Palma takes its name from Palmeria, the town that was founded by the Romans in 120 BC as part of their expansion across the Mediterranean.
Situated on the sweep of a large bay it had considerable advantages for the transportation of olives and salt to which is now Italy. However, they weren't the first, as the area had already been home to a Talaiotic settlement during the Bronze Age.
With the arrival of the Moors, (who named it Medina Mayurqa), the development of the city continued, however the real expansion began 1229 when Jaume I of Aragon captured Mallorca from the Moors and included it in his kingdom that stretched across Spain and France. He also laid the foundation stone for the landmark building of Palma; the Gothic cathedral of Sa Seu, easily seen as you fly over the city.
In 1983, Palma was adopted as the capital of the autonomous region of the Balearic Islands.