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Stamp

Issue

CATEDRALES. CATEDRAL DE PALMA DE MALLORCA

  • Issue date: 10/09/2012
  • Printing Process: Offset
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontales)
  • Size of block sheet: 79,2 x 105,6 mm. (vertical)
  • Postal value of the stamps: 2,90 €
  • Print run: 280.000 hojas bloque
  • Dented: 13 ¾
  • Block print run: 280.000 hojas bloque

La Seu, or Palma de Mallorca Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of Saint Mary, is over 100 meters long with an interior height of over 40 meters.

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Legend says that when Jaime I the Conqueror embarked on a conquest of Mallorca, there was such a strong storm that he promised to raise a temple to the Mother of God if his ships were saved. This is how the story seems to have unfolded since, after the conquest in 1229, construction began on a chapel at the location that was previously home to a mosque, which was demolished as construction progressed. The new temple originally only had one nave, but the structure was changed in the second half of the 14th century, which explains the difference between the apse and the naves.

With a clear influence of art from Catalonia, France and Italy, the cathedral is framed in a Levantine Gothic style, with the main hall floor formed by three naves without any ambulatory or transept. There are various chapels between the lateral buttresses and there are three more chapels in the apse, which is very original since it has various masses coming out of it. There is a significant difference in height between the central nave, which reaches 44 meters high, and the two lateral naves. The naves are separated by arches supported on very thin, tall octagonal pillars, which are considered to be an architectural jewel. One of the structure’s highlights is the enormous rosette window, one of the largest in the Gothic world, whose lines form the star of David. It has 83 stained glass window pieces.

The cathedral was finished and consecrated in 1601, while the cloister dates back to the 18th century. This is where the island’s kings, nobles and bishops have been buried.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bishop of Palma hired architect Antoni Gaudí for the renovation and rehabilitation of La Seu. This involved removing the choir from the central nave and moving it to the sides, dismantling the Gothic and Baroque altarpieces, which were moved to other locations, and the placement of a baldachin on the main altar. Gaudi introduced a series of modernist ornamental elements that give the cathedral its characteristic hallmark.

Part of the main façade has been recreated on a miniature sheet, with its towers and flying buttresses, and a general view of the temple taken from the apse is on the stamp.

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