The Incredible Figure-Eight Light Phenomenon at “La Seu"
On the 11th of November and the 2nd of February every year, a figure "eight" can be seen in luminous and perfectly formed colours on one of the vast walls of the beautiful Cathedral of Palma, popularly known as "La Seu". It's a truly magical visual spectacle, which many call the 'Festa de la Llum'. On those two days of the year, this phenomenon attracts thousands of people to the Cathedral, which is located in the capital of Mallorca.
This "figure eight" is created because the sunlight passes through the main rose window and its reflection is projected onto the wall opposite, just below the rose window on that wall. For a very short time, you can see two rose windows forming a very colourful figure eight, thanks to the 1,116 pieces of glass that make up the main stained glass window of the Cathedral. This spectacle never fails. It's as reliable and precise as the movements of the planets and the famous Swiss clocks.
The main rose window of Palma Cathedral is the largest out of all the European Gothic cathedrals. La Seu was constructed from the 13th century to 1630, and is the result of different styles that together created this remarkable structure.
Experts say that this phenomenon is the result of pure chance, because, when the cathedral was built, the rose windows weren't intentionally placed in this way. This bestows the phenomenon with a mystery that enhances people’s interest in it.
Moreover, the number eight is very symbolic in the Christian tradition, as the ancient Christian writers said that the "eighth day" was the period of eternity: heaven itself.
How and When
It wasn't until 2015 that the Cathedral first opened its doors to allow the general public to experience this unique light phenomenon.
If you plan to travel to Mallorca on the dates that coincide with the phenomenon (early February or mid-November), don't think twice about getting up early and travelling to the island's capital to witness the spectacle. Everyone who has experienced it agrees that it is indeed a magical moment.
The Cathedral is open to anyone who wants to see it. But to do so, You have to get up early! The doors of the cathedral open at 7.30 a.m. at the S'Almoina entrance, and the figure eight starts to form at 8.30 a.m. and lasts only 5 minutes! Punctuality is essential in order to avoid missing the spectacle!
If you're unable to get there for whatever reason, don't worry. Palma Cathedral has posted a video of the spectacle on its YouTube channel. So, take a look at the video and then start making plans to go to Mallorca to enjoy this magical phenomenon firsthand.