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Mallorca has a wealth of monuments that stand out for their grandeur and elegance. Some of them are located in the capital, with the Bellver Castle and the Cathedral at the top of list. However, the “part forana” (the land lying outside Palma) has a magnificent architecture that is part of the history of the island.
Bellver Castle Capdepera Castle Roman city of "Pol·lèntia" Far de Portopí "Sant Jaume" Church La Seu (Palma Cathedral) "La Almudaina" royal palace Prehistoric Settlement "Capocorb Vell" Prehistoric Settlement Son Fornés Prehistoric Settlement "es Claper des Gegant" Prehistoric settlement s’Illot Prehistoric Settlement "ses Païses" Pueblo español (Spanish Village) Ses Voltes Fortified Tower of Canyamel
Visitors are impressed by the Cathedral, the first building they encounter after leaving the Son Sant Joan Airport. It is a true jewel of the Mediterranean Gothic style. It is situated on a small elevation overlooking the sea, where the Romans founded their first urban settlement in 123 BCE. The construction of “La Seu”, as it is known in Mallorca, began in the 14th century and it continued for several centuries. The Chapel of the Trinity is the oldest of the 18 chapels. The chapel holds the graves of two Kings of Mallorca, King Jaume II and King Jaume III. The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament is the newest addition. The Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló made an impressive ceramic mural that is inspired by the miracle of the bread and the fishes. The Gothic central rose window is the largest of its style in the world. The three gates are also outstanding, especially the gate of el Mirador on the facade overlooking the sea. It includes a magnificent 14th century set of bas-relief sculptures representing the Last Supper.
The cathedral is located in the area of Canamunt. There are many palaces, churches and convents in Canamunt, making it the most aristocratic area of the city. The Almudaina, another historic building, stands in front of the Cathedral. It was here that the Muslim rulers built their palace and later on the Christian kings made it their residence. The current building contains elements of different periods. The most outstanding elements of the Almudaina are the facade and the Tower of Hommage, which is topped by a statue of the Archangel Gabriel. The Arab baths, the last remains of civil architecture from the Muslim period, are located nearby. A hall with a semispherical dome, skylights and horseshoe arches are still well preserved.
Other buildings of interest are the 17th century Town Hall with its combination of Renaissance and early Baroque styles and the adjoining building of Neo-Gothic style. It is the seat of the Consell de Mallorca. It was built in the 19th century on the old prison.
The “Lotja” is another architectural jewel. It is a beautiful building designed by the architect Guillem Sagrera combining the Gothic and Renaissance styles. It was built between 1420 and 1452 to house the merchant’s guild. It is of rectangular ground plan and has six imposing helicoid columns.
From here you can see the Bellver Castle, sitting on a hill looking out over the whole city. It is another emblematic monument of Palma. It is the only medieval castle of circular ground plan in Spain. It has an outstanding parade ground with an elegant Gothic arcade.
There are beautiful examples of religious architecture all over the island. In Palma de Mallorca, the most interesting buildings are the Church of Santa Eulàlia, one of the oldest churches on the island; the Church of Sant Francesc, with a spectacular cloister; the Church of Sant Miguel, of Gothic style; the Church of Sant Jaume, with a rococo facade, and the Church of Monti-sion, with a beautiful Baroque gate.
In Inca, the 14th century Convent of Sant Francesc and its Baroque cloister; the Church of Felanitx, an example of the late Gothic style; the Parish Church, the Convent of Sant Domingo and the Calvari in Pollença; the Church of el Roser in Santanyí, a transitional building, between Romanesque and Gothic in style; the 18th-19th century Charterhouse of Valldemossa; the Parish Church of Sant Bartolomé in Sóller, a surprising building with a Neo-Gothic facade, or the Church of San Pedro in Escorca, one of the first churches that was built during the Reconquest of Mallorca from the Moors.
In Escorca, you will also find the Monastery of Lluc, the spiritual centre of the island. It is surrounded by impressive nature. Construction began in the 13th century and it went on for two centuries.
The most important remains from the Roman period are the Roman bridge in Pollença and the ruins of the old city of Pol•lentia, in Alcúdia, including the Roman theatre. The stands, the orchestra and the stage are well preserved.
During the 16th and 17th centuries Mallorca was constantly raided by North African corsairs. This led to the construction of a defensive system along the coast consisting of defence towers and watchpoints with bonfires. There are still excellent examples of these structures on the island. The most outstanding are Es Castellet (Cala Millor), the Tower of Canyamel (the oldest tower, dating from the 13th century), Son Mas (Andratx) and Sa Torre Picada (Sóller).
Another example of defensive architecture is the Castle of Capdepera, from where King Jaume I conquered Menorca to the Moors. In clear days, you can see a magnificent panoramic view of the neighbouring island from the viewpoint.
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