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Palma from the Cathedral sky


Legend has it that during the voyage of King James I and his army in December 1229 to reconquer Mallorca from the Arabs, there was such a storm at sea that the monarch made a vow to the Virgin: if she saved him and he reached land safely, he would build a great church in her honour.
And so he did.
The official name of Palma Cathedral is the Basilica of Santa María de Mallorca. The foundation stone was laid in 1230 and the work was completed around 1630, 400 years later.

The Cathedral of Palma is one of the most visited Gothic buildings in Europe.
And while hundreds of thousands of visitors each year discover the treasures inside the cathedral, few still know about a truly unique and unforgettable experience: a walk on the roofs of the cathedral to discover Palma from a bird's eye view.

Climbing up to the "sky" of the cathedral is not easy and certainly not recommended for people with claustrophobia.
To get to the top, you first have to climb the 215 steps inside the 47.80-metre-high tower built in the 15th century. The ascent is made in complete darkness between narrow walls where there is barely room for one person.

But the adventure is worth it, because it is the only way to see the basilica in all its splendour, to walk along the terraces with their buttresses, to enter the bell tower and, of course, to admire one of the cathedral's greatest symbols: the great rose window, one of the largest in the world, known as the "Eye of the Gothic", with a diameter of 11.30 metres and a spectacular polychromy thanks to the 1115 crystals that make it up.

Another special feature of this tour around the top of the cathedral is the bell tower, made up of nine bells, all bearing its name. Among them is the famous Eloi, which dates from 1592. The dimensions of this bell seem incredible: two metres high, two metres in diameter and weighing 4500 kilos.
Eloi used to ring during storms to warn the population or when a pope died. Twelve men were needed to move them, and their work enjoyed great social prestige.

The impressive gargoyles, the eight huge, coloured windows overlooking the sea and the city, and the statue of the Virgin Mary at the top of the building often make the visitor who is lucky enough to enjoy this view and have Palma at his feet sigh.

And at the end of this walk through the city's sky, there is nothing more soothing than a warm cup of coffee in our cosy Café Rialto, just a 5-minute walk from the cathedral, where we serve delicious homemade food all day long.

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