The Bellver Castle is an emblematic building in Palma that, perched atop a hill 113 metres high, presides over the city and dominates the bay. It was built between 1300 and 1310 upon the orders of the King of Mallorca, James II, and envisioned as both a defence fortress – austere on the outside – and a palace – with a refined air inside. The most outstanding feature of this Gothic castle is its round layout, which differentiates it from the majority of European castles from the same period. Its four towers are oriented towards the main cardinal points. Three of them are attached to the body of the building, while the fourth, the Homenaje (Homage) tower, an impressive cylindrical height, is a few metres away.
If the walls could speak they would shed light on centuries of history. In the late 14th century, King John I of Aragon moved his court here, fleeing from the plague that was besieging the peninsula. During the Revolt of the Brotherhoods it served as the refuge for nobles and merchants who fled the city. It was also the temporary residence of the viceroys, who alternated living here and in the Almudaina place. It then served as a prison during the 17th century and throughout the War of Succession, and in 1717 it was turned into a military prison with its own garrison. The most popular prisoner was minister Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (1802-1808), who wrote some of his works here. During the Spanish Civil War, more than 800 people were imprisoned here, including the parliamentarian Alexandre Jaume i Rosselló and the Republican mayor Emili Darder i Cànaves, both of whom were executed.
Camilo José Cela, s/n. 07015
Tel.: (+34) 971 73 06 57 / 971 45 12 03.
Fax: (+34) 971 45 43 73.
3, 4, 20, 21, 22 Joan Miró (Gomila) and the rest of the way on foot,
around 20 minutes.
Tourist bus 50
Private transport: Entrance to the castle car park on Camilo José Cela street.
From October to March, workdays: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Sundays and holidays: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
From April to September, workdays: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Sundays and holidays: 10:00 a.m- - 7:00 p.m. (On Sundays and holidays the museum halls are closed).
General admission: € 1.70.
Per person or via agency: € 1.55.
Persons over the age of 65, pensioners and teenagers aged 14 to 18, with youth card or equivalent: € 0.87.
Sant Carlos Military Museum. This 17th-century defensive fortification stands on the western dock in Portopí, and is now a Military Museum that exhibits military objects characteristic of the Middle Ages until the 20th century.
Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation. Joan Miró resided in Mallorca from 1956 on, and carried out a great deal of his creative work here. The museum’s collection is mainly comprised of works donated by the artist.
Weapons courtyard. The place where you can best appreciate the uniqueness of the Bellver Castle, its circular layout is what distinguishes it from most European castles from its day.
Museo de Historia de la Ciudad (City History Museum). Located on the ground floor of the Bellver Castle, this is a veritable tour through the history of Palma and its urban evolution from the Bronze Age to today.
Serenates d'estiu (Summer serenades). The castle hosts an outstanding series of chamber music concerts during the month of August.
Palma Town Hall: