If you’re visiting Majorca, Spain, you won’t be able to miss the Palma Cathedral. It commands attention with its regal, Gothic-style architecture. Even if you knew nothing about this cathedral, it’s likely that you’d want to visit anyway. However, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting facts so you’ll know what you’re looking at. Here are seven noteworthy tidbits about Palma Cathedral that are worth knowing before you go.
The Bell Tower Holds Nine Different Bells
This famous bell tower has not one, not two, but nine bells! The most famous bell is called Eloi, and it weighs nearly 5000 kilograms. The bells rings on the hour, every hour, each day. And, it can be heard distinctly all around the island.
The Royal Chapel is a Burying Ground For Kings
The tombs of King James II and III can be found in the Royal Chapel, along with several Bishops. The most notable is the Bishop of Palma, who asked for his hat to be hung above his tomb. The hat is still in good condition and can be seen above the tomb today.
A Museum Visit Comes Free With a Ticket
A ticket to Palma Cathedral is really a two-for-one deal as you’ll have access to the onsite museum. The doors and walls are adorned with intricate carvings, symbols, and artwork. The historic sculptures and paintings teach visitors the differences between Gothic and Renaissance culture and artwork.
There Are 87 Stained Glass Windows
This cathedral is home to 87 stained glass windows and seven rose windows. The most significant can be found above the altar, centrally illuminating the church with its bright colours. Twice a year, the sunlight comes in just perfectly, illuminating the entire wall above the main entrance. In fact, each year on November 11th and February 2nd, the La Fiesta de la Candelaria is held for visitors to view this beautiful sight.
The Cathedral Was Built Because of an Oath to God
This cathedral was built not out of necessity but to make good on a promise to God. The stories say that King James I set out to fight the Arabs. However, a massive storm came through, terrifying even the bravest of soldiers. As everyone feared for their lives, King James made an oath to God that he would build a grand cathedral if they survived. Not only did the army weather the storm successfully, but they beat the Arabs afterwards. As a way to showcase Christianity’s win over Islam, the king had a mosque torn down and the cathedral built in its place.
It Was Once Damaged by an Earthquake
While this beauty stands tall and proud, it was once the victim of a devastating earthquake. Construction originally started in the 14th century and was completed by 1601. It hadn’t stood for long before an earthquake did incredible damage in 1851. The cathedral was originally constructed in Gothic style, but during repairs, it received some Renaissance design as well.
Famous Architect, Antoni Gaudi Worked on The Cathedral
Even Antoni Gaudi, the famous architect responsible for Sagrada Familia, put his finishing touches on the building. While he didn’t play a role in the construction of the original version, he lent a helping hand to rebuild the structure after the earthquake.
When visiting the Palma Cathedral, there’s more than meets the eye. This beautiful piece of architecture is surrounded by stories, historical events, and significant moments. Be in-the-know before you go if you want to fully appreciate this site.