Very hot and humid here in Palma and I have a tour, at least the bus is air conditioned, though much of the tour involved walking. I have never been to Spain, so this was my first introduction.
Seven cruise ships in port when I woke this morning, so the town is awash with tourists. Some of these ships have nearly 4000 passengers.
We visited Bellver Castle, the only round castle in Spain. Built by the King James II of Mallorca.
James I of Aragon conqueror of the Moors in Mallorca- they are not afraid to tell it like it is here. They invaded, they won. Deal with it. The Christians baptised the Jews and expelled the Moors.
The Moorish palace is where the boats arrived through an arch. Now it is official residence of the Spanish Royal Family for functions in winter, private residence between the town and northern resorts.
Next to the palace is the Cathedral de Santa Maria de Palmal.
Built on what was once the site of an Arab mosque, the massive cathedral, also known as “La Seu,” is the major historical and architectural attraction in Palma, dominating the skyline. Begun in the 13th Century, it was completed in 1601, though it has been modified and reconstructed repeatedly over the centuries.
Weather permitting, twice a year (2 February and 11 November) the sun shines through the major rose window (the largest in the world) in the east onto and under the minor rose window in the west wall, creating the figure 8.
Antonio Gaudi spent 10 years in Palma making alterations to the cathedral’s sense of light and space. He designed the baldacchino above the nave altar, the further altar being a chapel) from a range of objects including paper mâché, dried pumpkin shins, lots of lights.
More recently the chapel of St Peter has been redecorated. St Peter must be like a dervish in his grave.
This was the work of artist Miquel Barceló. It cost €4m. It is speechlessly hideous. The installation, constructed from 2001 to 2006, and represents the miracle of Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fish for his followers.
“Cracked ceramic covers the chapel’s walls creating a cavelike feel while sculpted fish, bread, fruit, and human skulls feature prominently in the panoramic relief. The chapel’s stone furniture and darkened stained glass windows complete the scene’s dramatic effect.”
There are some other more typical treasures that one might hope to find a cathedral of this era.
There are more hatches and sailing boats than I have every seen. People world-wide moor their boats here to us occasionally in the summer.