feet miles barcelona
PALMA, the chief town of the Spanish province of Baleares, the residence of a captain general, a bishop's see, and a flourishing seaport, is situated 13.5 miles from Barcelona, on the south-west coast of Majorca, at the head of the fine Bay of Palma, which stretches inland for about 10 miles between Capes Cala Figue•a and Regana. It is the meeting place of all the highways in the island, and the terminus of the railway which (opened in 1875) runs to Inca and (1879) Manacor, and will be extended to Alcudia. The ramparts, which enclose the city on all sides except towards the port (where they were thrown down in 1872), have a circuit of a little more than 4 miles. Though begun in 1562, after the plans of Georgic) Fretin, they were not finished till 1836. Palma has undergone considerable change since 1860; streets have been widened and houses built in the ordinary modern style, and the fine old-world Moorish character of the place has suffered accordingly. The more conspicuous buildings are the cathedral, the exchange, the palace, now occupied by the captain-general and the law courts, the general hospital (1456), the town-house (end of the 16th century), the picture gallery, and the college. At the time of the partial suppression in 1835 there were twenty-five monastic buildings in Palma; none of those still extant are of much note. The church of San Francisco is interesting for the tomb of Raymond Lully, a native of Palma. The cathedral, a fine Gothic building with massive buttresses, crowns the summit of the hill on which the city stands. It was erected and dedicated to the Virgin in terms of a vow made by King Jayme as he sailed to the conquest of Majorca, but, though commenced in 1230, it was not finished till 1601. The older and more interesting portions are the royal chapel (1232), with the tomb (1779) of Jayme II., and the south front with the doorway known as del mirador (1389). The principal dimensions of the edifice are - length from the door to the high altar, 347 feet ; width, including the chapels, 190 feet; height of the central nave, 147 feet; height of the side naves, 78 feet ; and height of the belfry tower, 166. Of the architecture of the exchange (tonja), a Gothic building begun in 1426, the people of Palma are particularly proud, as it excited the admiration of the emperor Charles V. The columns of the windows, in black and grey marble, are of almost unexampled slimness. The harbour (formed by a mole constructed to a length of 387 yards in the 14th century and afterwards extended to more than 650 yards), has been greatly improved and enlarged since 1875 by dredging operations and a further addition to the mole of 136 yards. Previously it was not accessible to vessels drawing more than 18 feet, and men-of-was and large merchant steamers were obliged to anchor in the bay, which is sometimes rendered dangerous by violent storms. Porto Pi, about 2 miles from the city, was once a good harbour, but is now fit only for small craft. Shoemaking, tanning, and rope-spinning are prosecuted on a very extensive scale ; and direct commerce is carried on with Valencia, Barcelona, Algeria, Marseilles, Cuba, Porto Rico, &c. Many of the Majorcan vessels used to be Palma-built, but the increase of steam navigation has changed the character of the trade. The population of the ayuntamiento, 53,019 in 1860, was 58,224 in 1S77. There is a considerable number of Christian Jews (Chuetas) who were formerly confined to their own quarter.
Palma probably owes, if not its existence, at least its name (symbolized on the Roman coins by a palm branch), to Metellns P,alearicus, who in 123 D.C. settled three thousand Roman and Spanish colonists cn the island. The bishopric dates only from the 14th century, its foundation having been strongly opposed by the bishop of Barcelona. About a mile south-west of Palma is the castle of Beliver, where Jovellanos and Arago were imprisoned.