We all know these popular places in our hometowns that we urgently want to visit but for some reason never make it – until friends come around visiting. For me, the Castell de Bellver has been one of those places for many years. I still remember how I was stunned by the plain yet powerful beauty of the old fortress for the first time. And there was so much to discover inside – and still is, each time I come by.
The castle’s architecture is absolutely minimalistic and pretty unique: it is completely round instead of rectangular. I adore the magnificent arcade inside which spreads over two levels, the strong walls made from huge blocks of limestone, thechange of perspectives on every turn you take, and the spectacular 360 degree vista across greater Palma, the mountains and the sea. It also hosts a small Museum for the History of Palma that takes you all the way back to the first settlement before our time. But my favorite rooms are those that tell about Palma’s recent urban development into the city as we know it today.
From Palma it’s an easy bicycle ride up to the Bellver, or just a hike through the natural park that surrounds it. If you bring your headphones you may use a free audio guide and learn more about the history of the castle. Built as a royal residence in the 14th century, it even served as a prison for a while. Today, it’s a rather peaceful place for a family trip – at least if you manage to avoid the tourist buses. But like in the medieval times you can watch them nearing early enough.
C/ de Camilo José Cela