Mallorca provides much design inspiration through its charming stone homes, rustic beauty, simple fabrics, and casual style.
Summer was over weeks ago, as it is early October, but for me it lasted longer this year. Back to school signals the end to lazy days and a carefree schedule but my remaining child just began school last week. Late-starting California schools allowed me to linger in my summer memories. I was reluctant to give them up as we had an especially fabulous trip to Mallorca, a location at the top of my wish list. That island has long captured my imagination from images I have seen in design books and magazines. The look is very Spanish with a uniqueness all its own, such as stone facades, iron grid doors, and cotton ikat fabrics. As my eye-rolling family can attest, I took hundreds of photos capturing beautiful homes, gardens, and interesting details that I wanted to remember once we returned home.
La Seu, the cathedral, makes quite an impression when you drive into Palma, the capitol and largest city of Mallorca. Construction began in the 1300’s by Jaume 1 after he traveled through precarious conditions en route to Mallorca to rid it of its Moorish occupation. He vowed to God that should he survive, he would build a large cathedral in place of the mosque.
The cathedral’s interior is overwhelming – ornate beauty everywhere. The main altar is spectacular but there are side altars all along the church that are equally detailed. The wrought iron canopy was added in the 1800’s by a student of Antoni Gaudí.
Miguel Barceló overlaid an existing chapel, 2001-2006, with 150,ooo kilos of clay creating this extraordinary space. It is based on John’s gospel – the Wedding at Cana and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The walls seem to be alive with sea creatures. I love the juxtaposition of something so organic and modern in this very traditional gothic setting. It was hard to pull away from this fascinating spot. I particularly loved the simplicity of the tabernacle with its undulating gold door that slides to the side revealing a cavity to hold the bread. A resurrected Jesus with five wounds stands above the tabernacle. John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
A sweet detail of a lamb over the baptismal font.
La Almudaina,the royal palace, is right beside the cathedral. Modifications were made to the original Moorish fortress creating the palace as it is seen now.The King of Spain resides here for part of the summer holiday.
One can see the cathedral looming over the palace from within its courtyard.
The interior of the castle is dramatic with the very high ceilings, stone walls, and large but sparse furnishings.
The palace’s chapel, although simple compared to the cathedral, is still quite ornate. My favorite part of this chapel is the green silk velvet covered benches in leu of hard wooden pews.
Outside the palace are several of these timeless iron gates. The timeless design contrasts nicely with the aged stone making them seem modern.
Beautiful fountains line the side of the palace.
A typical Palma courtyard featuring stone details, white plaster, and their singular style of balustrade.
Elsewhere in Palma is another fountain with this bat-topped obelisk.
A close-up view shows turtles oozing out from a crevice and the interesting heads that spouted water at one point.
Our hotel had a lovely courtyard where one ate meals or had an afternoon refreshment.
Droves of German and Dutch tourists land in Mallorca every summer to go to the gorgeous beaches.
My favorite area was the west coast of the island because of the high cliffs above the gorgeous turquoise and deep blue waters.
The lower cliffs on the west side made it possible to jump off into the water. My kids put this at the top of their list of trip activities. My husband and I joined in so as not to miss out on the fun or be shown up. It doesn’t look too high but standing at the edge of the rock looking down was terrifying, at least to this acrophobic. Did it once. Not to be repeated. Visiting Mallorca again will hopefully be repeated.
Casa V Interiors can bring the best of the world to your home adding some international style.