Bellver Castle, Majorca

Bellver Castle, Majorca
Bellver Castle, Majorca

During the Middle Ages conflicts were more than common throughout Europe, the desire for power of kings and nobles made it necessary to have defensive fortresses that defended the population in case of attack; In this context, numerous defensive castles arose throughout the ancient continent where the feudal lord and his vassals could take refuge in the event of a siege. The work that we are analyzing here today and which is called the Bellver Castle, is one of those defensive constructions that are so in medieval fashion, but nevertheless it has unique characteristics.

If we imagine a medieval castle we tend to think of a square structure with a central courtyard and walls with battlements, the one in Bellver does have a central courtyard that acts as the backbone of the set and originally it must have had battlements that today have disappeared, but the structure of the construction instead of being square is circular.


In reality, this is the only medieval castle in all of Spain that has a circular structure, according to experts its origin could be in the Herodion of Jerusalem,the fortress of the King Herod the Great that would date from the year 20 B.C. In Europe we find closer examples with the same structure as the one in Mallorca, such as the Restormel castle in England or the Michelstetten castle in Austria, both of which, however, are later than the Bellver castle, so this would be theoriginal model in Europe.

It seems that the work dates from the beginning of the 14th century, specifically from the years 1300 to 1310, when the monarch Jaime II of Mallorca ordered this complex to be built on a small hill that ensured the defensive advantage in case of attack. Documentary sources tell us that different masters were involved in its construction, including Pere Salvà. The castle perfectly combines defensive necessities with the comforts of palace life.

The circular walls house three adjoining towers with the same structure and an independent tower that was raised as a keep and is preceded by two independent moats. The courtyard is likewise circular, with a double gallery of pointed arches that serves as the backbone of the complex. In its center we find the curb of a well or cistern that tells us about the presence of a cistern in the subsoil with which the castle could be supplied with water.

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