Palma de Mallorca
The City of Palma, capital of Mallorca, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands and is located on the south coast of the island facing the coast of North Africa from where the Moors colonised the island in the year 902. For the next 200 years the port of Palma became notorious for launching pirate raids against passing Christian shipping. During late December 1229 James I of Aragon sized Palma and ended the Moors occupation of Mallorca. After the death of James I of Aragon his son James II of Mallorca advocated the construction of statues and monuments in the city and the construction of the churches St. Francisco and St. Domingo. In addition the building of Bellver Castle and during this period began the mighty construction of Palma’s sea front Cathedral. It was not until the occupation of Algeria by the French in the 19th century did Palma enjoy any sort of real security, consequently Palma as a port city began to flourish. There are many fascinating examples in the city’s old town which remind of periods of occupation and foreign influence. Walking through the city’s narrow streets one passes numerous examples of early European and Moorish architecture.
The population of Palma is approximately 384.000 (year 2009) roughly representing nearly half of the island’s total population. The main feature of Palma is its seafront, port and boat marinas, it total fronting about 5 km to the Mediterranean.
Throughout the year a flotilla of cruise ships visit Palma to allow passengers a day in the city or as a staging point for passengers off aircraft who will join a Mediterranean cruise. In summer it is not unusual to see as many as 7 or 8 beautiful cruise ships alongside the quays. In addition to the commercial port there are two areas for permanent boat mooring and service – the Club de Mar Palma with 615 moorings and the “Real Club Náutico” Palma with 915 moorings.
Palma is truly an international city where several languages are freely spoken. There are international schools and excellent international clinics to compliment the already superb local medical facilities, namely the 5 main hospitals, the Hospital Son Dureta, Hospital Juaneda, Hospital Rotger, Hospital Miramar and Hospital Planas. There are regular cultural activities, several held in the Auditorium of Palma de Mallorca on the Paseo Martimo and two Palma cinema complexes – Renoir and Porto Pi show new film releases in English. A museum of contemporary art – Es Baluard is located in Paseo Mallorca and a permanent museum of Joan Miro art works is in Cala Mayor. The King of Spain has two palaces on Mallorca, a city palace - the Palacio de la Almudaina and the Palacio de Marivent on the coast at Cala Mayor, 2 kms outside the city.
Old Town apartments, often in refurbished old city palaces or historic buildings in Palma’s city centre are most sought after city real estate, leading to the First Mallorca city centre office enjoying a steady interest from right across the world for apartments, whether to purchase or to enjoy a long term rental.
One of the obvious delights of the city are its numerous excellent restaurants, tapas bars and street cafés.
Shopping is also to a high standard with most if not all of the famous brands represented. Bar Bosch, an outside café, at the beginning of the Ramblas, is a place to relax over a coffee and watch the world and his dog go by. The island’s international airport is only 10 minutes from Palma City centre and enjoys superb schedules to European cities and excellent connections to worldwide flights. Air Berlin has based its European hub in Mallorca and almost all UK carriers have busy routes on to the island from cities the length and breadth of Britain. Easyjet, Thomas Cook, British Airways, Air Europa, BMI, Thomson Flights and Ryanair are just a few of the airlines flying all year round to Mallorca.
© Mallorca Estate Agents - First Mallorca 2009