Palma‘s former bourse of maritime trade is one of the most beautiful buildings on Mallorca. Whenever the impressive wooden doors of La Lonja are open, I love to drop in for a few moments. Visiting the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Balearic Islands however is something else. So it is all the more exciting that you can now enjoy a guided tour of both the Consolat de Mar and La Lonja. But my true highlight of the nocturnal visit is the roof terrace of La Lonja.
Starting in the Consolat de Mar you enter a vaulted space and pass through a chapel to the medieval merchants’ garden. A spiral staircase leads up to the planta noble with the cabinet room and the office of Francina Armengol. Consolat and Lonja have been closely linked to sea and trade. Today the government of the Balearics takes decisions about the future of the islands behind those ancient walls. The Consulat de Mar also houses paintings and sculptures of famous artists, thus bearing testimony to the cultural heritage of the region.
Back to the ancient courtyard that connects the two buildings, you now enter La Lonja, the magnificent Gothic building from the 15th century. Six tall columns wind upwards, supporting the high ceiling. They appear so light and graceful, it’s hard to believe they carry the entire roof. Another spiral staircase now takes you to the roof terrace. Its surface is modulated like the sea on a day with a light breeze. Like fierce guardians the gargoyles look out over the city. Following their views your eyes wander over to the marina, past the Capitaneria and further to the cathedral.
And while we still marvel at the fabulous vista people sit on the terrace of Café La Lonja and the neighboring restaurants down on the plaça. You would love to linger on but all the while the next group of visitors is already waiting. The guided tour takes about 45 minutes and you can choose between Catalan and Castilian. Admission is free, but the number of participants is limited and pre-booking required. Places are already in high demand.