Castell de Bellver

Dawid Kalisinski | Dreamstime.com

Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver- medieval fortification in Palma de Mallorca

Castell de Bellver is a medieval fortress perched on a hill above the island's capital, Palma de Mallorca. The building is considered unique in Spain due to its round shape.

Architectural history of Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver in Mallorca

Around the year 1300 the construction of the fortress at Palma de Mallorca was begun. Pere Salvá, the master builder, had already designed the Almudain Palace in the heart of Palma de Mallorca. By 1309 the round fortification was completed and from then on King Jaume II of Mallorca used the castle that overlooked the city as a residence and also as a fortress.

In the following centuries, Castell de Bellver was repeatedly used as a prison. The dungeon, located under the floor boards of the tower, is a terrible sight. The prisoners were thrown into a five-metre deep cave with a small window on one side only which made escape from this prison virtually impossible. Under the fortress extensive cave system spreads out, which was created by the mining of rock for the construction of the structure.

The exceptional structure of the fortress

The circular shape makes Castell de Bellver a unique building. The outer defences consists of a four-meter-wide moat that runs in front of a fortified wall around the entire complex. Behind the wall is the circular castle with three towers. A fourth stone tower rises outside the rotunda and can be reached via a terrace on the second floor. The two-storey round castle surrounds a courtyard.

On the ground floor there is an arcade (succession of arches) around the courtyard and on the upper floor there is also an open arcade. The lower floor of Castell de Bellver has been used as a city museum since 1936. A visit to the fortress can be combined perfectly with a visit to the exhibition rooms. If you are not arriving by car, take the number 50 bus from the centre of Palma and get off at the Castell de Bellver stop.

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