If you’re planning a stay in one of our villas in Mallorca then make sure you pay a visit to the island’s vibrant capital.
Palma de Mallorca is one of the oldest European capitals in the Mediterranean, dating back to pre Roman times and has seen many successive cultures taking root since then, including a period under the Moors, a Byzantine presence and the arrival of the Spanish in 1229. As a result, the city has a pleasing mixture of architecture and a real feeling of antiquity.
The physical layout of the city has the port area at its heart, with the huge Cathedral de Mallorca, known as La Seu, sitting to one side of the harbour and dominating the seaside promenade. The port was obviously one of the most important aspects of the city’s geography in historical terms, providing trading routes to North Africa and beyond.
When Spanish and Catalonian cultures began to diverge after the Succession War of 1714, with the emergence of separate cultures and languages, Mallorca, as part of the Balearics, was firmly entrenched as a leading Catalonian stronghold. Its commercial importance was already well established as can be seen in the architectural splendour of the silk exchange, which was constructed in the 1400’s.
The city is a wonderful place for exploring as a pedestrian, with many narrow streets winding through the oldest parts towards the Bellver Castle and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, which are yet further examples of the city’s architectural riches. Palm and tree-lined avenues provide pools of shade and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where visitors can pass the time of day.
The Castell de Bellver is a particularly interesting building as it can claim to be Europe’s first circular castle. It sits in densely wooded grounds, occupying a commanding position overlooking the harbour and dates back to the 13th Century. Similarly the Palace of La Almudaina has a position of strategic importance and while the main structure dates back to the Moorish occupation of the fourteenth century, it is believed to be built on the foundations of much earlier fortifications.
As a seaside resort, naturally enough, there are some wonderful sandy beaches within close proximity to the city’s centre. The Platja de Palma and Platja de Palma in the El Arenal area boast fine sand and palm trees, ideal for city break visitors who fancy a day at the beach. With a vibrant nightlife and several large hotels the city is an exciting alternative to the traditional beach holiday location.
Visit the official Palma de Mallorca website for more information about the capital and upcoming events there.