Prestigious National Geographic Chooses Mallorca’s Bellver Castle for its legend route

Prestigious National Geographic Chooses Mallorca’s Bellver Castle for its legend route. Image: Palma City Council

The article entitled: Spain in ten Medieval Castles of Legend, proposes a journey through time.

The publication points out that Spain’s castles “have become one of the best ways to get to know that distant Middle Ages and to relive the vicissitudes of those who protected themselves behind their walls”.

The magazine also features Belalcazar Castle (Cordoba), Loharre (Huesca), Trujillo (Caceres), Calahorra (Granada), Peníscola (Castellon), Santa Barbara Castle (Alicante), Tossa de Mar (Girona), Olite (Navarra) and Belmonte (Cuenca) in the article.

Bellver Castle stands about three kilometres from the city centre of Palma, on a hill some 112 metres above sea level. It overlooks the city of Palma, it’s bay and a large part of southwest Majorca.

Its construction began in 1300, commissioned by Jaume II, King of Majorca. Work on the building took nine years and the ornamentation was finished later. 70 permanently employed workmen, a large number of women and the king’s slaves all worked on it.

After the Kingdom of Majorca’s fall in 1343, Bellver castle was used as a prison on several occasions. Between 1802 and 1808, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, Minister of the Treasury, Patronage and Justice in the reign of Carlos IV, was imprisoned in one of the rooms on the first floor.

The castle also acted as a prison for numerous French officers and soldiers defeated in the Battle of Bailen in 1808. In 1814, General Lacy, leader of a failed liberal rebellion faced a firing squad there. In 1821, the castle was temporarily used as a mint. Its last period as a prison was during and after the Spanish Civil War when up to 800 Republican prisoners were kept inside

In 1931 the Government gave the building and the woods to the Palma City Council who turned it into the Palma History Museum and the Despuig Collection of Classical Sculpture. In addition, the Palma Town council organises various cultural and leisure activities there.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories; remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at