The Almudaina Royal Palace is located on the same spot as the first Roman settlements in Palma. During the 12th and 13th centuries it was the fortress of the Muslim walis of ‘Madina Mayurqua’. Their remains can still be found in the current castle. The imposing structure we see today is the result of the effort by Jaime II between 1305 and 1314, when it was turned into the palace of the kings of Majorca. From the 16th century onwards it was used as the courts, the residence of the viceroy and captain general and administrative centre of the island’s royal heritage.
As part of the National Heritage it is currently used by HRH the King as the official residence for state occasions and receptions during the summer. The walled area with towers on the corners is irregular rectangle-shaped, where the buildings are erected around a large central courtyard, the parade ground. The most important tower is the tallest one, known as ‘de l’angel’ because of the angel-weathervane at the top, by Arnau de Campredon (1310).
The Santa Ana palatial chapel dates back to the early 14th century, and is one of the best examples of classical Gothic architecture, especially the sculptures on the tympanum, the corbels and keystones of the vault, by Pierre de Guines and the Campredon workshop. Indoors there is a sculpture of Saint Praxides, patron saint of Majorca, by Huguet Barxa (1458-60).
The Royal Palace is composed of service rooms, the ‘Gran Saló’ or ‘Tinell’ divided into two levels since the 16th century, the offices of the monarchs and the baths from Moorish times. The inside decorations include paintings and furniture from different historical times, as well as an excellent collection of tapestries.
Tickets are required for the visit. It is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 3 PM and 6 PM (October to March) and between 5 PM and 8 PM (April to September). Entry is free for European Union citizens.