Palma de Mallorca
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Palma (in Catalan Palma or Ciutat de Mallorca) is a Spanish city with 422,387 inhabitants, the main town on the island of Majorca and capital of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands.
It represents one of the major tourist centers on the Balearic Islands and is highly appreciated for its beaches, leisure activities and night life; it is packed with hotels and holiday villages often providing international entertainment.
The Romans founded Palma de Mallorca on an earlier "talaotic" settlement. The city, which they called Palmaria, soon became an important trading hub with cities in the western Mediterranean area. 902 saw the beginning of the Arab domain which lasted for about three centuries. In 1229 the island of Majorca was invaded by troops of the King of Aragon and assumed its present name, quickly becoming one of the major trade centres of the Mediterranean.
At the beginning of the last century the Balearic Islands became a port of call for wealthy holiday makers, and this elite tourism in the fifties was soon transformed into mass tourism. In a few years the Balearic Islands changed from being an economically depressed region into the richest region in Spain with a GNP exceeding the European average.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria di Palma is built in Gothic style, also called La Seu, and is the most famous monument of the city built in the early fourteenth century. Alongside the cathedral there is the Palazzo de l'Almudaina, residence of the King of Spain when he visits the island. It was commissioned by James II of Majorca, designed by Pere Salvà and built on the site of a former Arab fortress.
The Belvedere Castle, situated on a hill outside the city, is considered to be a rare example of a castle built in Catalan Gothic style with its typical circular layout.