Palma – Castell de Bellver

It’s a bit of a walk up to this castle, although that does afford for some extensive views over the surrounding landscape.

The entrance gate to the castle, which was built in the fourteenth century for King James II of Majorca. It later became a military and political prison before being converted to its current use as a local history museum.

The donjon, or inner keep, is separate to the main circular part of the castle. There was a drawbridge which connected this to an area near to the entrance gate, although that has long since gone with only the stone footings now visible. The only access now is via a high-level stone bridge from the main castle, although this isn’t open to the public. I can imagine that in future years, if visitor numbers increase, that more will be done with the empty space here, as there’s a lot more area to fill should they wish.

There’s a lot of stonework here, with the defences being called into action on numerous occasions, although they were breached only once, in 1521.

Looking down into the lower area and ditches of the castle.

The inner courtyard of the castle.

This is the stone path to the main inner keep of the castle.

A view over the top of the courtyard.

I liked this design, which is a fireplace in one of the upper rooms. However, underneath the fireplace are the steps down to the floor below.

When the museum was established it was partly to display the collection of sculptures and statues that the island had collected, although this has been somewhat relegated to a room upstairs now.

There are numerous locations around the castle where graffiti is a problem, although it seems to mainly be from the 1980s into the early twenty-first century. There are now signs threatening all manner of police and legal action for anyone who adds their own mark to the castle. Much as graffiti is dreadful, there does come a point where it becomes historically interesting in itself. Although to know that Dwayne was here in 2005 doesn’t add much to the proceedings at the moment.

A boundary stone dating to 1937, although I had thought it looked much earlier, which is when access to the castle was restricted.

There aren’t any particularly notable TripAdvisor reviews, although I liked this one, with the writer definitely being annoyed.

“I was really annoyed. We went there only to find it was closed over Easter. Really annoying. Tourists are only there a limited amount of time, so we do not have flexibility over when we can visit.”

I did quite like this one though as well, which is still relevant as the ticket desk is located by the car park, rather than at the main gateway. But, the half mile walk isn’t accurate, it’s a sixty-second walk, but I’m sure the poor ticket collector was pleased to receive a load of abuse from a British traveller.

“So, I set out at around 9am to climb the 500+ steps up to the castle. I had a 20 min walk to that point but it was great exercise. We conquered the first part of the climb and were rewarded with some stunning views over Mallorca and the port. We negotiated the rest of the climb and make it to the entrance gate of the castle itself where an uniformed ” jobs- worth” tells me to go back down 50 steps and walk half a mile up the road to the car park where I will be able to buy an entrance ticket to the castle. I cannot write here what I told him!”

And, maybe this is worth noting as well:

“U expect a great view but it is not.”

It’s hard to imagine how much better the view could have been….

Anyway, it’s a relatively large site, which most children would no doubt enjoy exploring, with the entrance being moderate at €4. It was relatively busy when I was there, on a November weekday morning, so I imagine that it must be popular during the summer months.