Palma

Palma or Palma de Mallorca (pälˈmä ħā mälyôrˈkä) [key], city (1990 pop. 325,120), capital of Majorca island and of Baleares prov., Spain, on the Bay of Palma. It is the chief port and commercial center of the Balearic Islands. Picturesquely situated along the bay and into the surrounding hills, it is one of Europe's most renowned resorts. The international airport is one of the three busiest in Spain. Craft industries and the manufacture of furniture and textiles supplement the tourism. Stone Age remains have been found. The imposing Gothic cathedral, founded after James I of Aragón wrested (1229) Palma from the Moors, was finished only in the 17th cent. Nearby are the Castillo della Almudaina (once a Moorish palace), and the 15th-century Lonja [exchange]. There are several ancient churches, notably that of San Francisco (13th cent.), and fine private homes. The former royal palace of Bellver, c.2 mi (3.2 km) W of Palma, is a good example of 14th-century military architecture. The city has several fine modern and contemporary art museums, including the Miró Foundation. Palma was an important naval and air base of the Nationalists during the Spanish civil war (1936–39).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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