It’s the dog days of summer, right now. From time to time I seek shelter from both the crowds and the heat at urban oases like S’Hort del Rei, the Orange Garden at the cultural center of Sa Nostra, or the cloister of Sant Francesc.
Once you have entered the beautiful gothic colonnade, allegedly one of the largest in Europe, you trade the bubbly city for a world of tranquillity. A stillness that has lasted for more than 700 years, now, ever since the Franciscans built their monastery. The cloister was the place their life revolved around. You can still picture the monks circling the courtyard, absorbed in thoughts or in a heavy book. Fortunately, there are a couple of benches in the yard, since I prefer to sit down when I am reading.
Don’t forget to pay Ramon Llull a short visit. The famous Mallorcan mystic and teacher is buried in one of the basilica’s side chapels. I’m always amazed how small this great man must have been – judging from his alabaster sepulcher. If you are lucky the sexton has turned on the hidden music player at the sanctuary and the whole church is filled with Bach’s Air on the G String.