The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, more commonly referred to as La Seu or Palma Cathedral, is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral located in Palma, Majorca in Spain.
This landmark is the legacy of a King’s sacred oath and the Palma cathedral is bursting with history. Here’s a complete guide with information for visitors, including opening hours, tickets, history, and interesting facts about La Seu.
|Ticket Type||Adult||Child (2- 11 years)|
|Skip the Line||€8.50||€4.50|
Your ticket includes access to the La Seu Cathedral as well as the Palma Cathedral Museum.
Skip the Line
With a skip-the-line ticket, you can avoid queueing at the entrance and head straight into the Palma cathedral.
- 1 April – 31 May / October: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:15
- 1 June – 30 September: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:15
- 2 November – 31 March: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 15:15
- All year: Saturday and most bank holidays 10:00 to 14:15
- Sunday and some bank holidays closed
- 15th of August is closed
History & more information
The story of Palma Cathedral begins on a dark and stormy night during Jaume I’s voyage to Mallorca. His fleet of ships faced great peril as they tackled the raging ocean and the young king swore that if he survived this trip and made it back to dry land, and successfully rid the Spanish island of the Moorish, he would build a cathedral on the grounds he landed.
As such, the 14th-century cathedral of Palma was built on the site of a mosque that occupied a plot of land opposite the Royal Palace of La Almudaina during the Moorish occupation of Mallorca.
Today, whether you arrive by sea or plane there’s no doubt you’ll spot the building protruding from the city’s coastal position.
The golden sandstone building underwent some rather large changes in the early 20th century under the hands of the renowned Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. One of the largest changes came when Gaudi added the giant crown-of-thorns canopy over the altar.
Further changes were made in the 21st century including the reformation of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, and still to this day refurbishment and maintenance work is carried out on the building to help keep it intact.
Before you head inside one of Europe’s tallest gothic buildings, make sure you spend some time gawping at the exterior of the structure from the seafront. The spectacular building stands out from the rest and is really quite a sight to behold!
Points of Interest
When you enter the cathedral, you’ll understand why it’s nicknamed the ‘Cathedral of Light’ as over 60 stained-glass windows adorn the walls and allow light to pour into the main hall.
The pillars that support the roof of the cathedral are some of the slimmest load-bearing pillars in the world! They manage to support the structure because of the sturdy external buttresses.
The Crown of Thorns
Gaudi’s controversial Crown of Thorns is fashioned from cardboard and cork and was added to the cathedral in the 20th century.
Portal de Mirador
Found on the southern seafront facing side of the cathedral, the Portal del Mirador is a 15th-century door designed by Guillem Sagrera and features scenes from the last supper.
You’ll enter the cathedral via the Chapter Museum.
How to get to La Seu
If you’re arriving at the cathedral directly from the airport, take a taxi from the arrivals terminal and you’ll be in the center of Palma in less than 30-minutes.
Alternatively, take the A1 bus from the airport into town (there’s only one stop on this route) and once in town hop on bus number 25 at Placa Reina and alight at the cathedral.
If you’re already in the heart of Palma at Placa Major, simply walk seven minutes south along Carrier de Colom street until the cathedral appears on the corner on your left. If you’re coming from the marina, you’ll spot the cathedral in front of you and the walk takes just under 10-minutes.
There’s plenty of things to see and do in and around Palma, and most are just a short walk from the cathedral. Check out the below attractions before or after your visit to La Seu:
- Plaza Mayor
- Castell de Bellver
- Banys Arabs
- Plaza Espana
- Tren Soller
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Palma Marina
- Royal Palace of La Almudaina
- Parque de Pocoyo
- Lonja Mallorca
Best time to visit
Try to visit Palma Cathedral first thing in the morning when the doors open, or around 1 pm when most tourists will be having lunch. Midweek days are always quieter than Saturdays too, so if you can avoid visiting on the weekend you’ll enjoy a quieter cathedral.
Facts about La Seu
- The cathedral is situated on top of the Roman Citadel, by the side of the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the Mediterranean Sea
- The cathedral is a holy shrine and houses the tombs of various saints and kings.
- Anyone kneeling at the altar does so pointing towards Mecca like a Muslim and not, as is normally the case for Christians, towards Jerusalem.
- Construction of the Cathedral was taken up by the son of Jaume I of Aragon, in the early 14th century and was completed in 1601, only to be destroyed by an earthquake in 1851.
- Legend has it that the cathedral was built after King James swore he would do so if he survived a terrible storm at sea.
- The cathedral measures 7000 square meters approximately ground area, 121 m in length and 55 m in width, which is close to a football field and rises to a height of 44 meters.
- The cathedral has 87 stained-glass windows and seven rose windows and every year, La Fiesta de la Candelaria celebrates the sun rays massing through the windows.
- The cathedral’s museum houses various historic sculptures and art-work and the doors are engraved with delicately carved symbols.
- The tombs of King James II and King James III are found in the cathedral’s Royal Chapel. long with the kings, several bishops and notable figures have been laid to rest inside the cathedral.
- The cathedral’s bell tower holds nine different bells, the most famous amongst them being the “Eloi” which has a diameter of 2 meters and weighs close to 5000 kilograms. When the bell rings to mark the hour of the day it can be heard across the island.
FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)
Is Palma Cathedral free to enter?
There is a small entrance fee for non-residents.
Is there a dress code to enter La Seu?
There is no official dress code when visiting Palma Cathedral, but keep in mind that it’s a sacred place of worship so try to dress appropriately.
Is it allowed to take pictures inside La Seu?
Photography without flash is permitted.
Is the Palma cathedral accessible for those with disabilities?
Yes, the cathedral is wheelchair accessible and welcomes disabled visitors.
What time is mass?
Mass times vary, but one always takes place at 9 am.
Can you purchase an audio-guide on the day?
Yes, if you’d like to explore the cathedral while learning about its rich history, purchase an audio guide from the ticket office for a small fee.
Do you have more questions before visiting La Seu in Palma de Mallorca? Leave a comment below!