Enjoy, experience, relax: This is the old town of Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is a famous holiday city and at the same time the much visited capital of the largest Spanish Balearic island. Day and night the life pulsates here and the old town of Palma presents itself with special flair and with sights en masse.
Ciutat de Mallorques, as Palma is called in the Catalan language, is surrounded by a city wall from the 17th century. It surrounds the three old town districts of La Seu, Monti-Sion and Calatrava, which face south towards the Mediterranean Sea.
All three quarters have in common an unforgettable and impressive mixture of Catalan-Spanish and Arabic architecture. The winding, narrow lanes are partly connected by quite narrow staircases - nevertheless, with their Mediterranean flair they quickly cast a spell over every visitor.
Palma's old town centre is almost completely car-free, so visitors can relax and enjoy the Mediterranean flair and the numerous sights. The centre is the Plaça Major. In addition to the world-famous cathedral in the southern part of the old town, there are another 31 mostly gothic church buildings in this oldest area of Mallorca's capital, such as the church Santa Eulàlia or the basilica Sant Francesc.
The characteristic cobblestone streets of the La Seu district begin immediately behind the famous Cathedral of St. Mary. In Catalan, La Seu means "the seat" and aptly names the magnificent cathedral, which is also the official seat of the Bishop of Mallorca and Mallorca's landmark. Its construction began in 1230. Since then, various architectural styles, together with their architects, have left their mark on the enormous church building, including the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who carried out the necessary restoration work.
Right at the cathedral, shopping totally begins on the Paseo del Borne: the famous promenade offers space to rest on many benches. There are also beautiful cafés and fashion boutiques. In the branching alleys as the Calle Quint, the Calle San Miguel or the Via Veri, the shopping then becomes a lot of fun in view of the small galleries and shops of the Majorcan artist and designer scene.
In Palma's old town there are wonderful locations for those who enjoy an exciting nightlife: discos and live music, restaurants and tapas bars make up the lively and famous party scene. La Seu is therefore not without reason also at night the most visited mallorquin old town quarter.
During the day, visitors climb the stairs of the Royal Almudaina Palace to reach the Cathedral. They first have a look at the Parc de la Mar below the cathedral, where an especially beautiful area is available for the children to let off steam. Then you climb the stairs: during the ascent, the wide view over the harbour and the Mediterranean opens up gradually. This view is surely unique and a walk from here over the old city wall up to the high situated city balcony is one of the unforgettable impressions of every visit to the old city. In the early evening hours uniquely beautiful sunsets put the city, the sea and the mountain landscape all around perfectly in scene. In the so-called blue hour and when the outside lights of the cathedral light up, every visit on the spot becomes a romantic treat.
This area of the old town stands in contrast to the romantic La Seu. Many Mallorcans don't like the quarter's partly not very well known attitude - on the other hand historical buildings and the theatre have been carefully renovated here and opulent hotels opened the doors for their guests in the venerable patrician houses of Calatrava.
The way back towards the cathedral leads through the old quarter of Monti-Sion. Palma's former Jewish quarter is animated every morning by numerous children on their way to the famous private schools of Monti-Sion and the more northerly Sant Francesc quarter. In the Middle Ages, Palma's Jewish population lived relatively isolated in Monti-Sion; even today, this area of the old town is still the seat of the synagogue.
On the other hand, Calatrava used to be Palma's oldest industrial area. There were many tanneries here. Outside historical buildings are surrounded by interesting and especially large gardens and once formed the outskirts of the city. The central quarter of La Seu, on the other hand, was built on ancient foundations from Arab and Roman occupation.
Although the three historic old quarters of Palma today have a uniform appearance, they nevertheless have very different roots - and that is what makes Ciutat de Mallorques so unique and fascinating.
Numerous first-class restaurants and cafes, galleries, boutiques and antiques can be found here. Even in winter there is life here and the atmosphere is simply different from many other capitals in the world. Popular places are for example "Passeig del Born" or "Plaça d'Espanya".