The Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, known as La Seu, is among the most visited landmarks in the city and across the island. But there are three days each year when La Seu is a real must-see. One is on the 24th of December for the Song of the Sybil (Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) and the other two are the 11th of November and the 2nd of February: when the rose window of Palma’s cathedral aligns closely with the sun to create its light-show called El Espectáculo del Ocho in spanish, l’espectacle del vuit in catalan and the spectacle of the eight in english.
Tips: It is advisable to arrive with enough time ahead of the spectacle of the eight, as many people visit La Seu on these dates each year. The full effect is dependent on the morning sun being out on that day.
The spectacle of the eight: 11th of November and 2nd of February
The 11th day of the 11th month and the 2nd day of the 2nd month, the saint days of La Candelaria and Saint Martin respectively, are the days on which the “spectacle of the eight” takes place, between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning.
The morning sun’s rays pass through La Seu’s main rose window, casting themselves just below the building’s other rose window, located on its main frontage, at the western end. The effects of the light produce a figure of eight between the two rosettes, hence the name “spectacle of the eight”.
Did you know that La Seu’s “Rosetón Mayor”, at 13 metres in diameter and 1,236 coloured glass panes is the largest found in any Gothic cathedral?
Winter solstice’s lightshow: another sun effect at La Seu
For around 20 days around the winter solstice -22nd od December- another light effect takes place between the rose windows of La Seu: it’s possible to see the sunrise through them.
In this case the phenomenon is only to be appreciated from outside the cathedral –Es Baluard terrace is agreat idea!- and one can see as the main rosette and the lesser rose window at the building’s front entrance, create a kind of kaleidoscope by aligning with one another through the rising sun’s rays of light.
Visiting Santa Catalina’s Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca
Visiting La Seu is not just interesting during these light-show phenomena: the cathedral of Mallorca is a masterpiece of 13th century architecture, a place of worship and truly a compulsory visit for lovers of Levantine Gothic art.