An interesting sight in Sineu is the old royal palace, also known as Palau dels Reis de Mallorca.
The palace was ordered built by king Jaime II in 1309, as a place to retreat and to accommodate diplomats and friends of the royal family.
This palace, is built on top of a former Arab palace, that used to belong to the Emir, Mubashshir Nasir al-Dawla (died 1114).
In the year between 1319 and 1523, the palace served as a courthouse for the jurisdiction of Sineu, a so called Veguer de Forà. The king decided that jurisdiction, settling twists of all rural districts of Majorca, was an ideal solution because of the central location of Sineu.
In 1523, with help and donations from king Felipe II, the palace was transferred to the nun order, Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, to form a convent. In order to form this convent, the archbishop, Joan Vich i Manrique, had to point out at least 3 leaders. For this task, he chose, sister Aina de Puigdorfila, sister Úrsula Cortoner (daughter of Knight Nicolau Cortoner i Sala) and sister Mariana Aixartell, all from the Convent de Santa Margalida de Palma. The name of the convent became, Monestir Concepcionista.
During the 1600’s, the palace, or convent, went through a range of architectural restorations, combining the royal greatness with the seclusion of the nuns nature, making it more closed to the outer world.
Because of the nuns’ isolating behavior, the Monestir Concepcionista was among the poorest in all of Mallorca. To survive, the nuns were forced to start working, doing tasks for the local community. They raised silk worms to make expensive scarfs, they baked, and they did tailor works.
Inside this old palace and convent, the chapter house is especially interesting. It has a high column in the middle of it, carved with religious figures, being lit when the light beams enters through the big round window.
It is important to say, that the palace is closed to the public and you can’t just enter it! However, it is possible to have special arrangements with the town hall of Sineu.
Just by looking at these amazing big walls, you will easily get an idea of what kind of place this used to be.
Get directions to Monestir Concepcionista in Sineu
Sineu is to many inhabitants, namely the local inhabitants, the very heart of Mallorca due to the central location and the many historical monuments and buildings in the town. Sineu is perhaps most famous for its Wednesday tourist market where the narrow silent streets are turned into a commerce mecca of hundreds of thousands of people bargaining. But Sineu is actually one of the greater places to visit and go sightseeing in Mallorca, as you will find a nice handful of interesting constructions such as the Santa Maria church, the former Minims convent, the former royal palace, Gothic hospital etc., all places that tell a story from a period in the history of Sineu and the making of this town. Moreover, Sineu is a great place to discover some traditional Mallorcan cuisine as you will find a number of cellers and bars that serves delicious dishes worth traveling for. Last but not least, Sineu hosts a number of annual events and happenings where local traditions are celebrated with festivities and fairs, an excellent opportunity to feel the soul of Mallorca when it truly unfolds.