Lighting

The interior of the Cathedral was originally to have been lit by 87 windows: 7 in the Trinity Chapel, 8 in the Royal Chapel, 16 in the nave and 16 more in the aisles, 4 in each apse chapel and 36 in the chapels in the aisles. However, a total of 59 have been opened at present. The chapels in the aisles all have the outlines of five windows, two of which cannot provide illumination because they are in the side walls. The other windows in the chapels are almost completely covered by the monumental baroque altarpieces that reach up to the tracery.

As for rose windows, the Cathedral was to have seven – one at the back of the apse, another at the entrance to it, two in the aisles and three in the main façade. However, five of these seven roses currently remain as it was decided to block the two lateral rose windows in the main facade during Peyronnet’s refurbishment.

The Cathedral’s artificial lighting also deserves special mention. It is lit by five candelabras – one in the nave and four in the aisles – as well as the lighting that Gaudí designed at the start of the 20th century that comprises fourteen candelabras on the columns and the candelabras and lamps in the Royal Chapel.

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LIGHT PHENOMENA

The Figure of Eight Spectacle

This magical phenomenon happens just twice per year on two symbolic dates: the second day of the second month, Candlemas, and the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Saint Martin. On these two days, from eight o’clock in the morning, a unique light phenomenon occurs.

The light of the rising sun passes through the Cathedral’s main rose window and its reflection is projected onto the opposite wall, just beneath the opposite rose window in the main façade so that, for a short period of time, one window reflects onto the other. This forms a double rose window, one in glass and the other in light, leading to what is known as the “figure of eight spectacle” as a “figure of eight of light” forms, a number loaded with symbolism in the Christian tradition. By adding an extra day to the seven days of the week, the earliest Christian writers gave this “eighth day” the status of a time outside of time, a time of eternity, of heaven. The 14 columns inside Majorca Cathedral are also octagonal.

Every year this exceptional phenomenon attracts a greater number of visitors who wish to see the figure of eight spectacle.

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Winter solstice light phenomenon

For some twenty days around the winter solstice, the sunrise can be seen through the Cathedral’s two rose windows – the main rose window and the rose window in the main façade – thus creating a sort of kaleidoscope effect.

The Balearic Mathematics Society (Sociedad Balear de Matemáticas) is the institution that discovered this phenomenon and every year it invites members of the public to the Baluard Museum as this phenomenon can be seen from its terraces. According to Daniel Ruiz Aguilera and Josep Lluís Pol Llompart, members of this society, the effect was discovered in 2007 by Canon Teodor Suau, who observed that the projection of the main rose window onto the rose window of the main façade was complete during these days.

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