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Santa Eulalia to The Temple

In the east side of the old town you will discover two of Palma's oldest churches, Mallorca's mint and even the site of the Knights Templar castle. The narrow streets are filled with ancient manor houses just waiting to be discovered.



Church of Santa Eulalia

Santa Eulalia Plaza is dominated by the elegant facade of Santa Eulalia Church with its tall narrow spire. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona, a thirteen year old girl tortured and decapitated by the Romans. The church was built in the 13th Century, immediately after the conquest in 1229, and it served as the parish church of Palma. Mallorca's General Grand Council held its first meetings here and they recognised James the Conqueror's son, Prince James as the successor of Mallorca when he came of age in 1256 in the church. He would be crowned James II of Mallorca in 1276.

The building was extended in later years to include the huge rose window and Guillem Ferrer's carving of Saint Eulalia above the entrance. The façade was restored by Joan Sureda i Veri, the Marques of Vivot, in 1893, giving the outside of the building a modern feel. The inside is supported by rough hewn columns while Francisco Herrera built the main altar around 1750. If you look above the side door on Carrer del Sant Crist (Holy Ghost Street), you will see a medieval painted wooden carving above the exit.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Church of Santa Eulalia
the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
Carrer de Sant Francesc Convent.

Carrer de Sant Francesc Convent

Return to Santa Eulalia Plaza and head east along the narrow Carrer de Convent of Sant Francesc. Number 7 is a large 15th Century building where Canon Arnau Alberti lived between 1520 and 1527. He was Inquisitor for Palma and many Jews fled Mallorca rather than face his questioning; some were executed in effigy after they had left. The house was later known as Can Rossello and Can Mir. Can Fabrègues at number 9 next door was built in the 16th Century and used by the Dean of the Inquisitor of the Court of the Holy Office between 1775 and 1784.

Church of San Francesc

The Church of San Francesc, or Sant Francis, is a Gothic style church designed by Jaumes Mates and it stands in the plaza of the same name. While work started in 1281 it did not open for worship until 1317; the convent and cloisters were built at the same time on its east side. The bells are in a tall square tower on the east side of the building. The façade has a large rose window above an ornate doorway and statues of George and the Dragon and the Our Lady of Angels.

The interior was destroyed following a lightning strike in 1580 and it took Franoesc Herrera until 1621 to rebuild them. The altarpiece has a large golden shrine with revolving doors revealing several saints, the main one being St. George and the Dragon. There are tombs of many famous Palma families inside but the main one is that of the philosopher Ramon Llull in the Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation. Check out the Randa webpage in the Pla section to learn about Mallorca's religious philosopher. The Church was finally restored by Josep Ferragut Pou in the 20th Century.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Church of San Francesc.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
Father Junípero Serra's statue.


Horacio Eguia's bronze statue of Father Junípero Serra and a native child stands in front of the church. Father Serra taught at San Francisco Convent from 1740 and later decided to leave for the New World to preach in Mexico. He moved onto California and set up the missions which became the cities of San Francisco, San Diego, San Carlos and San Buenaventura. Check out the Father Junípero Serra webpage to learn more about Mallorca's missionary.
Carrer Ramon Llull

Ramon Llull Street was known as the Carrer de la Porteria San Francisc, or Saint Francis Gate Street.

The huge building on the left hand side or the road is the Casa de Cultura, or House of Culture, a renaissance style building by Josep Ferragut Pou which is home to Mallorca's Archive. Opposite is the Savings Bank and Mount of Piety building, a turn of the 20th Century building designed by Gaspar Bennassar and Jaume Alenya. The Mount of Piety was a pawnbroker charity set up to counter money lenders in the 1400s.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Savings Bank and
Mount of Piety building.

 

Temple Plaza

In Temple Plaza there is a statue of Jafudà Cresques and his son Abraham Cresques, famous 14th Century Jewish cartographers. Abraham Cresques drew the famous Catalan Atlas of 1375 which is now kept in the National Library of Paris. His workshop was nearby and he was one of several famous Mallorcan mapmakers. Check out the Map Makers webpage in the Organisations section to find out more about the Mallorca cartographers.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
Jafudà Cresques' statue.
the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Castle of the Temple.

The Temple

Just beyond Temple Plaza is the building known as the Castle of the Temple. It was a fortress owned by the Gomara family when the Moors ruled the city. King Jaime the Conqueror handed over the castle to the Knights Templar after the conquest of Palma in 1229 and treasures collected in the city were kept here until it was time to divide them up between his barons. The fortress was the Knights Templar Monastery until the organisation was disbanded in 1312; it was handed over to the Knights of St. John two years later. The French Templar's had been arrested, tortured and burned at the stake after King Phillip IV of France became heavily in debt to them. Pope Clement V then disbanded the Order but King Jaime II refused to persecute them and only confiscated their properties. (Check out the Knights Templar webpage in the Organisations section to find out more)

In the 16th Century the fortress was used as a prison by the Inquisition, where converted Jews, who were called Xuetes, were interrogated to see if their faith had lapsed. Over 500 fled 1488 and 1531 and many were executed in effigy. (Check out the webpage on the Jews in Mallorca in the Organisations section to find out more). The building passed into private hands in 1820 and part of it is now a school.

The walls of the fort have disappeared but an Arab style entrance with twin towers stands over the alley leading to the church entrance. There is a display about the building inside the ancient chapel vestibule.

The Mallorcan Mint

Leave the Temple and head west along Carrer del Sol, which runs west from Temple Square. Number 7 on the right is Can Marquès del Palmer (or Can Catlar). The Lloscos family, the Barons of Bunyola, sold it to the Descatlar family in 1429 and their coat of arms are carved on the facade. In 1442 the building became Mallorca's mint, known as 'La Seca'. The head of Descatlar family was known as the 'Señor de la Bolsa de Oro', or the 'Master of the Bag of Gold', and he was entitled to all the gold shavings left on the floor by the minting process. In 1707 Guillem Abri-Descatlar i Serralta was appointed Marques de Palmer by Archduke Charles of Austria in 1707 for his support during the War of Spanish Succession but the title was removed when Philip V won the war in 1714. The mint continued its work until 1787.

the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Mallorcan Mint.
the walk from Santa Eulalia to The Temple in Palma de Mallorca
The Count de la
Cueva's House.

Count de la Cueva's House

At the end of Carrer del Sol, on the right hand side, is Count de la Cueva's 18th Century house. It was the home of Jordi de Villalonga, the Count de la Cueva and Lieutenant General of the Royal Army. He was General of Callao, Peru's largest port, from 1708 to 1718, and Viceroy of New Granada, the Spanish colony which encompassed modern day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezula, from 1719 to 1724. The Count was then commander of the Spanish armies in Peru. Today the elegant courtyard leads into the headquarters of the Balearic School of Tourism which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2005.

Continue straight ahead into Calle Can Fortuny and follow the dog-leg in the street to get back to your starting point, Santa Eulalia Plaza.



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