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Palma Cathedral lightshow

Tripping the light fantastic in La Seu

It's that time of year again when Palma Cathedral is lit fantastically by the power of the sun aided only by some advanced mathematics and astronomy. When the cathedral was designed and built way back in the 13th century, its architects planned a light spectacular to occur twice a year when the orientation of the building aligned in such a way with the rising sun that the light streams in through the enormous stained glass rose window at its eastern end.

spectacle of the 8. palma cathedral

Known as “L'espectacle del vuit,” or in English The Spectacle of the Eight because the light from the eastern rose is projected onto the wall under the western rose window forming the shape of an 8. Incredibly this happens on the same two days every year - the Saints' days of Candelaria and San Martin de Tours, whose dates are 2/2 and 11/11, both of whose digits add up to 4 and two fours are eight!

This Friday sees the next show and as always, you'll have to get up early to see it – La Seu opens from 8 am – and big crowds gather (as you can see from the photo from the cathedral's facebook page) to gaze upon the sight with wonderment through the screen of a mobile phone. If you are lucky enough to be in Palma (or further afield in Mallorca) on Friday, do go and have a look, it's well worth the effort.