As its name suggests, the Palacio de la Almudaina was orginally a citadel built by the Moorish guverners just outside the city walls. It is perched on an escarpment that overlooks Palma Bay. The citadel had a solid outer wall (much of which is still standing today) that sheltered a rectangular building complete with five battlemented towers. Although the royal court had its official residence at Perpignan, Jaime II wanted to re3store the citadel for his summer palace and so called in Pedro Salvá - the same architect who directed the construction of the Bellver Castle - to do so.
Jaime II modified the original citadel to a large extent to combine the solidity of the original Moslem construction with the rich appointments and confortable design required by the Majorcan court. Thus, in 1309, the reconstruction began. By the time it was finished, four battlemented towers, a portico, and an airy ogival loggia on the seaward side had been added - amoung other things.
The King also decreed the construction of a Royal Chapel, known as the Chapel of Saint Anne. It is quite small but exceptionally beautiful. Its Romansesque portal is one of the rare examples of this style of architecture on the island. A retablo of San Julián (1465) by the Majorcan painter Rafael Mojer hangs in the inside.
A statute/pendant of an Angel by Antonio Camprodon, a Perpignan native, flies over one of the four towers and can be seen clearly from some distance away, Camprodon also worked at Jaime II´s behest at transforming the Moorish fortress.
Today, the Almudaina Palace houses the "Capitania General", or Harbor Office, of the Balearic Islands. It contains numerous works of art, including Flemish tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries that illustrate episodes from Spanish history; 17th and 18th century Spanish tapestries; and banners decorated with scenes from the battle of Lepanto (1571), which the Spanish and Venetian fleets jointly defeated the Turkish fleet.
The welcoming, shady gardens in front of the palace were designed by S´Hort del Rei. They boast gushing water fountains and mobil donated to the city of Palma by the famous contemporary sculptor Alexander Calder.
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