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Palma, Mallorca

Palma, Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, is the largest city in Mallorca. The population of Palma municipality was approximately 400,000 at the beginning of 2007. Half the population of Mallorca lives in the city of Palma.

The city occupies the northwestern end of a bay in the southwest of the island of Mallorca. The city council also has jurisdiction over the sub-archipelago of Cabrera including the islands of Cabrera, Conejera, Estells, Imperial, Rodon, Foradada, Plana, and Pobra.

The name Palma dates back to the Roman settlement on the site of the present city, although the area was originally settled during the Bronze Age. In the early middle ages it was conquered by Arabs, who named it Madina Mayurqa. In 1229 it was conquered by King Jaime I, ruler of Valencia and Aragon, and became an important trade city. Palma saw its dark ages in the 16th century, when a significant decline was caused by attacks from Turkish and Berber Pirates and through plague. Lasting until the 18th century, Felipe V changed the government which made Palma the capital of the Balearic Islands. Later, Carlos III established a free trade pact with the Indies, which had a huge impact turning financials around in Palma.

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