Palma – Basilica of San Miguel

This church, the Basílica de San Miguel, was elevated to the status of a basilica just last year, in October 2018, by Pope Francis. It stands on the site of a former mosque and was constructed in 1229. Much has changed though since then and there have been reconstructions of the church in the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The frontage of the church makes quite a statement and the figure on the left, with the book, is the local philosopher and mystic, Ramon Llull. The basilica is located quite a busy shopping street, so there’s quite a lot of hustle and bustle and this was evident with the flow of tourists entering the building.

The interior is a little plain, although the altar is quite impressive at the rear.

The church’s organ.

A polychrome statue of, I assume, Mother Teresa. There was another statue near to the entrance of Pope John Paul II and this was quite impactful.

Without wishing to be disrespectful to the local worshippers, I didn’t really take to this church, there was a strange and atmosphere I haven’t encountered in a church for some time. Such a feeling is entirely undefinable and so isn’t really a helpful comment for me to make, but something didn’t seem right to me. It wasn’t helped by one of the church volunteers going around and turning the lights off, plunging some parts of the church into semi-darkness when visitors were trying to look at side chapels and paintings. I think that there was some set-up where visitors had to pay to turn the lights on in some areas, so perhaps she was turning them off when the person who had paid moved away, but nonetheless…

Anyway, a marvellous piece of history, although I couldn’t see anything in the basilica about the history of the building. Although if I had a torch then I might have found it. Certainly a stunning building, especially the frontage.