The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is located just opposite Palma’s imposing Cathedral ‘La Seu’. It’s elevated position overlooking the Bay of Palma lent it great strategic importance throughout the ages. Today, it’s one of the capital’s main attractions.
The word ‘Almudaina’ comes from the Arabic for ‘fortress’. However, long before the Moors arrived in the 10th century, the site had already been used by Romans, and even further back, by the Talaiots. When the Christians took possession of the island in the 13th century, the Moorish features were largely demolished. Under King Jaume II, the palace adopted the Levantine Gothic style.
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Visitors can wander through its numerous rooms, soaking up its history. There are a series of three grand rooms where you may notice the bricked-in Gothic arches cut off in the middle. These rooms, which are furnished with period pieces and tapestries, would have once been double their present height and formed a vast hall.
Some six rooms are completely bare. For a glimpse at opulent interior design, venture up the Royal Staircase to visit the royal apartments. The Capilla de Santa Ana (“Saint Anne Chapel”) next to the apartments is noteworthy for its Pyrenean marble portal, which is a rare example of the Romanesque style on the island.
With so many conquerors, it’s not surprising how many styles are captured within these ancient walls. Surveying the serene swans gliding across the lake in the gardens, it’s hard to imagine any fighting take place now. However, it does serve as the Balearics military command, as well as a museum.
The palace is currently the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain. That said, it’s unlikely you’ll catch a glimpse of the royals as they tend to stay at their Marivent residence.
Open Tuesday to Sunday.
October to March: 10.00- 18.00
April to September: 10.00-20.00
Closed on Mondays.