Imagine standing atop a majestic 14th-century circular fortress, taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the city and bay of Palma de Mallorca. Welcome to Bellver Castle, a unique and enchanting destination that offers a mesmerizing blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. In this article, I will take you on a journey through the castle’s rich history, royal past, fascinating museum, and annual celebrations, as well as provide practical tips and recommendations to ensure a memorable visit.
- Explore Bellver Castle, an iconic 14th-century circular fortress in Palma de Mallorca with a breathtaking 360° view.
- Immerse yourself in its rich royal history and enjoy the vibrant Diumenge de l’Angel Festival with family activities and delicious food.
- Take advantage of convenient accessibility features for a memorable experience exploring nearby attractions, panoramic views & more!
Discovering Bellver Castle: A Unique Circular Fortress
Perched upon a hill overlooking the city, Bellver Castle, or Castell de Bellver in Catalan, is a magnificent 14th-century fortress that is one of the few circular castles in Europe. This architectural marvel, belonging to the rare category of few circular castles, was commissioned by King Jaume II of Mallorca and masterfully designed by architect Pere Salva, boasting round towers that contribute to its circular shape.
The central courtyard within the castle offers an unparalleled vantage point, providing a 360-degree panorama that showcases the Bay of Palma and the majestic mountains of the Tramuntana, Mallorca’s 90 km mountain range.
Throughout its long and fascinating history, Bellver Castle has served as a royal summer residence, and although it was used as a prison for almost six centuries – up until 1915 – many of those who spent time here, including King Jaume IV, enjoyed the captivating views that Mallorca offers today.
Today, the castle stands proudly as a testament to the island’s rich history, welcoming visitors from all over the world to marvel at its unique design and explore its storied past.
The Royal Palace and Royal Court
Bellver Castle’s opulent past as a royal palace and court for the Kings and Queens of Mallorca is evident in its incredibly well-preserved condition. As you explore the castle’s grand halls and corridors, you can almost feel the presence of royalty that once graced these rooms. The castle’s unique circular design not only adds to its architectural beauty, but also showcases its significance as a symbol of power and prestige during its time as a royal residence.
The inner courtyard of the castle, once the center of royal life, now serves as a serene space for visitors to relax and take in the atmosphere. As you walk through the castle’s halls, you can imagine the grandeur of its heyday, when kings and queens held court and made important decisions that shaped the course of Mallorca’s history.
Chapel and Public Ceremonies
The on-site chapel at Bellver Castle is another awe-inspiring feature of this historic fortress. During the castle’s vibrant years, the chapel castle served as a beautiful place for public ceremonies and religious events, adding to the castle’s significance as a cultural and social hub.
Today, visitors can still appreciate the chapel’s architectural beauty and imagine the grand events that once took place within its walls. The castle’s role in these public ceremonies is a testament to its importance in Mallorca’s rich history, and a visit to the chapel provides a glimpse into the island’s storied past.
City History Museum at Bellver Castle
Bellver Castle now houses the City History Museum, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of Palma and the castle itself. The museum provides a fantastic opportunity to delve into the castle’s past, showcasing fascinating artifacts, artwork, and historical documents that tell the story of this enchanting fortress and the city it overlooks.
As you wander through the museum’s exhibits, you will uncover the castle’s history from its inception as a royal residence, through its time as a prison, and up to its current role as a cultural icon in Palma. The museum is open daily, providing ample opportunity to explore the city’s history and visit the chapel dedicated to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.
Exhibits and Collections
The City History Museum features a diverse array of exhibits and collections, showcasing the rich history of Palma and Bellver Castle. As you explore the museum, you will encounter artifacts from the 14th century, such as weapons, furniture, and pottery, as well as incredible artwork, including stunning paintings, beautiful sculptures, and exquisite tapestries.
Additionally, the museum boasts an impressive collection of historical documents, including letters, maps, and manuscripts from the 14th century. These priceless treasures offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the people who once inhabited the castle and the city of Palma, providing a fascinating and immersive experience for history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
Annual Events and Celebrations at Bellver Castle
Bellver Castle hosts a variety of annual events and celebrations that bring its storied past to life. One such event is the Festival de Música Castell de Bellver, a delightful music festival held in July, featuring both local and international artists performing against the stunning backdrop of the castle. Another popular event is the family-friendly Diumenge de l’Angel Festival, which takes place around Easter and showcases a wide variety of activities, performances, and traditional Mallorcan food.
Diumenge de l’Angel Festival
The Diumenge de l’Angel Festival, held annually right after Easter Sunday, is a vibrant and joyous traditional family festival that attracts both locals and tourists alike. Set within the enchanting grounds of Bellver Castle, the festival offers an exciting array of activities, including:
- Sporting events
There is something for all ages to enjoy at this festival.
In addition to the lively activities, the festival also features scrumptious traditional Mallorcan food, allowing visitors to indulge in the island’s rich culinary heritage. The Diumenge de l’Angel Festival is a wonderful opportunity to experience the vibrant culture of Mallorca while enjoying the stunning surroundings of Bellver Castle.
Tips and Recommendations for Visiting Bellver Castle
To make the most of your visit to Bellver Castle, I have compiled a few tips and recommendations. First, be sure to explore the fragrant pine woods surrounding the castle, as they offer a serene setting for a leisurely stroll and an opportunity to connect with nature. Additionally, take advantage of the free guided tours offered by the castle, which provide fascinating insights into the history and architecture of this unique fortress.
While visiting Bellver Castle, consider exploring other nearby attractions to make the most of your time in Palma de Mallorca. The glorious Bosc de Bellver, a beautiful park located near the castle, is an amazing place to relax and enjoy nature. Another must-visit attraction is the stunning Palma Cathedral, an awe-inspiring Gothic-style cathedral that is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a great opportunity to explore the city’s fascinating history.
Further afield, the beautiful small village of Valldemossa, located in the majestic mountains of Mallorca, is renowned for its stunning scenery and remarkable historical sites. Taking the time to visit these nearby attractions will provide you with a well-rounded and unforgettable experience of Palma de Mallorca and its surrounding areas.
Visiting Bellver Castle: Practical Information
When planning your visit to Bellver Castle, it’s essential to take into account some practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. The castle is open every day of the week, making it a convenient and accessible destination for all visitors. Bellver Castle is a municipal service, ensuring that you will have a great time exploring the castle and its grounds, whether you’re a history enthusiast or just looking for a unique and picturesque place to spend the day.
Panoramic Views of Palma de Mallorca
One of the main highlights of visiting Bellver Castle is the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Palma de Mallorca and its surrounding landscapes. From the castle’s vantage points, you can take in stunning views of: the city, the bay, the Mediterranean Sea, and the majestic mountains of Mallorca.
In addition to the views from within the castle grounds, consider visiting other viewpoints around Palma for even more awe-inspiring panoramas. Some popular spots include:
- Mirador es Colomer
- Na Foradada viewpoint
- Santuari de Sant Salvador
- Mirador de ses Barques
These locations offer different perspectives of the city and its natural beauty, making them worth a visit during your stay in Palma de Mallorca.
Accessibility and Facilities
Bellver Castle is committed to providing an enjoyable experience for all visitors, regardless of their physical abilities. The castle features wheelchair-accessible toilets conveniently located near the ticket office and inside the cafeteria, ensuring that everyone can comfortably explore the castle and its grounds.
In addition to its accessibility features, Bellver Castle offers a variety of facilities to enhance your visit, including its minor towers. The delightful small café on-site is a perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing drink or snack, while the charming tourist shop offers a range of souvenirs and keepsakes to remember your time at the castle. With its accommodating facilities and commitment to accessibility, Bellver Castle truly offers a memorable experience for everyone.
In conclusion, Bellver Castle is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Palma de Mallorca. Its unique circular design, royal history, and stunning panoramic views make it a fascinating and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring the castle’s impressive City History Museum, attending an annual event, or simply taking in the breathtaking vistas, Bellver Castle offers something for everyone.
I hope this article has inspired you to plan a visit to this enchanting fortress and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Palma de Mallorca. With its captivating history, awe-inspiring architecture, and beautiful surroundings, Bellver Castle is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Hotels in Palma de Mallorca
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|Island||Tourist attractions and interesting places|
|Mallorca||Attractions in Mallorca: La Seu Cathedral, Dragon Caves in Mallorca, places related with Frédéric Chopin and George Sand, Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, Palma Aquarium, Alcudia Coastline, Cap de Formentor Peninsula, Bellver Castle, Castillo de Santueri Castle, Almudaina Palace (Palau de l'Almudaina). Water parks and Amusement parks: Western Water Park, Aqualand El Arenal, Safari Zoo Mallorca, Jungle Parc, Dinosaurland, Marineland Mallorca. Popular beaches: Playa de Palma. Popular cities: Palma de Mallorca, Valldemossa, Alcúdia, Porto Cristo, Can Picafort, Santa Ponsa, Port de Sóller, Sa Calobra, Sa Coma, El Arenal, Vilafranca de Bonany, Palma Nova, Port de Pollenca, Deià, Alaró, Fornalutx, Santa María del Camí, Megaluf.|
|Menorca||Cova d’en Xoroi Cave Disco, Son Catlar (an old settlement), Cap de Cavalleria, Favaritx Cape, Monte Toro Mountain, Fortaleza de la Mola, Torre de Fornells. Popular cities: Ciutadella de Menorca, Maó-Mahón, Fornells.|
|Ibiza||Dalt Vila - Ibiza's old town, Ses Fontanelles cave, Cova de Can Marçà cave, Cova Santa cave, Cala Llonga cave, Cova des Culleram cave, Na Coloms cave, Ses Salines Natral park, Es Vedra island, Sirenis Aquagames Aquapark, Aguamar Aquapark, Portinatx Aquapark, Museo Etnológico de Ibiza y Formentera, Sa Caleta archaeological site, Café del Mar bar, Cap Blanc Aquarium. Popular cities: Ibiza, Sant Antoni de Portmany, Santa Eulària des Riu, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, Es Cana. Popular beaches: Cala de Sant Vicent|
|Formentera||Natural park Ses Salines, Espalmador island, El Pilar de la Mola Plateau, Platja Mitjorn beach. Popularne cities: San Francesc Xavier, La Savina, Es Pujols, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, Es Caló|
|Cabrera||Cabrera National Park, Castillo de Cabrera (castle).|