 6.600 m2 can accommodate 18 thousand people. The style of the temple belongs to the so-called Levantine (French) Gothic style, marked by the influence of the Nordic architectural traditions. The Cathedral is a kind of hall-type Church with three naves without a transept and deambulatory. Due to the difference in height between the Central and side aisles of the Cathedral, well lit by large, albeit narrow Windows with magnificent stained glass Windows of the 14-16th centuries. Main window-rose, known as the “eye of the Gothic” is considered the biggest Gothic rose in the world. It has about 13 meters in diameter and about 100 square meters. 1236 glasses form in the stained glass window depicting the star of David. It is also interesting that the main rose is not above the main (Western) portal of the Eastern façade, above the main altar of the Royal chapel.
Twice a year in the temple you can see the amazing picture created by sunlight. Around 8 am on 11 November and 2 February for a few seconds on the Western wall of the temple appears iridescent color projection is the main roses.
The main facade of the Cathedral, framed by two pairs of large towers. The sculptural composition of the tympanum of the main portal (portal Mayor) represents an image scene of the Dormition of the virgin Mary surrounded by fifteen of the symbols on the Loreto litanies.
The biggest and the best-known portals is a 15-meter southern portal to the sea -Mirador (portal del Mirador). In the 14th century it was called the portal of the apostles. The theme of the tympanum, in which creation participated the famous sculptor Guillem Sagrera – the last supper. Above the figures of the apostles is God the father with six angels. The austere facades of the North.
In its center there is a Gothic portal “Almoina” (portal de l Almoina) with unfinished tympanum, which is the only sculpture of the virgin Mary of the Immaculate conception. To this facade adjacent to the cloister, there are two halls (Baroque and Gothic), the sacristy. Next to it is the House of Almaine (16 century) – one of the few civil buildings in the Gothic style. Its name comes from the alms (almoines), which they distributed to the poor after leaving mass. Currently all of these Northern areas given to the Museum of the Cathedral.
The Northern side is also adjacent 48-meter high bell tower. It consists of three tiers, the average of which served as a prison. Since that time preserved paintings on the walls made by prisoners. One of the nine bells weighs almost 6 tons and 2 meters in diameter. Notably, the bell tower axis does not coincide with the Cathedral.
In the interior of the noteworthy main altar of the Royal chapel, consecrated in 1346. The altar is surrounded by four columns, surmounted by angels with musical instruments (15th century). In the early 20th century above the altar was installed in the canopy by gaudí. There is also a pulpit of the Bishop. Little Trinity chapel (Capilla de la Trinidad), built at the level of seven feet from the floor, is the tomb of the kings Jaime II and III, as well as bishops. The sarcophagi are established in 1950 by master Federico Mares. On the floor remnants of Valencian mosaics of the 14th century.
In the Cathedral’s Museum which was opened in 1932, the stored samples of jewelry art, medieval paintings, relics. The standout 120-pound silver monstrance, used every year during the feast of the body of Christ, and inlaid with precious metals and stones of the 15th-century reliquary with a particle of the Holy cross (Vera Cruz).
In addition to Church services, it regularly hosts organ concerts. The organ has four manual keyboards of 56 notes and pedal of 30 notes.
In 1931, the Cathedral of Palma was declared a historical-artistic monument.