The Mallorca Cathedral La Seu
It is a popular photo motive, main attraction and bishop´s see of Mallorca: the Palma Cathedral, also called “La Seu” or “Cathedral of Light”. The Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca has a long history and its construction took 400 years. Today it not only the place for religious locals but also thousands of tourists visit the building and join guided tours on the rooftops.
The history of the Mallorca Cathedral La Seu
The Palma Cathedral is the symbol of the city and bishop´s see at the same time. It was built at exactly the place where the Arabian main mosque stood during the time of the Moors. After the liberation of Majorca from the Moors in 1230, King Jaume I laid the first stone of the church, but the cathedral was completed only 400 years later. Although, in 1587 the construction of the nave was completed and 14 years later consecrated the main portal but the entire structure was completed only in the 19th century. Today we have a building that is one of the most valuable gothic buildings in Spain. The locals call them simply “La Seu” – the bishop’s seat.
Did you know that….?
10 facts and curiosities about the Mallorca Cathedral La Seu
Who would have thought that……? The Palma Cathedral is not only chic to look at, it can also boast some records and offers curiosities that you would not have expected. We introduce you to 10 of these facts and figures.
- La Seu is not only one of the largest Gothic churches in Spain, the eastern main rosette is even considered to be the largest in the world with a diameter of almost eleven meters. The more than 1,200 pieces of colored glass are composed into patterns and floral ornaments and were created in the 14th century.2. The central nave of the Mallorca cathedral has a height of 44 meters, making it one of the tallest in Europe. The two aisles measure 30 meters each. Overall, La Seu is 109.50 meters long and 33 meters wide.
- Long time ago, the walls of the cathedral and the bishop´s palast stretched out to the sea. Even today, the small harbor can still be seen below the Almudaina Palace next to the cathedral. The Almudaina Palace is located next to the Cathedral La Seu in Palma and is the official residence of the King of Spain. In the 1960s, an artificial lake was created below the cathedral which is meant to remind visitors that the city walls once reached the sea. The lake is part of the Parc de la Mar in which open-air screenings of popular movies are offered free of charge in summer time.
- Before the Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudi was tragically approached by a tram in Barcelona, he left his signature in the Mallorca Cathedral of Palma. Gaudí made important structural changes and optimized the acoustics. He removed the baroque altar and exposed the old gothic altar. But the famous architect was too creative for the conservative churchmen because he wanted to bring in too many Art Nouveau elements in the Gothic cathedral and so they stopped his work. The chandelier above the high altar still gives an impression of Gaudi’s original design. In 1914 Gaudi finished work on the Mallorca Cathedral La Seu.
- Also the local artist Miquel Barceló left his mark on La Seu Cathedral. He designed the beautiful three-piece ceramic altar in the St. Peter’s Chapel and processed 15 tons of clay. At the inauguration in 2007, also the royal couple Juan Carlos and Dona Sophia of Spain joined the celebration.
- In 1851, large parts of Palma Cathedral were destroyed in an earthquake. The reconstruction and renovation work was partly done in the artificial neo-Gothic style, to the suffering of the originally sublime essence of the cathedral.
- The Cathedral of Palma has a fortified bell tower with a total of 9 bells. The bell ‘N’Eloi’ is especially worth mentioning because of its size. It has a diameter of 2 meters and weighs incredible 4,517 kilos.
- The 15-meter-high entrance gate, which is faced to the sea, the El Mirador portal, is one of the most beautiful vestiges of Spanish pointed arch architecture.
- The built area of the Mallorca Cathedral La Seu is 6,600 sqm and can accommodate 18,000 people. However, the cathedral is never crowded.
- If you take part in a service you save the entrance fee of 12 euros.
Your Luxury Hotel in Mallorca tips for a „different“ visit to the Mallorca Cathedral
Guided tours to the roof terraces of the Cathedral Palma
Since 2016, it is possible to enter the roof terraces of La Seu in a guided tour. Climp up the 215 steps leading from the Portal de l’Almoina to the church tower and enjoy an amazing view of the city, the sea up to the Tramuntana mountains. Here on the top of Mallorca Cathedral, the gothic statues seem more imposing than seen from below, also the large colored rosette window seems oversized. The guided tour in Catalan and Spanish takes about one hour. Group tours for up to 25 people are available. There are different dates for the tour, at some even free of charge.
The light mess in February and November
Did you know why the cathedral Palma is also named “cathedral of light“? That´s the reason: Every year on the 2nd of February and the 11th of November, an impressive light show can be seen in La Seu: around 8:30 am a “light eight” is created. The morning sun falls at exactly the right angle through the large rosette on the eastern front of the cathedral, so that its 1,236 colorful glass pieces on the opposite wall can be seen as in the original.
On the two days of the light show the cathedral opens already around 8 am. At around 8:30 am, the light falls so that the two rosettes, the real and the projected ones, form a colorful eight. Admission to this special event is free.
If you are planning to visit the Palma Cathedral combine your trip with a city stroll. The narrow streets behind the Mallorca cathedral are particularly quaint. Here you find the typical town palaces with magnificent courtyards, numerous churches but also small shops and bars. In the evening light, the area around the Palma Cathedral is even more impressive and makes you feel a bit like in the Middle Ages. You can combine your stroll perfectly with the Arab baths which are in the neighborhood of the cathedral and remind of the time when the largest Moorish mosque in the city stood on the site of the Gothic church, the Palma Cathedral. At the Museo de Mallorca, also in the district behind the cathedral, artifacts and writings tell the story of the island.
20 best film productions in Mallorca
Movies are a kind of fiction but also inspiration. Often we get inspired by lovely places shown in movies and then plan a trip to the location of the shooting. So, cinema and TV give us the opportunity to get to know new places we might never have thought of and give us a taste of country, people, culture and nature.
With this blog, we want to introduce the 20 best movie productions in Mallorca. We want to inspire those who never visited the island before and test the knowledge of those who already spent holidays in Mallorca. Discover incredible landscapes of the Mediterranean and learn curiosities of some film productions. The movie titles are linked to the Spanish TV version or trailer, depending on availability.
Have fun with Castell Son Claret, Luxury Hotel in Mallorca Top 20 best movie productions that have emerged in Mallorca!
- El secreto de la pedriza (1925)
“El secreto de la Pedriza” was the only film production of Balear Films and also the only one in which the actor Francisco Aguiló Torrandel directed himself.
The film is a blockbuster typical of the time, filmed outdoors and with a certain tourist documentary background as a promotion for Mallorca. The story comes from a novel by Adolfo Vázquez Humasqué from 1921, a peasant drama about smuggling, love and police. The movie was filmed in Sa Foradada, in the Torrent de Pareis and in Son Marroig, typical mystical places in the Serra de Tramuntana.
“El secreto de la Pedriza” is richly decorated with fantastic images of the island and shows how the landscape has changed over the decades by building and construction. Therefore, almost ninety-two years after its premiere, this movie is a pleasure for the eyes. The film premiered in 1926 in the Teatro Principal and was a great success.
- Jack el Negro (1949)
“Jack el Negro” has been a co-production of France, the United States, England and Spain; an adventure movie produced in Mallorca in 1949. His premiere at Avenida Palace 1950 was a social event.
The film was staged by Julien Duvivier and José Antonio Nieves Conde who also produced Alexander Salkind (Superman). The lead actors in the feature film were George Sanders, Herbert Marshall and Agnes Moorehead, best known for her role as Endora, Samantha’s mother in the famous 60s hit series “Haunted”. Also some well-known Spanish actors and artists, such as Lola Flores, Manolo Caracol, José Nieto, Jose Jaspe, María Teresa Campos, etc., were involved in the filming, as many Mallorcan background actors.
The film tells the story of Mike, a captain whose ship “Jack the Black” often sails the Spanish shores to carry contraband. Mike feels that his stage as a smuggler must end as soon as possible. He is tired of being harassed by the Spanish Navy. One day, as he sails through Mediterranean waters, his boat encounters a ship that has just been shipwrecked and carries political refugees. Among them is Ingrid Dekker, a young woman who soon feels attracted to Mike.
The film features several scenes in Mallorca: Jonquet, the Paseo Maritimo in Palma, Cala Blava, Cala Santanyi, Torrent de Pareis and many more.
- Simbad and the princess (1957)
The director of this film production in Mallorca was Nathan Juran. Sinbad embarks on a dangerous journey full of adventures to the mysterious island of Colossus with the intention of breaking the spell of a devilish magician against the princess he is in love with. To save her life he has to fight numerous monsters, such as the man-eating Cyclops, a skeleton with a saber, a wild two-headed bird called Roc, and a fire-breathing dragon.
- La mujer de paja (1963)
“La mujer de paja” is a film by Basil Dearden starring world-famous stars such as Gina Lollobrigida, Sean Connery, Ralph Richardson, Johnny Sekka, Alexander Knox and Laurence Hardy.
The film tells the story of Charles Ritchmon, an English financial magnate who has been in a wheelchair for years and marrying his nurse Maria. The wedding was staged by Maria and Anthony, a millionaire’s nephew: If Ritchmon dies, Maria inherits a huge fortune and her accomplice is to receive a million pounds. Charles dies during a cruise through the Mediterranean. Maria and Anthony state that the tycoon is still alive until they arrive in London, but then the police unexpectedly intercedes…
- El verdugo (1963)
“El verdugo” is one of our favorites and undoubtedly a movie not to be missed. Luis García Berlanga was co-directed by Rafael Azcona who received the CEC Award for Best Original Act.
The film tells the story of José Luis, an employee of a funeral home who wants to emigrate to Germany to become a mechanic. His girlfriend is the daughter of the executioner Amadeo. The two want to marry but the financial resources are rare. So, Amadeo, who is retiring, tries to persuade José Luis to apply for his job which would entitle him to a house. José Luis accepts his father-in-law’s proposal with the hope that he will never have to perform his shameful ministry.
- A winter in Mallorca
This movie by Jaime Camino tells the story of Chopin and George Sand’s stay in Mallorca. The film was shot in the Serra de Tramuntana, Son Moragues and the Valldemossa Charterhouse.
The story: The Moldovan society welcomes the adulterous relationship between George Sand and the six-year-old musician Frédéric Chopin who is severely ill with tuberculosis. When the two travel to the island with the idea that the mild Majorcan winter will be good for Chopin’s health they do not find accommodation. Only the inhospitable Valldemossa Charterhouse without any comfort is offered to them. Besides the difficulties of their relationship, the fragile health of Chopin and the presence of the children of George Sand there is lack of understanding and hospitality of the locals.
- F for Fake (1973)
Under the direction of Orson Wells, this movie is a reflection that has emerged on one of the themes most emphatic in his filming career: the duality between the real and the fictional.
The result is a great documentary on fraud and counterfeiting that focuses on the character of the forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving who also wrote the deceptive biography of Howard Hughes. The film tells of Hughes captivity and Welles’s career which began with the radio broadcast of a false Mars invasion: “The War of the Worlds”. The film was shot in Ibiza, not Mallorca, but given its value, we would like to list it in our series of the “20 Best Movies filmed in Mallorca”.
- Bearn o La sala de muñecas (1983)
Jaime Chávarri, born in Madrid, directed one of the most-filmed places in the Tramuntana mountains, the La Raixa estate. At the time of the production, there was a high budget available and allowed a cast of top actors as Imanol Arias, Fernando Rey, Alfredo Mayo, Amparo Soler Leal and Ángela Molina. The film premiered on April 8, 1983 in the Auditòrium in Palma with great anticipation. The slogan of the premiere was: “There are no more paradises than the lost.”
- El tiempo de la felicidad (1997)
This movie was directed by Manuel Iborra in Ibiza and Mallorca with national star cast: Veronica Forqué, Antonio Resines, Pepón Nieto, Carlos Fuentes, María Adánez, Silvia Abascal, Felipe Martínez, Liberto Rabal, Clara Sanchís and Francisco Algora.
The movie is a comedy that reflects the seventies in Spain at the peak of hippie flower power motion. A family, untypical for this time, spends their holidays in Ibiza with sun, love and problems. The father, an actor, has never cared enough about his family. The mother, who sacrificed her career as an actress for her children, lives her vocation with body and soul. And the boys will learn for life on this vacation…
- Bert (1998)
The movie “Bert”, directed by Lluís Casasayas, was produced entirely in the Serra de Tramuntana. The shooting was extremely complicated and so the movie got the epithet “damn” from his director.
It tells the story of the protagonist Fermí Reixachs who has to find a friend that has disappeared in the Serra de Tramuntana.
The film premiered with great success at the Spanish Film Festival of Málaga, in the same year 1998 it won at the Atlantic Film Festival and International Festival l’Alternativa de Barcelona. However, there was a disagreements between the producer and the Ministry of Culture which led to the film not being commercially released, making it a cult movie. Only recently, after 17 years, it was shown in cinemas.
- La isla del holandés (2000)
The Valencian director Sigfrid Monleón was nominated for the Goya Prize in 2000 with this movie.
The story: Lluís Dalmau, a young university professor, is deported to an island because of his political activities. It is the year 1969 and the island is philosophizing about its future: tourist urbanization with foreign capital or finding a way to prevent the bankruptcy of the traditional salt industry that has sustained the island’s economy from time immemorial. Dalmau postpones his escape plans and begins an affair with Feli, an attractive farmer’s wife.
- Sword of Honour
“Sword of honour” is a movie by Bill Anderson with Hollywood actor Daniel Craig.
The story takes place in 1939 and tells of Guy Grouchback, an Englishman living in Italy. He returns from exile to fight with the British Navy during World War II. Several of his comrades will die in honor of her country behind the enemy lines.
- Lucía y el sexo (2001)
This film, directed by Julio Medem, won two Goyas in 2001, one for the best new actress and one for the best film music. The film was not shot in Mallorca but on Formentera. However, it should be listed because of its importance and geographical proximity to Mallorca. The movie tells the story of Lucía Paz Vega, a young woman who works as a waitress in the center of Madrid. After the mysterious disappearance of her friend Lorenzo she decides to travel to the silent island of Formentera where she gets faced with the dark side of her past relationship.
At this point, we would like to present two great movies by a Majorcan director, Daniel Monzón, who staged the beauties of the island:
- El robo más grande jamás contado (2002)
The story: Lucas Santos, also known as “El Santo” (Antonio Resines), is a thief who is constantly in jail. Tired of botched robberies he dreams of the big robbery that brings him publicity in media. His wife (Neus Asensi) is a sympathetic and attractive woman who occasionally works as a stripper in a nightclub. After building a crazy gang of inexperienced thieves, Lucas decides to steal the most valuable painting in the National Museum Reina Sofía: Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.
- La caja Kovak (2005)
The story: David (Timothy Hutton), a science-fiction writer, is invited to a lecture on an island where he meets Silvia (Lucía Jiménez), a Spanish-American tourist. Suddenly, a series of mysterious suicides begins. Something or someone is making the victims o suicide…
- Miquel Bauçà : Poeta Invisible (2005).
Agustí Villaronga, another acclaimed and successful Mallorcan director chose local settings for his documentary film about the poet Miquel Bauçà.
With the actors Pep Tosar, Manuel Bronchud, Pepa Charro and Daniel Fuster the movie tells the story of life and work of the Mallorcan poet Miquel Bauçà (born in Felanitx 1940 – died in Barcelona 2004).
- Four last songs (2007)
This movie filmed in Mallorca is a romantic comedy by Francesca Joseph that tells the story of the American Larry who succeeds neither personally nor professionally. He lives in a small town on a beautiful Mediterranean island (Mallorca) which is famous in Europe due to a well-known composer who lived there and composed most of his works. Larry tries to savor some of the composer’s fame and decides to organize a concert in honor of the composer. But several people disturb his project: his faithful and neurotic companion Miranda, the beautiful muse of the composer Helena, his younger brother Dickie, the famous pianist Narciso Ortega, the rebellious and obstinate daughter of Larry, and Sweetie, a talented cellist.
- Cloud Atlas (2011)
The movie “Cloud Atlas” under the direction of the brothers Wachowski and Tom Twyker was one of the largest film productions in Mallorca in terms of budget and cast.
It was a production that kept Mallorca on alert but in a good way: Because it´s unusual that Hollywood actors like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry or Susan Sarandon stroll along the Tramuntana mountains…
- El perfecto desconocido (2012)
For his debut, the Majorcan director Toni Bestard chose his own island as well as the Irish actor Colm Meaney and Goya winner Ana Wagener.
The story: Mark O’Reilly, a mysterious traveler, arrives in a small Mallorcan village and settles discreetly in a deserted old shop. The neighbors will soon be thrilled that Mark wants to reopen the shop but one detail is unnoticed for all: Mark does not want to open the store; he does not even speak Spanish. The true intentions of the traveler hide behind an old Polaroid photography that has led him there in search of answers.
- Mejor otro día (2014) – A long way down
This American production, directed by Pascal Chaumeil, brought Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collete and Aaron Paul to Mallorca. The movie tells the story of four people who congregate on New Year’s Eve to commit suicide. After a while, they decide to go on vacation together to reflect.
The film story takes place in Tenerife but was shot in Mallorca. Do you recognize the beach and the restaurant?
Finally, we would like to present a commercial filming with great directors and actors who belongs to the “20 best movies filmed in Mallorca”: various advertising spots of the beer brand Estrella Damm.
“Mediterráneamente” is a series of commercial spots that captivates with Mediterranean clichés: sea, friendships, beautiful places, good food, love, sun … and a summer hit!
These are the links to the spots that were filmed on the Balearic Islands. Do you recognize every single island?
Mediterraneamente 2009 “Formentera” mit Billie the Vision & the Dancers.
Mediterráneamente 2010 “San Juan” with The Triangles.
Mediterráneamente 2012 “Serra de Tramuntana” with Lacrosse.
Mediterráneamente 2015 “Vale” mit Dakota Johnson and Quim Gutiérrez
Mediterráneamente 2016 Las pequeñas cosas” with Jean Reno and Laia Costa.
We hope you got inspired with this post about Mallorca and its beauties.
Finally a quote from Arturo Pérez Reverte:
“I like the Mediterranean, because you have to navigate through history, you look at the sight of a Roman temple, you dive with a piece of Phoenician amphora, the gods live here, you can see these Homeric sunsets … it’s luck.”
We hope to see you soon at Castell Son Claret, the luxury hotel in Mallorca!
29th of July 2017, 7.30 pm €245 per person
Celebrated all over the world, we are privileged to welcome the hugely talented Soprano
Sonya Yoncheva at the Castell. The critics have showered her with acclaim for her performances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Berlin State Opera, Wiener Staatsoper and the Opéra de Paris. The newspaper “Die Welt” even called her “the finest Violetta since Maria Callas”. Here, in the romantic historic surroundings of the Castell, Sonya Yoncheva will present her summer favourites – and there is no doubt, they will be your favourites as well.
The evening includes:
- Cocktail reception
- Gala menu
- Wines and non-alcoholic beverages
- Exclusive concert “al fresco”
All Summer Classic 2017:
08/07/2017 – Accademia Teatro All Scala Soloists
19/08/2017 – Young Singers of The Salzburg Festival