About La Seu – Palma Cathedral
Palma Cathedral, known as “La Seu” or the “Cathedral of the Sea”, is a vast and imposing Gothic cathedral in Majorca’s capital.
Palma Cathedral history
In the heart of the city of Palma stands the magnificent 14th century cathedral known as La Seu, the most emblematic building in Mallorca’s capital.
Construction of Palma Cathedral is said to have been ordered by King Jaume I in 1230. King Jaume I of Aragón conquered Mallorca from the Moors in 1229. At that time, Palma was named Medina Mayurqa and, on this exact site the main mosque was standing. Soon after the conquest, King Jaume and the bishop of Barcelona ordered a new temple for Christian worship constructed on the site of the Mosque, which would be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The process of erecting Palma Cathedral lasted around three hundred years, stretching from 1301 to the seventeenth century.
In fact, renovations and even additions are still undertaken from time to time. Parts of Palma Cathedral were designed by famous 20th century architect Antoni Gaudi, but his contributions are limited as he stopped his involvement due to a dispute with the contractor.
One of the most dramatic additions was the enormous crown-of-thorns illuminated canopy that hangs over the altar; although attributed to Gaudí, the work was actually completed by one of his pupils and a colleague. A 21st century change was the reformation of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament by Mallorcan artist Miquel Barceló, from Felanitx. Its modern design is not to everybody’s taste but it definitely provokes a reaction.
Palma Cathedral today
Inside, there is a small museum housing earlier parts of Palma Cathedral and the cathedral’s Trinity Chapel houses the tombs of Kings Jaume II and III. Audio guides are available for a fee.
Palma Cathedral features as one of our Top Tourist Attractions in Spain.
Getting to Palma Cathedral
Overlooking the harbour, it lies in the oldest part of the city and is dedicated to San Sebastian, Palma’s patron saint. It is easily accessible by public transport and there is also underground parking in front of the cathedral.