When you think of Majorca, what springs to mind? Gorgeous white-sand beaches, the turquoise-blue water of the Mediterranean sea, glorious sunshine, fun days out and romantic sunsets…? Have you ever wondered about the history of this fascinating island? What makes it the way it is and how has it changed throughout time? To make it easier for you, our Gran Isla Hotels has compiled a list of the 5 must-see historic sights to visit in Majorca…
The Santa Maria Cathedral of Palma (La Seu). As soon as the bus from Calvia pulls into Palma, you will see this monumental cathedral in the distance. Construction on this breathtaking cathedral began in the 13th century, with Guadí being one of the main architects to work on it. It boasts one of the largest rose windows in the world where, twice a year, sunbeams break through to create a reflection of playful colours just under the rosette on the opposite facade wall. This real life phenomenon attracts hundreds of visitors, both locals and tourists, and is supposed to represent two main events in the Christian faith. The first is the 2nd February: the day when Jesus was presented in the temple of Jerusalem and Mary was purified after having given birth and 11th November: the day of St. Martin of Tours, a saint honoured in one of the cathedral’s chapels.
Tours are available almost every day until 6pm during peak season and are separated into two types: the cathedral and the terrace. On the former, you will admire the stunning rose windows, chapel and beautiful architecture and sculptures, whereas on the latter you will enjoy sweeping rooftop views of the entire city from all different angles, in addition to the bell tower and other interest stops on the way up the hundred-plus steps. This is not recommendable for persons with reduced mobility.
Bellver Castle. Further along the Paseo Maritimo and climbing up through a dense forest, you will discover this remarkable castle perched on the top of a hill where it looks out onto the entire city, the port and beyond. This famous castle has been used for many things: royal residences, prisons and, at last, the museum we see today. Now it is a place you can visit to admire stunning views, discover the vast history of Palma and join in the cultural and leisure activities organised by the council.
Es Baluard is one of Palma’s most prominent modern and contemporary art museums. It was founded in 2004 and exhibits more than 500 works. At the end of September, it joins other art galleries and museums in Palma for the yearly Nit de l’Art (night of art) event, where it is free for people to visit. In addition, you will discover an outdoor terrace bar just behind it that boasts a luxurious and chic atmosphere, where workers from the yachts, locals and other tourists come to enjoy the sun and the fantastic views of the port area with a glass of cava, tapas or whatever else you are in the mood for…
La Llotja is an old 15th century stock exchange encased in gothic style which became a Christian centre after it ceased to be controlled by the Moors. It is constantly open for expositions during high season and enjoys gorgeous seafront views. It is also the place-to-be for buzzing nightlife and afternoon chill out sessions due to the endless amount of open-air restaurants and bars dotted all over the area.
Soller Old Train. Journey through a mountain paradise on this famous old train which will carry you uphill, with stops on the way where you can have your ideal picture-perfect moment and then downwards towards the town of Soller. From there, you can take the tram to the Port of Soller, through meadows of the famous Majorcan orange trees until you reach this unbeatable fishing port, which is dotted with restaurants where you can try fresh seafood specialties and other delicious Majorcan delicacies. If you want to come straight back to Palma afterwards, there is a bus stop nearby which will drop you straight off at the central Parc de les Estacions (bus station).