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Nearer, my God, to thee

Visits to Palma Cathedral roof

palma cathedral bell tower

Visits to the roof of Palma Cathedral roof, which was out of bounds for hundreds of years, have just started again for the summer season. From now until October, for the price of just €12 you can reserve a guided tour of the highest parts of this wonderful Gothic structure, perhaps the most emblematic building in Palma, seen from miles around and instantly recognisable.

The cathedral's public areas themselves, the enormous congregation area, the side chapels, the works of Gaudi and Barcelo, and the museum areas are awe inspiring and fascinating to see, but if you're interested in the construction and workings of the building, then the roof is the place to go.

Not only do you get fabulous 360 degree views of the city and the sea but you get to experience the cathedral from a 14th century stonemason's point of view, perched on high with only the breeze and seagulls for company.

The tour is for the faint hearted – quite literally – as with 215 steps to ascend the tour is not recommended for anyone with vertigo or cardiorespiratory illness. Once up, it's well worth it, as apart from the views you get to gaze on the terraces of the flying buttresses, the passage between the two towers of the main facade, and one of the wonders of Gothic architecture, the main stained glass rosette high on the facade.

The part I'd like to see most is the bell tower with its ten bells, all with names and all with different tones and the biggest, called N'Aloi weighing in at 4500 kilos. The oldest ones have been there since 1310 and the walls and beams of the tower are scrawled with the graffiti of the stonemasons and other trades and really give a human touch and link with the past to the tower.

The tours last about an hour and have to be prebooked on the Cathedral's website. They are at preset times

Monday to Friday – 10, 11:30, 16, 17:30 and 19

Saturday – 10 and 11:30

Sunday closed