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Parish church of Santa Eulàlia

Monument

 

The church of Santa Eulàlia, is, along with the churches of Sant Miquel, Sant Jaume and Santa Creu, one of the four oldest in Palma.

It was named after the patron saint of Barcelona, who was venerated by the Christian conquerors who had come from Catalonia. From the outside the side walls of the Gothic church contrast with the main façade and the bell tower that were rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style between 1894 and 1903 after the earthquake that had hit Majorca in 1851.

The chapels of this church include examples of the mediaeval Majorcan style, such as the panel of the Salvator Mundi (Frances Comes), the Dormition of the Mother of God and altarpieces of Saint Lucia, Saint Barbara and Saint Blaise. There are also numerous examples of the Baroque, such as the altarpiece of Saint Bartholomew and the Pietà, as well as Saint Eligius. 

This church's impressive size is because in the 13th century it was the largest parish in the island's capital. The mediaeval Jewish quarter, the Call Major, fell under the administrative jurisdiction of the parish of Santa Eulàlia. 

The area of the Call Major comprised an urban space bounded to the north by Plaça Sant Francesc and the present day Calle Ramón Llull, to the east by Calle Botons, Calle Calders and Calle Salom, to the south by the current Calle Posada de Montserrat and Calle San Alonso and to the west by Calle Santa Clara and Calle Pare Nadal. 

In 1391, a peasant rebellion against the royal power was redirected towards the Jews who represented the weakest aspect of the royal power. This was part of an explosion of violence that had started that same year in different cities across the mainland. The attack on the Call Major of Palma on the night of 2 August of that year led to more than 300 deaths. Many Jews managed to flee, in particular to north Africa. Others converted to Christianity, in this very church, that was also the scene of the second general conversion in 1435. 

With regards to the history of Majorca's converts and their descendants who lapsed and were reconverted (xuetas), the first chapel on the left when entering through the side door from Calle Església de Santa Eulàlia (also known as the silversmiths' door as this was the most common trade amongst the converts) is of special interest. This is the chapel of the Brotherhood of Saint Eligius, the patron saint of blacksmiths and silversmiths, whose symbol is the silver vase that can be seen on the altarpiece and on the marble slab in the floor. The pulpit from which Saint Vincent Ferrer, popularly known as the Angel of the Apocalypse, preached is preserved in this church with his portrait hanging on the upper part and the commemorative stone, 1413, on the stairs.