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The Portal Major

The Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca was built in a spot where earlier the central mosque of Medina Mayurka had stood. In fact, after the re-conquest the Moorish mosque was initially used as a church, being consecrated as the chapel of Nostra Senyora (Virgin Mary). Work on La Seu (Cathedral) did not start until 1306 and took almost 300 years to be completed. Three doors lead into the Cathedral. The Portal del Mirador, facing the sea, is permanently closed. The Portal de l’Almoina, at the base of the belltower, is used daily for worshippers attending the church services. The door facing the Palau de l’Almudaina is the main entrance and is called Portal Maior. This one is only in use for special occasions such as important funeral services, wedding celebrations of nobility, processions such as Corpus Christi or Palm Sunday, and for other main church festivities.

The Portal Major was executed from 1594 in the Renaissance style after a design by Miquel Verger and completed in 1601. An earthquake in 1851 caused some severe damage to the Cathedral’s main façade but, miraculously, the Portal Major and its outstanding stone carvings survived unblemished. The portal is adorned by the episcopal coat of arms and a statue of the Virgin Mary, plus a number of symbolic relics such as the Sun, the Moon, Heaven’s Gate, the Tower of David, the Garden of Salomon, the Fountain of Life, the City of God, the Holy Spirit and a palm tree, a rosebush plus other metaphoric icons.

Italian organist, Francesco di Lernia (1962), will give a concert at La Seu tomorrow night at 19h45. The concert is part of the XI Festival Internacional d’Orgue a la Seu de Mallorca. This year’s festival will conclude with a concert by Dutch organist, Susanna Veerman (1975), next Sunday, October 24th, again at 19h45. Admission will be free to both concerts. Access will be through the Portal de l’Almoina, I think.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 14th, 2010. The time was 14:49:34.

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