Gothic Bellver Castle: history, description, how to get there, opening hours

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Gothic Bellver Castle: history, description, how to get there, opening hours
Gothic Bellver Castle: history, description, how to get there, opening hours

With its good ecological environment and wonderful scenery, the island of Mallorca is a wonderful place to relax. But not only the magnificent nature attracts tourists from all over the globe, the largest island of the Balearic archipelago is known for the variety of cultural and historical attractions concentrated in its capital.

The large Mediterranean resort of Palma de Mallorca is full of architectural monuments. Standing apart among them is the Gothic Bellver Castle, whose name translates as “wonderful place.”

Symbol of the capital of Mallorca

Located near the center of the capital, an example of medieval architecture stands on the very top of the hill. Viewing platforms located on the rooftop offer amazing views of the city and the bay.

Considered the symbol of the capital, Bellver Castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century at the behest of the ruler Jaime II. The prototype was the Jordanian fortress Herodium of an unusual shape with four towers.

Royal Palace and defensivebuilding

The building with a stone moat and an outer wall with loopholes served as both a royal residence and a fortress guarding access to Palma de Mallorca. Tourists are interested in the unique feature of the massive citadel - it is the only non-standard round Gothic building in Spain.

Oriented to the four cardinal directions, Bellver Castle looks like a huge compass from above. The fact is that three cylindrical turrets are built into the walls of the ancient structure, and the fourth, the largest, located at a distance from them, is connected to the fortress by a massive arched bridge. The outlines of small towers are visible in the walls of the Spanish fortress.

bellver castle how to get there
bellver castle how to get there

Gallery and interiors

Inside the castle, surrounded on all sides by a pine forest, there is a cozy courtyard, along the perimeter of which there is a two-tiered gallery. The rounded arches of the lower floor are supported by 21 square columns. The rooms of the two-story castle are connected to the courtyard through a covered gallery.

The top tier consists of gothic-style arches resting on forty-two octagonal columns, emphasizing the Italian style, skillfully combining gothic and antiquity.

On the lower floor of the castle there were utility rooms and small rooms for servants without windows, and on the second floor there were luxurious royal apartments, a ceremonial hall for receiving guests, a kitchen and a chapel.

A large well-reservoir was built in the yard, supplying the inhabitants with drinking water.

bellver castle opening hours
bellver castle opening hours

From prison to museum

Four centuries later, the castle turned into a prison for political criminals, and the dungeon of the largest tower, 25 meters high, served as a solitary punishment cell for convicts. Among the prisoners were famous personalities of that time: the widow of King Jaime III with her sons, the physicist F. Aragon, the famous writer and public figure Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, who described in detail the structural features of the building.

Interestingly, in 1936, Bellver Castle again turned into a prison for nationalist rebels. They also laid a road leading to the main attraction of the capital of the island.

Forty years ago, a museum was opened in the well-preserved citadel, the exhibits of which tell about the history of the city, starting from the first settlements. Large cultural events often take place in the quiet courtyard.

bellver castle
bellver castle

Belver Castle: how to get there?

The address of the fortress that has not lost its grandeur is: Carrer de Camilo José Cela, s/n, Palma, Mallorca.

You can get to the castle on your own by buses number 3, 46, 50, which will take you to Placa de Gomila, and from the square to the local architectural monument, walk uphill for no more than 15 minutes.

City attraction visiting hours

Belver Castle, whose opening hours depend on the time of year, is open to everyone every day except December 25 and January 1. Before visiting it, you need to familiarize yourself with all the nuances.

From April to September, the fortress takestourists from 08:30 to 20:00. Holidays and Sundays from 10:00 to 20:00.

From October to March inclusive, the castle is waiting for guests from 08:30 to 18:00. On holidays and Sundays, the castle is open from 10:00 to 18:00.

If you decide to visit Belver on Monday, then remember that after 13:00 the architectural gem of the island closes.

However, travel agencies warn that visiting times often change due to city events that take place in the courtyard of the castle, so it is better to check the data on the official website in advance.

bellver castle photo
bellver castle photo

Combining the grace of a royal palace and the power of a defensive fortress, Bellver Castle, whose photo delights with its amazing shape, is located in an incredibly picturesque place. A visit to the ancient building will bring a lot of impressions even to Mallorcan guests indifferent to history, and beautiful memorable pictures will be a pleasant addition to an exciting trip to the Spanish island.