Palma Cathedral and the figure 8.

11-11-2016Jaume Morey

Palma Cathedral's eastern rose window is the largest of Gothic design anywhere in the world. Known as the Gothic eye, it is almost 14 metres in diameter with 24 triangles and 1236 glass pieces. On two days a year, prior to and after the Winter Solstice, the positioning of the window allows morning sunlight to pass through the giant eastern window and form a reflection below its smaller western counterpart. This is what happened today on the feast day of Saint Martin, as it happens every year, so long as the sky is clear and the morning sun is bright. It will occur again on Candlemas, 2 February, the same number of days after the Solstice as today's event was before it. On the Solstice itself, the phenomenon is different in that the alignment of the two windows allows the sun to enter the eastern window and pass through the western window and forming an impression of the Cathedral being illuminated from inside.

This remarkable light show doesn't happen by accident. It is the result of mathematical design from centuries ago which creates the appearance of the figure 8 being formed by the "double rosette" of the western window and the reflected eastern window. And so, from around 8 in the morning, the 8 is created, which means a union, that of the material and the spiritual worlds.

Hundreds of people gathered in the Cathedral this morning to witness the "magical" effect and so hundreds of mobiles were taking photos and uploading them to social networks.


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