TOPONOMY OF THE AREA
Palma is the capital of the island of Majorca and the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. With just over 440,000 inhabitants is the eighth largest city in Spain.
It was founded with the name of Palma, which could be related to the concept of “palms of Triumph” in the year 123 BC by the Roman consul Quinto Cecilio Meteo, and although it is not known for certain it is estimated that its current settlement corresponds to the Roman ruins that s And they find it under their historical helmet.
Later and during the Muslim period the city was renamed Medina Mayurca, a name that was changed by Ciutat de Mallorca (City of Majorca), after the conquest on 1229 by King Jaume I D’Aragó, who turned it into the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca. Nowadays the inhabitants of the island use the two denominations, Palma-which recovered in 1715-and Ciutat to refer to it.
After the conquest in 1229 and until the contemporary age, the city lived several periods marked by historical events like the rebellion of the Germanies, the invasions of the Turkish pirates and Maghrebi or the defeat of the Crown of Aragon, of which it formed Part.
Since the 19th century, Palma reemerged as an important coastal nucleus with the expansion of the maritime and shipping lines, a fact that favors the arrival of visitors. In 1845 the first tourist guide of Palma is published.
During the second half of the twentieth century, Palma was the protagonist of the international tourism boom, a fact that caused an important change in the physiognomy of the city, which was adapted to become the economic, cultural and social center that is nowadays.
Why Som Ars Magna?
"Ars Magna Generalis" along with "Llibre d'Evast e d'Aloma e de Blaquerna son fill" are some of the main works of the philosopher, theologian and majorcan writer Ramon Llull (1233-1316), one of the most important figures of Western culture.
Located on Blanquerna Street, the hotel Som Ars Magna pays homage to this illustrious Palma, and one of its main works, which is considered as a reference text of engineering and artificial intelligence, published in the year 1315 and considered as the First attempt to use logical means to produce knowledge.
Llull was a man ahead of his time, who wrote and spoke perfectly both in Catalan, as in Latin or Arabic, the latter culture for which he felt great respect. Llull indiscriminately used any of these languages to address those who understood him better, as he adapted his speeches and works to his audience. As an evangelist, I always advocated the conversion of the infidels by the way of love and without any kind of coercion or violence.
RAMON LLULL’S ROUTES
For the visitor interested in the figure of Ramon Llull, different routes can be carried out, both in the center of the city, as in the suburbs and the municipality of Algaida visiting the different places related to the life and the work of Ramon Llull , from the house where he was born to the chapel where his tomb is, going through different important places related to his life, his legend or his legacy.
Route 1: Urban Palma
The route begins in the church of Santa Margalida, where it is told that Llull heard the sermon about San Francisco that finally prompted him to change his life. Nearby you can visit the Church of San Miguel where several pictures review some episodes of your life. Following the Calle Sant Miquel you will reach the Plaza Mayor, where when you turn left you can see a commemorative plaque where the tradition situates Llull’s birthplace.
Very close to the Plaza Mayor is the church of Santa Eulàlia where, according to legend, Ramon Llull went on horseback chasing a lady he was in love with. Following the Calle del Convent de Sant Francesc you can reach the Plaza de San Francisco where Llull is buried.
Already in the area of the cathedral we also find different spaces related to the medieval philosopher, as the Estudi General Lul · lià, created in the year 1483 for the study of the work Lullian; The Museu de Mallorca, where Llull’s oldest image is preserved; The Societat Arqueològica Lul · Liana in which there are deposited some manuscripts or the library Bartomeu March, where we find the largest number of bibliography Lullian today, and that keeps in deposit the manuscripts and the library of the «Maioricensis Schola Lullistica», an entity that brings together the lulistas from all over the world.
Route 2: Palma, Valldemossa and Algaida.
Ramon Llull’s legacy has an important spiritual part, which can be discovered through the places where the philosopher and Evangelizer developed part of his work. In this case, there are several points located either on the outskirts of Palma or in the nearby municipalities of Valldemossa and Algaida.
First you can visit the monastery of La Real, located in the drying of the real a neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital of Mallorca, where Llull took a good part of his studies and wrote his first works.
Already in the municipality of Valldemossa, on the road that connects this town with Deià, is located Miramar, where Ramon Llull founded in 1276 a study center for missionaries, which closed a few years later. According to the legend, near the house is the cave of Ramon Llull, where he was going to meditate and pray.
To end the route is a must visit the Puig de Randa, located in the municipality of Algaida, where his family possessed some properties and was the place chosen by Llull to devote himself to the contemplative life and where according to himself he had some revelations.
In the surroundings of Randa are located three places related to the stay of Llull, the current Hermitages Gràcia, founded in the 15th century by observant Franciscans and Sant honor, built in 1394, and at the top, the sanctuary of Cura, with a cave that the legend defines as his house.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Popularly known as La Seu, it is located on the shores of the Bay of Palma, next to the Sea Park. The cathedral, which began to be built in the 13th century, is Levantine Gothic style and has one of the largest rosettes in the world. It is also one of the highest European Gothic cathedrals of the nave.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the architect Antoni Gaudí adapted the space to the new liturgical and pastoral requirements and, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló created the mural of the Loaves and fishes to decorate the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Thus, the Seu synthesizes the last nine centuries of the history of Majorca, and remains a living element that continues in permanent evolution.
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró
The Fundació Pilar I Joan Miró, since September 2017 Miró Mallorca Foundation, is a cultural foundation created by the desire of the Catalan painter Joan Miró and his wife Pilar, with the aim of providing the city with a cultural and artistic center. Its funds include an important collection of about 6,000 works of the artist, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, sketches, and other documents.
The complex is located next to Son openings, which was the private residence of Miró in Palma from 1956, and includes a first workshop, they are boating, adapted in a traditional house, and the second taller, broader, built of root by the architect Josep Lluis Sert , personal friend of the painter.
In 1992 the new Moneo building was added, designed by the architect Rafael Moneo to house the administrative services and to present the works of the legacy on a rotating basis. The foundation also organises state-of-the-art temporary exhibitions.
The Castell de Bellver, the only medieval castle of circular plant in Spain and the first in Europe, is located 3 km from the city centre of Palma and 112, 6m. High above sea level, dominating the bay and much of the island of Majorca.
The castle was built between 1300 and 1311 by direct order of the King Jaume II of Majorca. The enclosure responds to a very concrete and well-original plane. It consists of a perfectly circular gothic-style building, which is organized around a central courtyard also circular, with four large towers facing the four cardinal points. The so-called Torre Major or the homage, heading north, is exempt from the rest of the ensemble, while the rest of the towers are embedded in the main body.
As a museum of city history, in its rooms Bellver offers a tour of the evolution of Palma, from the talayotic settlements to the twentieth century, passing through the Roman conquest in the 123 century BC and the founding of the current urban nucleus, the Muslim stage to From 903, the Catalan conquest in 1229, the establishment of the Kingdom of Majorca (1276-1349), the construction of the Renaissance walls of Palma and its demolition in 1903.
L’Almudaina y s’Hort del Rei
The Royal Castle of La Almudaina is located next to the Cathedral of Palma, one of the points of the city that has been the seat of power on the island possibly since Roman times. The castle was erected at the beginning of the 14th century between 1305 and 1314 for Jaime II and flourished as the seat of the Court of the Kings of Majorca in the first half of that century.
Headquarters of the audience from Felipe II, residence of the Viceroy and Captain General, and administrative center of the Royal Heritage on the island, the Almudaina is currently the official residence of S.M. the king during his visits to Majorca. In the ensemble stands out the royal Chapel of Santa Ana, the Grand Hall or Tinell (divided into two levels from the 16th century to accommodate the audience) and the Palau del Rei. It was the subject of important reforms by the architect Bennazar at the beginning of the twentieth century and of restorations in the decades of 1960, 70 and 80.
S’Hort del Rei was a medieval garden located outside the walls of the Almudaina that lasted until the nineteenth century, when it was urbanized. At the beginning of the 14th century, in time of the King Jaume II of Majorca, it had a period of splendor, and had planted fruit trees, flowers and vegetables. Some animals were also bred in it, such as rabbits. In the decade of 1960, within the plan of recovery of the environment of the Palacio de la Almudaina, the buildings that had been demolished to make some new gardens of historicist taste, projected by the Mallorcan architect Gabriel Alomar. This architect combined traditional elements of the Majorcan garden, such as the pergola, with others of Andalusian inspiration, like the pool, with spouts reminiscent of the Generalife.
Modernism was a phenomenon of cultural and artistic renewal, of international diffusion, that marked the period of transition between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in which the current Art nouveau, of French and Belgian influence, of undulating and floral forms alternates with the Austrian secessionist in more rectilinear forms with a clear tendency to geometrization.
In Majorca, according to the opinion of some historians, modernism was above all a fashion, especially driven by the church. Bishop Campins, called Gaudí in 1904, to direct remodeling works in the Cathedral of Majorca. Without the presence of Gaudí on the island for ten years, modernism would not have triumphed in the Balearic Islands.
An example of this type of building is found in the center of Palma, with its main representations the buildings of Can Roca, in the street Sant Nicolau, can Casasayas in the Plaça del Mercat; The Gran Hotel and the Forn des Teatre in the nearby Plaça Weyler or the El Águila warehouses at the Plaça del Marques del Palmer and Can Forteza Rey on Monges Street.
5 TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PALMA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
- Visit the Gothic palm, with obligatory stops in the cathedral, the Lonja and the Palacio de la Almudaina.
- Stroll the old town and contemplate the magnificent courtyards of the old manor houses.
- Walk through the market of the olive grove and get to know and taste the typical local products.
- Tour the Serra de Tramuntana by car or hiking.
- To know the places in which he lived, he worked and withdrew from the world Ramon Llull, like the Puig de Randa or the monasteries of Cura and La Real.