Who doesn’t love a Castle ? Bellver Castle (or Castell de Bellver, meaning ‘beautiful view’), situated just 3km outside of Palma, has towered over the city for over 700 years and is well worth a visit.
Claiming the status as the only circular castle in Spain complete with round towers and a moat, the panoramic views from this Gothic treasure across to the magnificent city of Palma in all its glory and the Mediterranean sea beyond are spectacular.
The castle was built in the 14th century for King Jaume II of Mallorca. Its position atop Puig de Sa Mesquida gave an unbeatable perspective for controlling outside threats that might come by land or sea, a place where royalty could take refuge in times of danger.
Made from marès, the honey-coloured sandstone found all over the Balearics, Bellver Castle offers a perfectly circular floor plan, organised around a central courtyard, with four towers directed towards the cardinal points.
As would be expected of a medieval castle of this grandeur, it has many secrets and legends associated with it. It is said for example that secret tunnels connected the castle with the headquarters of the Knights Templar in the Calatrava area of Palma ( archaeologists found parts of these tunnels in the 1970´s ). Think Da Vinci code!
In the later centuries the castle served as a prison and indeed housed prisoners as recently as the Spanish Civil War ( 1936 – 1939).
Today Bellver Castle is home to the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat (City History Museum) which chronicles the fascinating history of Palma and its stunning galleried central courtyard is the stage for a series of classical music concerts performed by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra each July. These open air evening concerts are not to be missed.
The number 3, 46 or 50 buses stop within walking distance ( 15 mins) of the castle. Alternatively take one of the Red Hop on Hop off Palma City Sightseeing Bus tours and make this one of your hoping off points !
Open year round with the exception of Mondays, 25 December, 01 January, 01 May and Easter Sunday.
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