Palma Cathedral

Palma, Spain

Built by the Crown of Aragon on the site of a Moorish-era mosque, Palma cathedral is 121 metres long, 55 metres wide and its nave is 44 metres tall.

Designed in the Catalan Gothic style but with Northern European influences, it was begun by King James I of Aragon in 1229 but only finished in 1601. It sits within the old city of Palma atop the former citadel of the Roman city, between the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the episcopal palace. It also overlooks the Parc de la Mar and the Mediterranean Sea.

Light pours in through the rose window - one of the world's largest, 12m across and studded with 1,236 pieces of stained glass. The columns are ringed with wrought-iron candelabra designed by Gaudi.  His most controversial addition is the unfinished Crown of Thorns, fashioned from cardboard and cork and suspended above the altar.  Be sure to walk around to the south front, facing the sea, to look at the Portal del Mirador a 15th-century door by Guillem Sagrera featuring scenes from the Last Supper.

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Address

Plaça de la Seu 5, Palma, Spain
See all sites in Palma

Details

Founded: 1229
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elizavetha T (22 days ago)
Beautiful cathedral! Well worth a visit! We went on Sunday during a one hour period where entrance is free, and walked around for a bit. Everything is clean, beautiful stained glass, and amazing design!
Małgorzata Kokot (23 days ago)
The cathedral really makes a great impression from outside. But information on the information table in front of the entrance are incorrect. I really wanted to participate in the mass on the second day of Easter but the door were closed. I just can assume that you don't want to let tourists inside while the celebration. But when I supposed to come to be allowed to participate in the mass? 15 minutes earlier? 20 minutes earlier? It's a church, not an exclusive club. And churches should be open, especially in the celebration time. Come on.
Oskar Malmberg (33 days ago)
Good service but we ordered prawns and they were with the shell on. I have never seen anyone eat them with Shells in my entire life. I tried but its not good.maybe THE other food is better...
Roselyne Marot (33 days ago)
Beautiful place. A lot of superb statues, artistic scenes. Audio guide available. Don't be afraid if you see a big bee-line outside. It goes in very quickly. Worth visiting! :)
Nate Betts (42 days ago)
Absolutely stunning. High roof have allowed this beautiful cathedral to house so many interesting sights. Alcoves line the walls with altars and prayer areas. While we visited, we also heard a small orchestra practice; truly an added bonus. Well worth a visit, when your tours fall through.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.