Heritage | Tourist route H005

Castell de Bellver

What is it?

Bellver Castle is at an altitude of 112 metres and 3 kilometres from the centre of Palma.  It is predominantly surrounded by a wooded area from where there are spectacular views of the harbour, Palma bay and the Sierra de Tramuntana.  The castle's name comes from the Old Catalan bell veer, which means "beautiful view".  King Jaime II ordered it to be built in 1300 and it took 9 years to build.  It is Majorcan Gothic in style and it is one of the few castles in Europe with circular foundations.  Inside, it houses the City of Palma History Museum.

Visit

Opening hours:

FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER

- Mondays: Closed

- Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10:00 to 19:00

- Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 to 15:00

FROM OCTOBER TO MARCH

- Mondays: Closed

- Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10.00 to 18.00

- Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 to 15.00

Comments

* Closed: 25 December, 1 January, 1 May and Easter Sunday.

* Opening hours may vary due to official ceremonies or shows organised by Palma City Council.

* From October to March, vehicular access to Bellver park closes at 18.30 and the park closes completely at 21.00.

Entrance fee:

1. General: €4

2. Reduced: €2

- Pensioners, retired people, young people between 14 and 18 years old, youth card or similar, public institutions

- Organised/Approved cultural groups (3)

3. Palma Residents: €2.50

4. Travel agencies: €2.50 (1)

5. Entrance free-of-charge:

- on Sundays

- Under 14 years old (3)

- Schools (2)

- Groups of students accompanied by a tutor (3)

- Groups organised by legally incorporated associations for the elderly and/or disabled (3, 4)

- Accredited teaching staff and ICOM members (3)

(1) Tickets for travel agencies can be bought straight from the ticket office in the Visitor Reception Centre in the castle's car park.  Tel: 971 225 900, ext. 3935.

(2) Schools or groups of students with a tutor must hand in the group form at the Visitor Reception Centre to get free entrance.

(3) No discounts or free entry will be given if the relevant documentary proof is not submitted.

(4) A group is considered to be from 5 people upwards.

Location and contact:

Carrer Camilo José Cela, s/n. 07014 Palma

Telephone: +34 971 735 065

Web site: http://www.cultura.palma.es/

E-mail: castelldebellver@a-palma.es

Available public transport

 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
Monday to Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Public Transport

How to get there

How to get there

 
 

How to get back

 
 

Detailed description

To enjoy Bellver Castle, it is recommended that you go to the foot of the mountain by public transport and then walk up through the surrounding pine forest.  There are various options for getting to the start point for the climb:

  • If you are coming from Calvià or Andratx: Catch a 102, 104, 106, 107 or 111 route bus and get off at the Avinguda Gabriel Roca, 30, bus stop.  Cross over the road and walk for about 100 metres back along the road you came on, going out of Palma.   On the right you need to go up some stairs that lead to the Plaça Gomila.  Going down Carrer Joan Miró, towards the centre of Palma, turn left and go up the Carrer Bellver slope.  You reach the castle in about 15 minutes.
  • If you are coming from outside Palma, Calvià or Andratx: Catch any interurban public transport route to Palma.  When you reach Palma Intermodal Station go out onto the Plaça Espanya and catch Palma EMT route 3 going to Les Illetes (you don't need to cross the road) and get off at the Plaça Gomila.  Go back on the Carrer Joan Miró for 40 metres towards the bottom and the steeply sloping Carrer Bellver starts on the left.  You need to go up here and you will be at Bellver Castle in about 15 minutes.

What is there to see and do?

Throughout its history Bellver Castle has had various uses.  To begin with it was the residence of King Jaime II.  Then, in 1717, it became a military prison.  During the reign of Carlos IV, the Minister for Finance and Justice, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, was imprisoned in the castle from 1802 until 1808.  It was also used as a prison for numerous French soldiers and officials who were beaten in the battle of Bailén.  Later, in 1821, the castle temporarily became a mint.

The foundations are circular and it has three semi-circular towers attached and another, the homage tower, which is seven metres away from the main castle.  Inside, there is a central courtyard on two levels – a ground floor with pointed semi-circular arches and flat ceilings and an upper floor with pointed archways and a vaulted ceiling.

The castle and forest were given to Palma Town Council in 1931, when the building became the city's History Museum and took in the Despuig collection of classical sculpture.  A wide variety of cultural and leisure activities also take place in the building.

The weapons patio and the History Museum are on the ground floor of the building.  The Museum displays the history of Palma and its urban evolution from the Bronze Age up to the present day.  The chapel of Sant Marc, the Sala Jovellenos, the throne room, kitchen and the Despuig collection of classical sculpture are on the first floor.  Finally, the roof terrace gives panoramic views of the city of Palma and the bay.

From this strategic location, we can see that Palma is in an ideal spot for tempering the effects of summer and winter, it is easy to defend from a military point of view and is in a good position for commercial and agricultural activities.

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