Castell de Bellver
This castle near Palma was a grand 14th-century royal fortress, royal summer residence and later royal prison.
Surrounded for miles by fragrant pine woods, which are alive with whirring cicadas in the heat of summer, it also
has stunning views over Palma Bay (Bellver means “lovely view” in Catalan). Looking up at this citadel, so perfectly
preserved, it’s hard to believe that it has been standing for 700 years. It is among the world’s most striking castles.
More marvellous Castles and Towers

Go to the top for a 360-degree panorama, including the foothills and sea to the west and the mountains to the  north. The perfume of the pine forests creates a heady mix with the maritime breezes.

2 Circular Design
The elegant round shape is unique among Spanish castles and a premier example of 14th-century military architecture. The circular structure also aided in the collection of rainwater into the central cistern.

3 Defence Towers
There are three horseshoe-shaped towers and four smaller protuberances used for guard posts. Their windows
are tiny so that archers could not be targeted by attackers on the ground.

4 Keep Tower
The free-standing castle keep, called the Torre de Homenaje, is almost twice as high as the castle itself, connected to its roof by a small bridge supported by a slim, pointed Gothic archway. It is open to visitors
by arrangement (971 730657).

5 Central Courtyard
The beautiful, two-tiered central courtyard has 21 Catalan Romanesque arches on the lower tier, which contrast with the 42 octagonal columns supporting 21 Gothic arches on the upper tier. Classical statues, such as those of
Venus and Nero, grace the lower walkway.

6 Prison
Right up until 1915, the lower reaches of the castle were used as a prison, dubbed La Olla (“the kettle”). Jaume III’s widow and sons ( see Unification with Spain) were imprisoned here for most of their lives. 

7 Museum Entrance and Chapel
From the central courtyard you enter Palma’s Museu de Mallorca, in which sculptures and other artifacts trace the
city’s history through Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Spanish periods. The former Chapel of St Mark is now
bare vaulted rooms.

8 Museum: Ancient
Artifacts The first three rooms contain impressive Roman statuary, a perfectly preserved column of rare cippolino marble, carved seals, marble inscriptions, lamps and 1st-century pots.

9 Museum: Arab Artifacts
Surprisingly few remnants here beyond some pots, both painted and blue-glazed, a stone lion, terracotta lamps and sgraffito ware (pottery with etched designs).

10 Museum: Spanish Artifacts
A great range of styles and eras is presented, from medieval arms and a stone font with angels, dated 1591,
to later works including 17th-century Mallorcan turquoise-glazed ceramics, Chinese porcelain, and items
from the Belle Époque and Fascist eras.

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