Palma Palma de Mallorca Palma Old Town

The mystery of La Seu’s Rose Windows

La Seu Cathedral by Mallorca Content Factory

The building of the La Seu Cathedral in Palma started in the 13th Century and like many places of worship has an interesting history.

One of the elements that make it fascinating is a phenomenon that happens twice a year when the sun shines through the main Rose Window and projects underneath the facing but smaller stained glass window, forming a figure of eight.  This is best witnessed from 8am when the projected colourful light slowly slips across the wall to meet its smaller twin at about 9am, and then slips away again.

The first rays of morning sunshine that illuminate the facing interior wall with coloured light from the 1.116 pieces of glass making up the larger stained-glass window, also known as Oculus Maior and the Gothic Eye.

La Seu Cathedral February 2nd 2023 The light from the main Rose Window casts on to the facing wall.

This happens every Candlemas and Saint Martin’s Day (2/2 February 2nd and 11/11 November 11th respectively). Experts believe that the rose windows were not placed deliberately to create this phenomenon, so this only makes it even more magical!

The building’s orientation, by contrast, is intentional. The bell tower is directed toward Mecca, since it stands on the site of the earlier mosque’s minaret.

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