The famous Palau dels Reis de Mallorca is located in Perpignan, France. Perpignan had been declared the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca by King Jaume II in 1276, with the palace being completed in 1309. During the latter part of the 14th century, the palacio in Perpignan served as an inspiration for the design of the Palau de l’Almudaina in Palma de Mallorca, an old Moorish fortified palace which had been snatched from the Muslims and which was subsequently redesigned, reshaped and rebuilt.
But, there is another Palau dels Reis de Mallorca, this one being lesser well-known. It is this one that I want to talk about today. It is the palace of the Reis de Mallorca in Sineu, right here in the centre of this very island. For some reason or other, King Jaume II wanted a palace built in Sineu and the Palau dels Reis de Mallorca was built in 1309 on a base formed by an older, Moorish construction. Much later, in 1583, King Felipe II ceded the palace to the Conceptionist nuns (Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady) who have occupied the building as a monastery ever since. The closed order expanded the convent during the 17th century. Most parts of the old palace are not accessible to us mere mortals but, the torre del homenaje (Tower of Homage, see photo below) is visible from the outside and the Baroque-style església is even open to the public.
But there is good news. The bishop of Mallorca has recently granted permission for the nun’s convent to be opened to the public on two occasions per annum. Even though the next such day of open doors is still a couple of months away, careful planning is essential if you should want to go. Open doors are on April 25th, the patron saint day of Sant Marc (San Marcos, Saint Mark the Evangelist), and then again, October 10th (Sant Tomàs). Arrangements have to be made well in time with the Ajuntament de Sineu (telephone 971.520.027, fax 971.855.063).
The photo (top) was taken in Sineu, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 1st, 2010. The time was 12:11:39. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of diariodemallorca.es and the photographer, G. Bosch.