A friend of mine used to study in Berlin. When he moved back to his hometown he decided to spend his next vacation in Berlin. Weird? Maybe so, but he just wanted to visit all the spots that he never bothered going to while he lived right around the corner. Same with me. I had never been inside the Palacio Real de La Almudaina until I got the chance to join a group of fellow students, recently.
Unusually for me I took advantage of a guided tour. It takes you on a great journey through Mallorca’s history. And I really enjoyed learning more about the stories behind the ancient stone walls. They were erected by the Romans directly at the waterfront, fortified by the Arabs and rebuilt as a palace by the Christian conquerors. Pretty amazing that the Arab bathrooms already came with underfloor heating, sauna and steam room. You would expect that the kings who followed appreciated this exceptional luxury. Yet there are traces of quite a different usage.
Today, La Almudaina is the official residence of the King of Spain when he is on Mallorca. While the royal family spends their leisure time at the Marivent palace La Almudaina serves as a workplace for receptions and audiences. The flag pole tells you when the King is present and whether he is hosting any international visitors. Except for the thousands of tourists, of course. But most of them head straight to the cathedral next door, anyway. Making a visit of La Almudaina even more special.