Repairs to Bellver and Cartuja
If you're a home owner like me then you'll be involved in what seems like a never ending task of repairing and maintaining your castle to keep it in good order and not fall down like a house of cards. I never seem to stop splashing money out on something or other that requires builders, plumbers, electricians or some other skilled trade to keep my house in order and it's only 15 years old!
So what must it be like if you really have got a castle or some other equally monumental construction like a church or palace of monastery that's hundreds of years old and needs lots of TLC? Well, expensive and time consuming is the answer!
The Consell (Island Council) of Mallorca is currently undertaking or financing the restoration, repair and maintenance of two of the island's best loved and most iconic buildings and tourist attractions – Bellver Castle and the Cartuja Monastery and estate.
Bellver Castle which dominates the hillside over Palma from its strategic and defencive position will have urgent repairs made ASAP at a cost of around €1 million to fix the defects which have appeared in its structure. It's all pretty major stuff involving exterior and retaining walls around the western bastion, the inside and outside 'pits' and the patio's water cistern.
Over in Valldemossa the Consell have received money from the Sustainable Tourism Tax to fund a proper maintenance programme starting next year which should help to prevent the need for major repairs. The church, monastery and cells, gardens, common areas and Royal Palace of King Sancho are owned by different entities – church, town hall and private individuals – and it is this splintered ownership which has caused problems in the past.
Now, the Consell's Historic Heritage department will supervise the maintenance works using skilled private companies to undertake the work thanks to an agreement by all the parties involved.
I took a few holiday snaps of Bellver castle and its magnificent views when I was lucky enough not to be involved with painting, decorating, gardening and cleaning for a few days one year – they're in our slideshow above.