On the outskirts of the city 112 meters above sea level stands a round hilltop castle built in 1309 by King James II of Mallorca.
Its round shape is unique amongst Spanish castles.
Used as a temporary residence by King Juan I of Aragon fleeing with his court from the plague that was ravaging mainland Spain (1395), it has also been a refuge for the nobles and merchantmen who were escaping from the city (1521) during a revolt.
In the XVI century the battlements were removed, the south tower was renovated and a moat was constructed. It's checkered history continued when it was pressed into service as a political prison during the War of the Spanish Succession and then in 1717 it became a military prison with its own garrison.
Today it houses Palma’s Municipal Museum and you can also visit the San Marcos Chapel, Sala de Jovellanos, Throne Room, kitchen and the Despuig Collection of Classical Sculpture.
Access by public transport is easy with the 3, 4, 20, 21 and 22 buses all taking visitors within a few hundred metres of the entrance. Admission into the castle is very reasonable.
The Bellver Castle is open:
The timetable is now Tuesday to Sunday with the following times
10.00 – 17.00: November, December, January and February.
10.00 – 18.00: March, April, September and October.
10.00 – 19.00: May, June, July and August.
Bellver Castle, Bosc de Bellver s/n, Palma. Tel. +34 971 730 657
Bellver meant 'lovely view' in ancient Catalan and the castle is worth a visit for the stunning views. One can see the whole of Palma de Mallorca, with the cathedral overlooking the harbour, and in the distance the 6 km long beach of the Bay of Palma with the resorts C'an Pastilla, Playa de Palma and Arenal.