History, art, and architecture come together in one of the most attractive public buildings on the island of Mallorca: La Lonja (‘Sa Llotja’), built under the direction of the Mallorcan architect Guillem Sagrera in 1426. The result? A truly magnificent work of gothic architecture that will enchant you as soon as you walk through its doors.
Walking along the pretty Paseo Sagrera, which runs parallel to the quay and is flanked by palm trees and landscaped areas, you arrive at La Lonja, the old headquarters of the Merchants’ Association, considered an asset of Cultural Interest (Bien de interés cultural). The intense commercial activity in the port during the fifteenth century led to the creation of this amazing building, with a rectangular floor plan and a vaulted ceiling. The interior, functional and elegant at the same time, will surprise you with its large windows which provide exceptional lighting, and the shape of the pillars which rise to the ceiling as if they were stone palm trees. Only a garden separates La Lonja from the Consolat de Mar, another singular building, home to the Balearic Presidency. In the surrounding area, you can also visit the Royal Palace of the Almudaina and the emblematic Cathedral, with which it has some architectural similarities, such as the inlaid ribs of the wall arches.
La Lonja has experienced a variety of functions during its history. From a commercial hub in its early days, it then became a warehouse for goods and gunpowder in later centuries and was even a hospital and a prison before it started hosting popular events such as Carnival in the 19th century and various exhibitions on occasions as it does now.
Leisure and gastronomy in a romantic medieval setting
Surrounding the La Lonja monument is the vibrant neighbourhood which carries the same name, filled with cobbled streets that will transport you to another era. Serene during the day, and lively once night falls, this neighbourhood is tremendously popular due to its rich and varied choice of restaurants and bars and its location close to the most prestigious shops in the city.
The best atmosphere is around Plaza de la Drassana and Calle dels Apuntadors, where you can choose between numerous eateries, have a few drinks, or just soak up the ambience of Palma at night. Paseo Sagrera also has charming terraces that will tempt you to pause and enjoy the moment, and there are also fairs and artisan markets from time to time which share space with some of the city’s most iconic sculptures: Ramon Llull (1967), Rubén Darío (1951), El Geni de les illes (1986) or Palma (1999), amongst others.