This castle was built in the early 14th century in Gothic style with an original circular shape. It includes the old rooms of the kings of Mallorca, the City History Museum, a collection of classical sculpture and the cell where Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos was detained.
Bellver castle is located 3 kms away from the centre of Palma and at 112.6 m above sea level. It was built between 1300 and 1311 upon the orders of Jaime II of Mallorca to be used as the residence of the kings of Mallorca. It is one of the finest examples of civil and fortified Gothic architecture in Mallorca. It was also used as a shelter and prison.
The most original element is its circular shape, which is unique in the whole of Spain. It is arranged around a central courtyard, also circular, and there are four large towers facing the four cardinal points. The donjon is separate from the rest of the building and is connected to the castle by means of a pointed arch bridge. Because it was used for defence, the whole structure is surrounded by a moat. The inner courtyard arranges the rooms in two floors: the lower floor is used for services and supplies and the top floor houses the rooms for the royal family, the offices and Saint Mark’s chapel.
The bottom floor is currently used for the City History Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of Palma from prehistoric times to the 20th century by studying the preserved remains, models and explanatory panels. The first floor houses the collection of classical sculpture and Roman epigraphy of bishop Antoni Depuig (1745-1813). It is also possible to visit the room where Enlightenment politician and writer Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos was imprisoned between 1802 and 1808.
The top terrace stills shows traces of the many graffiti made by prisoners during the Peninsular War against the French (1808‑1814). It has beautiful views of the city and the bay of Palma. The building is located in Bellver forest, the only green space in the city, which is maintained by the municipality and a ticket is required for the visit.