It is essential to visit if you´ve decided to spend your vacation in Mallorca. It doesn´t matter if your just visiting for a few days or two weeks, the Castle of Bellver can be seen in less than two hours and is considered one of the islands most important monuments. So leave your excuses at the hotel and prepare to submerge yourself in the history of the city of Palma.
The Castle of Bellver, built under the order of King Jaime II in 1300, can show off for being the only castle in Spain with a circular shape, and the oldest in Europe with these characteristics. In regards to its architectural style, it has a gothic style, and its name come from the old Catalán Bell Veer (which means beautiful views), something you can check for yourself from its huge terrace. It was constructed following the patterns of the royal residences, since until the XVIII century, that was its use. But it's interesting to observe how there are defensive elements that make you think that maybe it wasn´t only a palace, taking into consideration its strategic position at the top of a hill (with an altitude of 112 meters in respect to sea level). It was in 1717 when it was converted into a military prison. One of the most illustrious prisoners housed by the castle was the Minister of Finance and Justice (under the reign of Charles IV) Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos from 1802 to 1808). Another curious fact concerning its use as a building is that in 1821 it was temporarily converted into the currency factory of Mallorca. In 1931, the castle and the forest that surrounds it were delegated by the State to the City of Palma, which founded the first museum of Palma in it. During the Spanish civil war, it was newly used as a prison for the republicans, and in its vicinity shooting occurred. If you know these details, walking through the forest can become a moment to reflect. Knowing four historical details to have an idea of what the Castle of Bellver is and what it was used for, we can dive into the secrets that are held within its walls. The castle has three permanent exhibitions:
-Urban evolution of Palma. A review from Balearic prehistory up until our days when the actual city is constructed of which Mallorca shows off. In the first room of the exhibit a film is offered in which interesting details about Palma´s history are shared.
-Collection Despuig. This is an exposition situated on the main floor of the castle consisting of sculptures created by the Palma native artist Antoni Despuig, a sponsor of artists and assiduous Balearic intellectual circles.
-Jovellanos Room. It was 6 years that the minister Jovellanos spent in captivity in the Castle of Bellver. This room contains biographical documents of the intellectual that help decipher fragments of his memoirs at the Castle of Bellver (1805).
Guided tours are offered. These last 30 minutes and are offered in various languages. For more information we recommend you check their website:http://castelldebellver.palmademallorca.es
When: Mondays from 8:30h to 13h. From Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30h to 18h (winter) /20h (summer). Sundays and Holidays from 10h to 20h. How much: 4 euros. Palma residents 2,50 euros. Sundays free entry. Where: Street Camilo José Cela s/n 07014, Palma.