Basílica de Sant Francesc

Church in Palma de Mallorca

One of Palma’s oldest churches, the Franciscan Basílica de Sant Francesc was begun in 1281 in Gothic style, while the baroque facade, with its carved postal and rose window, was completed in 1700. In the splendid Gothic cloister – a two-tiered, trapezoid affair – the elegant columns indicate it was some time in the making. Inside, the high vaulted roof is classic Gothic, while the glittering high altar is a baroque lollipop, albeit in need of a polish.

In the first chapel (dedicated to Nostra Senyora de la Consolació) on the left in the apse is the church’s pride and joy, the tomb of the 13th-century scholar and mystic Ramon Llull. Also a fervid evangelist and the inventor of literary Catalan, Llull lays fair claim to the title of Mallorca’s favourite son (apart perhaps from tennis genius Rafael Nadal). His alabaster tomb is high up on the right – drop a few coins in the slot for the campaign to have him canonised (he has only made it to beatification). Check out the Capilla de los Santos Mártires Gorkomienses, on the right side of the apse. In 1572, 19 Catholics, 11 of them Franciscans, were martyred in Holland. In this much-faded portrayal of the event, you can see them being hanged, disembowelled, having their noses cut off and more.


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