Almudaina Palace, Palma de Mallorca
Consisting of a series of halls and rooms across two floors surrounding the central courtyard, Palau de l'Almudaina is a showcase of mediaeval architecture. Only about a third is open to visitors, while the rest consists of the private quarters of the royal family of Spain. The walk through the palace takes the visitor through the halls of Palau del Senyor Rey, which is of Arab construction but with Christian-period renovations, followed by the gothic-style Great Hall (Sala del Tinell), which was split into two levels in 1578. Also to be seen are the Arab baths within the palace and the gothic chapel of Santa Ana (described in a separate tip).
Located opposite the Cathedral of Palma and commanding unobstructed views over the Mediterranean, Palau de l'Almudaina is the official residence of the King of Spain on the island of Mallorca. As its name suggests, the palace-fortress has Arab roots (al-mudaina in Arabic means "little city"), and was in fact the centre of command of the Arab governor of the island prior to its re-conquest by the Christians in 1229. Although a good portion of the Arab construction is still in place, including the walls and baths, renovations and expansions since the conquest have erased most of the Arab character. The Arabs in turn had built it over the ruins of a Roman-period castrum whose foundation walls are still evident in certain parts. The interior of the palace consists of a complex of buildings in a mix of Renaissance and Gothic styles surrounding a spacious courtyard with a fountain and palm trees. The complex is open to visitors and is one of the top attractions in Palma.
Located with the Almudaina Palace and accessed from the courtyard, Capilla de Santa Ana (or Capella de Santa Aina in Catalan) is the royal chapel of the palace. It was built by King Jaime II in 1310 and was intended for the king's exclusive use. It is a beautiful example of local Gothic style.
This imposing palace was once the residence of the Kings of Majorca,and is still used today by today's royal family.A royal palace has stood here since the Muslim governors built their fortress after the Arab conquest.Today the palace is used for military headquarters,royal apartments and a museum.
The rooms contain Oriental carpets,Flemish tapestries,furniture and paintings and neoclassical paintings.Unfortunately the taking of photos inside the palace is now banned.A walk out onto the terrace gives you panoramic views.
- Main: Despacho de la Reina (Study of the Queen): The Monarchs held their private lunch and meetings with their consellors.
- Second: Despacho del Rey (Study of the King): The surrender of the Muslin Emir to James I took place here in 1.229.
- Third: Capilla de Santa Ana (St. Anne's Chapel): Typical Levantine gothic architecture.
This palace was built centuries ago by Muslim rulers. It is located just across from the Palma Cathedral. My friends and I had fun venturing around the castle, feeling like we were royality.
Admission 3.20€ ($4.15) adults, 2.30€ ($3) children, free for all Wed
Once the home of Moorish governors and the scene of jousting tournaments, the Palacio de la Almudaina was originally a citadel built just outside the city walls. It is perched on an escarpment that overlooks Palma Bay. The citadel had a solid outer wall (much of which is still standing today) that sheltered a rectangular building complete with five battlemented towers. Although the royal court had its official residence at Perpignan, Jaime II wanted to restore the citadel for his summer palace and so called in Pedro Salvá - the same architect who directed the construction of the Bellver Castle - to do so.
Jaime II modified the original citadel to a large extent to combine the solidity of the original Moslem construction with the rich appointments and comfortable design required by the Majorcan court. Thus, in 1309, the reconstruction began. By the time it was finished, four battlemented towers and a portico had been added - among other things.
Today, the Almudaina Palace houses the "Capitania General", or Harbor Office, of the Balearic Islands. It contains numerous works of art, including Flemish tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries that illustrate episodes from Spanish history; 17th and 18th century Spanish tapestries; and banners decorated with scenes from the battle of Lepanto (1571), which the Spanish and Venetian fleets jointly defeated the Turkish fleet.
There is an audio tour available that guides visitors through the Almudaina’s austere but atmospheric rooms.
- Main: Despacho de ayudantes (Assistances office)
- Second, third and fourth: Salón Mayor (Main Hall)
This 10th-century Muslin fortress was rebuilt in a gothic style after the catalan conquest in the 14th centuy.
Now, it is the King's official venue for ceremonies and receptions.