La Llotja (The Market), Palma

Historic Building in Palma

Lonja, Palma De Mallorca, España
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Diego Delso,

La Llotja, the former Maritime Trade Exchange, stands as a remarkable example of bourgeois Gothic architecture. Situated adjacent to La Seu, or Palma Cathedral, on the Avenue Gabriel Roca, this historic institution has a rich and diverse history.

Originally founded in Barcelona by a privilege granted by King Marti I in 1403, the Maritime Trade Exchange relocated to Mallorca in 1452, taking residence in La Llotja. The Exchange played a pivotal role in regulating trade and overseeing the activities of the Palma port, serving as a hub for business transactions.

Over the years, as maritime trade declined, La Llotja transformed into a goods depot. It even served as an arms factory and arsenal during the Napoleonic wars and later functioned as a courthouse. From 1886 to 1962, it operated as a museum, preserving its historical significance.

Construction of La Llotja began in 1426 under the direction of architect Guillem Sanear and was completed in 1447 by Guillermo Vilasolar. When the Maritime Trade Exchange moved in, the building was integrated into the city’s defensive walls and featured four towers on its cube-shaped structure. At that time, it was in close proximity to the sea.

Internally, La Llotja comprises a single expansive space supported by two rows of intricately twisted columns, which uphold a vaulted ceiling. Above the main entrance, a sculpture of The Angel of Merchants adorns the tympanum.

In recent decades, La Llotja has evolved into a hub for art exhibitions, events, and political gatherings. It has undergone recent restoration efforts, including the creation of a terraced flat roof. With permission, groups can ascend to the roof, offering panoramic views. La Llotja is open daily, except on Mondays, welcoming visitors to explore its rich history and architectural beauty.

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Visiting La Llotja (The Market), Palma

Address: Llotja de Palma, Plaça de la Llotja, Palma, Spain
Duration: 20 minutes

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