Palma De Mallorca, Spain
(This past weekend we helped with Mountain Bike trail maintenance so there's no local ride or tour to report. Instead, we will reflect on our tour from this past summer.)
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands, under the control of Spain. Mallorca is the largest of the four islands that comprise the Baleraics.
Palma, like so many of the Mediterrean cities, is a blend of the old and the new.
At Palma De Mallorca we scheduled a biking tour of the city. Over half of the population of Mallorca lives in Palma, but Christine was hoping that the traffic/pedestrians would be much sparser than the Barcelona tour. (It was.)
Our first major stop was the Cathedral of Palma. Construction on the Catholic church began in 1306 and reflects the styles of both Christian and Muslim art of the period. The main doorway on the front of the cathedral is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary and was completed in 1601. (Front of the church was later in the tour).
To the left of the Cathedral is the Royal Palace of La Almudaina built in 1309. It was built as an Arabian fort but later claimed as the official royal residence in the early 14th century by King James II. Nowadays, the King of Spain uses it as the official residence for ceremonies and state receptions, having his private summer residence in the Palace of Marivent on the outskirts of Palma.
The area was very pretty. Behind Christine were seats and stage for performances.
Behind me is nothing, I just wanted to prove I was there.
The cathedral was impressive no matter from what position the photos were taken.
Close by was the Basilica De Sant Francesc (Church of San Francisco). On the facade of the San Francisco Church above the ornate portal is a sculpture of St. George slaying a dragon. Above St. George is a rose window.
In front of the church is a bronze statue of Padre Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary who led the Spanish Mission to California (yes, California, USA). He established the California Mission Trail, from Baja, California to San Francisco starting in 1768.
Rosemary of Steadfast Ahoy remarked one time how close our ties to Europe are. Padre Serra is another example of the close ties. Besides establishing some thirty missions throughout California, he brought to California the European products that eventually became central to the state's agricultural empire: oranges, lemons, olives, figs, grapes, and vegetables. He also brought over cattle, sheep, goats, and horses.
Padre Serra has not been forgotten by California. There is a statue of him by the Golden Gate Bridge, and has anyone in California traveled Interstate 280? (Junipero Serra Freeway). There is also a statue of him in the U.S. Capitol.
Speaking of close ties, the above building is the Caja de Ahorroj. It WAS a major savings and loan bank that went bankrupt when Spanish real estate went bad. (Sound familiar?) Another bank bought out the Caja de Ahorroj for ONE EURO! (about $1.25 US Dollars).
Back to more pleasant things. This is the front of the Palma Cathedral.
And this is the main doorway previously mentioned dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
We were able to tour the cathedral and this is the large rose window. I took a lot more shots inside but they all came out blurred so everyone is spared the tour.
So that the tour write-up does not get too long, we will continue the tour in the next post.