Palma (Palma, Palma), often called Palma de Mallorca, is the main city and port of the Spanish autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It is located in the Palm Bay of the island of Mallorca with a width of 20 km and a length of 25 km. A large tourist center. Population 407 648 (2012), with the suburbs - 474 035.
Palma de Mallorca (Palma de Mallorca) is the capital of the archipelago of the Balearic Islands and one of the largest ports of the Mediterranean, considered, moreover, one of the oldest - already with the Phoenicians this place was an important trans-shipment base between the ports of the Iberian Peninsula and the Levant. However, as the capital city is very young - this status it acquired only in 1983, when the Balearics were allocated to a separate administrative unit of Spain.
Palma is one of the most fashionable cities in the region. The whole city center is one vast ensemble of luxury residential areas, shopping streets, intricate alleys and restored old buildings, almost all of it built in the last 20-30 years with a clear vision for tourism. From the old city walls and boulevards there is very little, only from the harbor are easily seen fragments of medieval walls.
The main landmark of the city is the cathedral (XIV-XIX centuries), which dominates the coastline and crowns the oldest part of the city. Particular attention should be paid to the nave of the cathedral with a height of 44 meters and a length of 121 meters, which makes it one of the highest Gothic structures in Europe, as well as its fantastic lighting system (1904-1914), developed by Gaudi. In the temple complex are also located the Museum of the Cathedral, a small art museum (the work of the local school of painting XIV-XV centuries) and the palace of the Moorish rulers of the island - Palau de L'Almudain (X-XII centuries.).
The most attractive part of the city is behind the cathedral. It is very similar to the typical Arabian "medina" old quarter, which is a labyrinth of streets and lanes where you can find elegant Arab baths, and located in the mansion of the XV century, the Mallorca Museum, and the Basilica of St. Francis (13th century, the former Arab soap factory) , and the statue of Juniper Serra (a local priest sent in 1768 to the New World and according to legend, founded San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco), and the first Christian church on the island - Santa Eulalia (XII-XIV centuries) .), and the old town hall in the style of the late Renaissance.
Beyond the old quarter, the Bellver Castle (the 14th century, a rare example of a round fortress, inside which the castle museum is now built, 3 km west of the city center), the old bourse and the Archbishop's Palace, as well as the Hoan Miró Museum (large number works of this famous Catalan surrealist). Also worth visiting is the museum district "Spanish Village" (Pueblo Español).
The main point of attraction around the island's capital is undoubtedly beaches. Along the coast of the Bay of Badia de Palma are the first-class beaches of Palma Nova, Can Pastilla, Sarenal and others (the total length of a suitable coast for rest on this small island is 554 km!). Here life always boils, a lot of luxurious hotels and boarding houses are built, and the doors of restaurants and cafes practically do not close.