Palma’s port

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"After completing the description of the city, we’re going to dedicate a few brief lines to its port. It’s located to the south of Palma, and its most important dock faces southwest, beginning precisely in front of the main gateway into the city. Towards the middle, the dock has an outcropping or dyke, almost triangular in shape, on which are the Health or Consignment and Port Captaincy buildings. This old dock, which measures 400 “varas” long, was built in the 14th century. In 1809, thanks to the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and Mallorcan Society of Friends of the Country, it was extended 600 more meters. In more recent times, new work has been strongly encouraged according to plans by the chief engineer, Mr. Emili Pou, to elongate the jetty not only to have more space for ships to dock but, at the same time, to protect the inner port from the storms from the south and southwest it was previously exposed to. There is also a small chapel dedicated to Santa Bárbara on the dock, with a wide portal and where mass has been held since 1878 on Sundays and holidays for the sailors of the ships anchored in the port. This modest church, with an illegible inscription on its altar, dates from the 14th century, that is, the time when the current dock or, rather, its first portion, was built.

On the other side of the main dock is another one, measuring 300 meters long and a width of 100 meters at its widest point. The extension of the new dock has made this second one’s existence superfluous, and some have even talked about removing it. It has an outcropping towards the south corresponding with the other side. On the corner with the buttress, next to the “riera” creek, is a water tank to water down the ships. Unfortunately, there is very Little depth next to this dock like, for the most part, in all the old part, only on this side the bottom is muddier. As a consequence, boats cannot even dock in many spots."

Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria. Las Baleares por la palabra y el grabado. Majorca: City of Palma. Ed. Sa Nostra, Caja de Baleares. Palma de Mallorca. 1982.

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