- Palma de Mallorca
native_name = Palma
spanish_name = Palma de Mallorca
nickname = Ciutat
image_flag_size = 150px
image_coat_of_arms = Escut de Palma.svg
image_coat_of_arms_size = 90px
lat_long = coord|39|34|N|002|39|E
time_zone = CET (GMT +1)
time_zone_summer = CEST (GMT +2)
image_skyline_size = 250px
native_language = Catalan
community = Balearic Islands
community_link = Balearic Islands
province = Balearic Islands
province_link = Balearic Islands
divisions = 5
mayor = Aina Calvo Sastre
political_party = PSOE
political_party_link = Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spain)
area = 21,355
altitude = 13
population = 413.781 [ [http://www.diaridebalears.com/segona.shtml?-1+3+196163 Diari de Balears Digital ] ]
date-population = 2008
density = 1756
website = http://www.palmademallorca.es/
postal_code = 07001 - 07014
area_code = 971
Palma is the major
cityand port on the island of Majorcaand capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islandsin Spain. The name of "Ciutat de Mallorca" (city of Mallorca) was used before the War of the Spanish Succession, and is still used by people in Mallorca (in fact there are other cities in Mallorca but they are much smaller). It is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma. As of the 2007 census, the population of the city of Palma proper was 383,107, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 517,285, ranking as the 12th-largest urban area of Spain. Almost half of the total population of Majorca live in Palma. The archipelago of Cabrera, though widely separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. Its airport, Son Sant Joan, serves over 22 million passengers each year. The Marivent Palacewas offered by the city to the then Prince Juan Carlos I of Spain. The royals have since spent their summer holidays in Palma.
Palma (Palmaria) was founded as a Roman camp upon the remains of a
Talaiotic settlement. The turbulent history of the city saw it the subject of several Vandalsackings during the fall of the Roman Empire, then reconquered by the Byzantine, then colonised by the Moors(who called it "Medina Mayurqa"), and finally established by James I of Aragon.
After the conquest of
Majorca, it was loosely incorporated into the province of Tarraconensis by 123 BC; Romans founded two new cities: Palma on the south of the island, and Pollentia in the northeast - on the site of a Phoenician settlement. Whilst Pollentia acted as port to Roman cities on the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, Palmaria was the port used for destinations in Africa, such as Carthage, and Hispania, such as Saguntum, Gades, and Carthago Nova. Though no visible remains of this period are seen in present day Palma, archaeological discoveries still occur whenever excavating under the city centre.
Though the period between the
Fall of Romeand the Muslimconquest is not well known (due to lack of documents), there is clear evidence of Byzantine presence in the city, as indicated by mosaics found in the oldest parts of the Cathedral, which was in early medieval times a paleo-Christian temple.
Between 902 and 1229, the city was under
Islamiccontrol, in some form, as described below.
Under the Caliphate
The arrival of
Moorsin the Balearic Islands occurred at the beginning of the VIII century. During this period, the population developed an economy based on self-sufficiency and piracy, and even showed evidence of a relative hierarchy. The dominant groups took advantage of the Byzantine withdrawal due to Islamic expansion, to reinforce their domination upon the rest of the population, thus ensuring their power and the gradual abandonment of Imperial structures.
In 707, a Muslim fleet, under the command of Abd Allgaht ibn Musa, son of the governor of Ifriqiya, Musa ibn Nusayr, stopped at the island. It appears that Abd Allah convinced the factional powers of the city to accept a peace treaty. This treaty granted, in exchange for a tax, respect for social, economic and political structures to the communities that subscribed it, as well as the continuity of their religious beliefs.
After 707, the city was inhabited by Christians who were nominally in allegiance to the sovereignty of the
Caliphateof Damascus, yet who, "de facto", enjoyed an absolute autonomy. The city, being in Majorca, constituted an enclave between western Christianand Islamicterritories, and this attracted and encouraged increased levels of piracy in the surrounding waters. For wide sectors of the city's population, the sacking of ships (whether Muslim or Christian) which passed through Balearicwaters, was the first source of riches during the next fifteen decades. Eventually, the continued piracy in the region lead to retaliation by Al-Andaluswhich launched its naval power against the city and the whole of the Islands. The Islands were defended by the emperor Charlemagne in 799 of a saracen pirate incursion.
In 848 (maybe 849), for years after the first
Vikingincursions had sacked the whole island, an attack from Córdoba forced the authorities to ratify the treaty to which the city had submitted in 707. As the city still occupied an eccentric position regarding the commerce network established by the Caliphin the western Mediterranean Sea, this accounts for how the enclave was not immediately incorporated into Al-Andalus
Caliph of Córdobareinforced its influence upon the Mediterranean, the interest of Al-Andalus for the city increased. The logical consequence of this evolution was the substitution of the submission treaty by the effective incorporation of the islands to the Islamicstate. This incorporation took place in the last years of the Emirate. In 902, a squad under the command of Isam al-Jawlani took advantage of the instability caused by several Vikingincursions and disembarked in Majorca, and after destroying any resistance, incorporated Majorca, with Palma as its capital, to the Córdobese dominions.
The incorporation of the city to the Emirate sets the basis for a new social organisation, far more articulated and complex than before. Commerce and manufacture developed in a manner that was unknown previously. This caused a considerable demographic growth, thereby establishing Medina Mayurqa as one of the major ports for trading goods in and out of the
Caliph of Córdoba.
Denia - Balearic Taifa (1015 - 1087)
Umayyadregime, despite its administrative centralisation, mercenary army and struggle to gain wider social support, could neither harmonise the various ethnic groups inside al-Andalusnor dissolve the old tribal bounds which still organised sporadic ethnic in-fighting. During the 11th century, the Caliphate's control waned considerably. Provinces broke free from the central Córdobese administration, and became effectively sovereign states - " taifas" - under the same governors that had been named by the last Umayyad Caliphs. According to their origin, these "taifas" can be grouped under three broad categories: Arabian, Berber, or Slavic origin.
Palma was part of the Slavic "taifas", the
Denia"taifa". The founder of this state was a client of the Al-Mansur family, Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, who could take profit from the progressive crumbling of the Caliphate's superstructure to gain control over the province of Denia. Subsequently, Muyahid organised a campaign throughout the Balearic Islandsto consolidated this district and incorporated them to its "taifa" in early 1015.
During the following years Palma became the main port from where attacks on Christian vessels and coasts could be launched. Palma was the base from where a campaign against
Sardiniawas launched between 1016 and 1017, which caused the intervention of Pisans and Genovese forces. Later, this intervention set the basis for Italian mercantile penetration of the city.
Denian dominion lasted until 1087, a period during which the city, as well as the rest of the islands, was relatively peaceful. Their supremacy at sea was still not rivalled by the Italian merchant republics, thus there were few external threats.
The Balearic Taifa (1087 - 1115) and the Western Mediterranean
Banu Hudconquest of Denia and the incorporation of this to the Eastern district of the taifaof Zaragozameant the destruction of the work of Muyahid. The Islands got unbound from peninsular dominion and for a short time, enjoyed independence, during which Medina Mayurqa was the capital.
The economy during this period depended on both agriculture and piracy. In the latter 11th century,
Christiancommercial powers took the initiative at sea against the Muslims. After centuries of fighting defensively in the face of Islamicpressure, Italians, Catalansand Occitanstook offensive action. Consequently, the benefits of piracy diminished causing severe economic stress on the city.
The clearest proof of the new ruling relation of forces, from 1090, is the
Crusadeorganised by the most important mercantile cities of the Christian states against the Islands. This effort was destined to finally eradicate Muslim piracy mainly based in Palma and surrounding havens. In 1115, Palma was sacked and later abandoned by an expedition commanded by Ramon Berenguer IIIthe Great, count of Barcelonaand Provence, which comprised Catalans, Pisans and other Italians, and soldiers from Provence, Corsica, and Sardinia, in a struggle to end Almoravid control.
After this, the Islands became part of the Almoravid Caliphate, the
Islamicreplica of the growing Christianaggressively in the Mediterraneanand the Iberian Peninsula. The reunification of all the taifaunder one state helped to re-establishing a balance along the frontier that separated western Christian states from Dar al-Islam, the Muslimworld.
The Period of the Banu Ganiya (1157 - 1203)
The Almoravids upon the islands, sacked by Catalans and
Pisans could be established without great resistance. The situation changed in the middle 12th century, when the Almoravids, displaced from Al Andalusand western Maghreb Almohad. Almoravid dominions, from 1157 on, are restricted to the Balearic Islands, being again Palma the capital, governed by Muhammad ibn Ganiya. Massive arrival from Al-Andalus refugees contributed to reinforce the positions of the last Almoravid legitimitists, the Banu Ganiya, who, conscious of their weakness in the Western Mediterraneancontext, starting to get closer to the growing powers represented by Italian cities. Genovese and Pisans obtain then their first commercial concessions in the city and the rest of the islands.
From this strategic enclave the
Balearic Islandsmeant, the Banu Ganiya, taking advantage of the great loss suffered by Abu Yuqub Yusuf as-Santarem, took offensive action and attacked Ifriqiya in 1184, where Almohaddominion had not been consolidated. However, this attack was repelled and the Almohad authorities encouraged anti-Almoravid revolts in the Islands. Thus, between 1187 and 1203, the city is under the dominion of the MarrakechCaliphate.
Christian Conquest and late Middle Age
December 31 1229, after three months of siege, the city was conquered by James I of Aragonand was renamed as Palma de Mallorca. In addition to being kept as capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, it was given a municipality that comprised the whole island. The governing organ was the "University of the City and Kingdom of Majorca".After the Death of James I of Aragon, Palma was joint capital of the Kingdom of Majorcawith Perpignan. His son, James II of Majorca, championed the construction of statues and monuments in the city: Bellver Castle, the churches of St. Francesc and St. Domingo, reformed the Palace of Almudainaand began the construction of the Cathedral of Majorca.
The river that cut through the city gave rise to two distinct areas within the city; "Upper town" and "Lower town", depending upon which side of the river they were situated.
The city's privileged geographical location allowed it to keep extensive commerce with
Catalonia, Valencia, Provence, the Maghreb, the Italian dukedoms and the dominions of the Great Turk, which heralded a golden age for the city.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Rebellion of the Brotherhoods (a peasant uprising against Charles V's administration) and the frequent attack of Turkish and Berber pirates caused a reduction of commercial activities and a huge inversion in defensive structures. As a consequence, the city entered a period of decadence that would last till the end of the 17th century.
17th to 19th Century
The 17th century is characterised by the division of the city in two sides or gangs, named "Canamunts" and "Canavalls" (from Majorcan Catalan "the ones from the upper/lower side"), with severe social and economical repercussions. During this period the port became a corsair's haven. During the last quarter of the century, the
Inquisitionreinforced its prosecution of the Jews, locally named xuetes
The fall of
Barcelonain 1714 meant the end of the Spanish Succession Warand the end of the Crown of Aragon, and this was reflected on the Decretos de Nueva Planta, issued by Phillip V of Spainin 1715. This decree modified the government of the island and separated it from the municipality's government of Palma, which became the official city name. By the end of the 19th century, the term "Palma de Mallorca" was generalised in written Spanish, although it is still colloquially named "Ciutat" ( City) in Catalan. In the 18th century Charles III of Spainremoved interdiction of commerce with Spanish colonies in America and the port and commercial activity of the city grew once again.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Palma became the refuge of many who had exiled themselves from the Napoleonic occupation of
Cataloniaand Valencia; during this period freedom flourished, until the absolutist restoration. With the creation of the national state of Spain, Palma became the capital of the new province of Balearic Islandsin 1833. The French occupation of Algeriain the 19th century ended the fear of Maghrebi attacks in Majorca, which favoured the expansion of new maritime lines, and consequently, the economic growth of the city, which suffered a demographic increase, with the birth of new nucleus of population.
20th Century to Today
Since the 1950s, the advent of mass
tourismradically changed the physiognomy of both the city and island, transforming it into a centre of attraction for visitors and attracting workers from mainland Spain. This contributed to a huge change in the traditions, the sociolinguistic map, urbanisation and acquisitive power.
The boom in tourism caused Palma to grow significantly, with repercussions on immigration. In 1960,
Majorcareceived 500,000 visitors, in 1997 it received more than 6,739,700. In 2001 more than 19,200,000 people passed through "Son Sant Joan" airport near Palma, with an additional 1.5 million coming by sea.
In the 21st century, urban redevelopment, by the so-called "Pla Mirall" (English "Mirror Plan"), attracted important groups of immigrant workers from outside the
European Union, especially from Africaand South America.
Football is, like in the rest of Spain, the most important sport in the island, led by the Primera División football league team
Real Mallorcawith its stadium placed at Palma.Because of its island condition all the sea sports have also a big presence in Palma. Maybe the most important event is the Trofeo Ciutat de Palma.Palma was the host of the tennisevent Battle of Surfaces.
List of municipalities in the Balearic Islands
*Dukes of Palma de Mallorca
* [http://www.a-palma.es/ Ajuntament ("local government") of Palma]
* [http://www.palmademallorca.es/portalPalma2/home.jsp?language=en/ Online Mallorca Guide]
* [http://www.meteopalma.com Current weather at Palma de Mallorca with weatherwebcams]
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