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Places to fall in love with Palma

24/02/2021

Seven places to fall in love with Palma

 

Palma is the capital of Mallorca and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Mediterranean. At the same time, the essence of its history is preserved in every single nook and cranny of its streets, its neighbourhoods and its most emblematic buildings.

When you stay at one of our Inturotel hotels in Mallorca, you simply must visit these 7 places in Palma - places you are certain to fall in love with.    

 

Mallorca Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa María, also known as Mallorca Cathedral, is the most important religious building on the island of Mallorca. In the Mallorcan language, it is known as La Seu, and it boasts the biggest rose window in the Gothic world. Construction of the cathedral began in 1229, after the conquest of Mallorca by King Jaime I, who promised to build an enormous church dedicated to Saint Mary if the Virgin would save him from death after a stormy sea voyage to the island.

 

Almudaina Palace

This imposing building, with Roman origins, is a modification of the previous Muslim fortress. Alteration work began 1281, and in the era of the conquest, the name given to the building was Zuda.

In 1309 the Almudaina Palace was rebuilt by King Jaime II, following the model of the Royal Palace of Perpignan. The monarchs of the kingdom of Mallorca and after them those of Aragon held court at the Almudaina.

 

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is built in Mallorcan Gothic style. It was constructed in early 14th century by order of King Jaime II. It stands on a mountain that rises 112 metres above sea level, in an area surrounded by woodland, dominating the bay and much of the island. Its most outstanding feature is that it is one of the very few circular-plan castles in Europe, and is indeed the oldest of such buildings. It houses the Museum of History of the City of Palma, which is open to the public.

Take some time for contemplation here – the views of the city and the bay of Palma are impressive. This is also a place of legend, like so many places on the island. To find out more about Mallorca’s intangible cultural heritage, its legends, its traditions…we invite you to visit  www.wowmallorca.com

 

La Lonja

La Lonja de Palma de Mallorca is one of Mallorca’s masterpieces of Gothic architecture. Constructed by Guillem Sagrera from 1420 to 1452, it was the seat of the Merchants’ Association. It was here that commercial activities were regulated and protected, and upkeep of the port was organised through collection of a tax. The interior of Sa LLotja (as it is known in the Mallorcan language) is comprised of three naves of the same height separated by six helicoidal pillars without capitals, and its lofty dimensions are breathtaking.

 

 

Arab baths

These baths are seen as the oldest testimony of Islamic architectural art on the island, and their construction dates back to the 10th century CE. They were built using older elements, recycling capitals from previous eras (Byzantine, Roman…) for example. They may well have formed part of the palace of a Muslim noble.

Their purpose was not only the cleansing of the body, but also spiritual purification. One can still perceive the soothing halo that pervaded them. The bustling heart of the city conceals a place of tranquillity and reflection.

 

Casal Solleric

The Casal Solleric, now one of Palma’s most important contemporary art centres, was built by the Morell family in the mid-18th century. Baroque-inspired, it is one of the last stately homes to be erected in the city. Since 1985, temporary exhibitions have been held here throughout the year.

 

 

 

Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró

The Miró Mallorca Foundation offers one the chance to contemplate the creative environment of the brilliant artist Joan Miró, with a personal viewing of his ateliers, where he worked from 1956 until his death in 1983. These workshops give some insight into his work environment and enable us to reconstruct his creative process by viewing his paintings and belongings and work tools.

 

 

 

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Mondragó natural park, a true paradise
10/06/2022
Mondragó natural park, a true paradise
Mondragó Nature Reserve is one of the island of Mallorca’s finest natural treasures. It combines a wide variety of scenery with idyllic beaches of white sand bathed by turquoise waters and a diversity of flora and fauna.  In 1992, it was declared a nature reserve after calls by society to prevent its development. It has also been declared a Natural Area of Special Interest  (ANEI according to its Spanish acronym) and it is included in the Red Natura 2000 network, given its importance as a Special Protection Area for Birdlife (ZEPA) and a Site of Community Interest  (LIC). Located in the municipality of Santanyí, on the south-coast of the island, it covers an area of over 700 hectares, 95 of which are publicly owned.   The nature reserve can be very easily reached from any of our Cala d’Or hotels and it is just 7 km away. We suggest that you travel there by bicycle or on foot rather than by car so that you can fully appreciate the trip past  Cala Llonga, Portopetro and its charming bay, and other rural areas. In the summer months, you can also take a no. 521 bus from the bus-stop just a few metres from your hotel.       What to do at Mondragó Nature Reserve   Mondragó Nature Reserve can be visited on foot or by bicycle. There is an information point at the entrance, with visitor information and details of places of interest and hiking and bike routes. They are short, easy routes that can even be done with children. On these routes, you can enjoy a trip into the countryside or around the little lagoon and breath-taking coastline. The nature reserve’s landscape has been defined by centuries of farming and livestock activities, and it stands out for its multitude of dry-stone walls and barraques de roter (stone shelters used as accommodation for people and animals or for storing farm equipment), with either beamed or conical roofs.   You can also come across sitges (stone bases for charcoal furnaces), charcoal makers’ huts, lime kilns, and other features like boathouses, sandstone quarries, small defensive buildings and smugglers’ hiding places.   The flora As the singer-songwriter Raimon sang, “la genista florece y en el campo hay rojo de amapolas...” (the broom is in flower and the countryside is dotted with a red mantle of poppies...). In spring, the nature reserve is at its most splendid, thanks to the wide variety of flowers that bedeck the countryside, with orchids, poppies, daisies and brambles and flowering shrubs, such as  grey-leaved cistus bushes (Cistus albidus), Mallorcan brooms (Genista lucida), and rosemary plants (Salvia rosmarinus), in addition to flowering trees like common tamarisks. Buzzing around these plants are a multitude of insects that play an essential role as pollinisers in bringing natural cycles full circle. At the nature reserve, lots of environmental awareness raising workshops are organized, one within the framework of the EU www.life4polinators.com programme, which we recommend you to take part in.   On the seabed of the nature reserve, meadows of Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) guarantee the transparency of the waters, nourishing and acting as a shelter for a multitude of different species. The Balearic Islands are one of the Mediterranean sanctuaries where this underwater plant is in the best state of conservation and counts on the most protection. According to a publication by Greenpeace, Neptune grass has 7 outstanding characteristics. Here are just a few of them:   1) It is the oldest living organism on the planet, living up to 1,000,000 years old. 2) Meadows of Neptune grass are a breeding ground and refuge for fish, crustaceans and molluscs, fostering biodiversity.   3) Neptune grass protects beaches and helps to prevent coastal erosion.   4) Neptune grass contributes to the formation of beaches of white sand. 5) Neptune grass helps to combat climate change and acts as a lung for the Mediterranean.       The fauna Mondragó Nature Reserve has been declared a Special Protection Area for Birdlife. Amateur birdwatchers can enjoy splendid sightings of birds in unique natural surroundings. This is why visitors are advised to keep the noise down and to take binoculars with them. Some of the birds that can usually be seen in the nature reserve’s skies include common swifts (Apus apus), turtle doves (Streptopelia), Eurasian hoopoes (Upupa epops) and cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). In places with stagnant water, Eurasian coots (Fulica atra) and common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) can be found. Other species that can be sighted include examples of Eleanora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), blue rock thrushes (Monticola solitarius), and Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) close to the coast, as well as red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa), European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), and red kites (Milvus milvus) in the countryside.  Harder birds to sight include European bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) and common kingfishers (Alcedo atthis). (You might see them as you paddle surf at quieter times).     Some other animals that you might come across include tortoises, hedgehogs, pine martens and hares. Please do not disturb them and never try to touch them.     Mondragó Nature Reserve’s coves Although it is not an on-land and maritime nature reserve like the Cabrera Archipelago (which we also suggest you visit: see our post about Cabrera, ‘A day in Paradise’ 31/05/2021), its entire length does run alongside the sea. The nature reserve contains several coves, three in particular that are worthy of mention: Cala Mondragó, S’Amarador and Es Borgit, with crystal-clear waters and a superb natural backdrop. With their white sanded beaches and waters filled with life, they are idyllic places to enjoy the peace and tranquillity that nature offers.   Cala Mondragó, also known as Caló de sa Font de n’Alis, is the closest to the nature reserve’s information centre and the easiest to reach. It is perfect for families, thanks to its easy access and the availability of a restaurant. It is considered to be one of Mallorca’s top 20 beaches and although it can be a bit busy in the summer months, we are sure that you will fall in love with its turquoise waters.     S’Amarador is a lovely, totally unspoilt beach with fine sands and vegetation made up of a dune system that is currently being renewed. It also has a pond fed by water from a torrent that leads into this cove, where tortoises bear their young. The name   S'Amarador refers to a former use that was given to ponds, when bundles of flax or hemp were submerged in them for a time to obtain plant fibre or trunks of wood were soaked in the water until they were resistant enough to build boats or to use as beams in houses. The cove is just 400 metres from Cala Mondragó and it can be reached on foot by walking along the coast.       Caló des Borgit –the smallest, quietest cove– is a bit more complicated to reach, but this is the one for you if you are looking for peace and quiet and fewer people.  It is a small cove with a V-shaped inlet, a leafy pine grove and fine sands, lending it a particularly unspoilt charm. It is also surrounded by low cliffs, with a restful, soothing air thanks to its distance from the local tourist resorts. It is easy to reach by road, following the signs to the cove. When you reach a sort of car park, park your vehicle and continue on foot for the last 300 metres.   If you wish to spend a few days away from the madding crowd, surrounded by nature, this is the place for you.   Inturotel invites you to discover this Paradise. We’re sure you’ll love it!            
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