Church Basílica Sant Francesc

Medieval Franciscan church with a Baroque facade and a Gothic cloister

The San Francisco de Palma church is a good example of Gothic architecture. It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and holds the tomb of Ramón Llull. On the other hand, the façade was rebuilt in Baroque style throughout the 17th century. The most important element is the Gothic cloister, which is unique in the Kingdom of Aragon.

The Franciscans reached Majorca in 1232. After building their first church at the gate of Saint Margaret, they settled in this location, where they built the convent and church in 1281. Centuries later (1835), the Friars Minor were secularised, and in 1906 the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis settled in this location.

The church is a Gothic structure from the late 13th century and the 14th century. The original façade was destroyed by lightning in 1580, and the new one was rebuilt in Baroque style during the second half of the 17th century by Pere Horrach and Francisco de Herrera. The doorjambs of the apse gate have two sculptures: Saint Dominic (left) and Saint Francis (right). The tympanum is formed by an ensemble of Baroque sculptures with impressive movement that is headed by an image of the Immaculate Conception and flanked by Duns Scoto (right) and Ramón Llull (left). The gate is topped by an image of Saint George from 1700. The façade is decorated with a rose window, while the top part (triangular pediment and sun dial) was the result of the refurbishment undertaken by Pere d’Alcàntara Penya (1861).

The church has a basilica floor plan with one nave and side chapels. The chevet has several apses and an ambulatory that was completed during the Baroque refurbishment. The rib vault is from 1384 and replaced the original wooden one.

Within the church, it is important to mention the Gothic choir seats (15th century) by Macià Bonafé, the Baroque main altarpiece (1739) by Joan d’Aragó and the tomb of Ramón Llull (1487), by sculptor Francesc Sagrera. This tomb has an alabaster sarcophagus with the recumbent figure of the ‘Doctor il·luminat’, plus seven empty unfinished stone niches beneath it that were meant to hold the images of the seven liberal arts.

The cloister is connected to the church. It has a trapezoidal floor plan and is a unique example from the Gothic era. The arches are of pointed and lobe type on slender quatrefoil columns. The coffered ceiling is made in polychrome wood. The oldest gallery (14th century) is on the north side, while the most modern one (15th century) is on the south side. The floor is covered in gravestones of noble families that were buried in this building.

Address:
Plaça de Sant Francesc, 7
07001 Palma de Mallorca

Web:
http://www.spiritualmallorca.com

Phone:
+34 971 71 26 95