Mallorca has been home to different cultures and civilizations throughout history. Each has left a legacy of style behind them. Here, we have listed some of our favorite castles in Mallorca in no particular order, for you to learn about the island’s cultural background and take home some of that essence. Each of the below is open to the public with guided tours available at some.
In the picturesque town of Capdepera, atop a hill, you will find one of Majorca’s most iconic landmarks, the medieval Capdepera castle. Boasting a commanding view of the inland fields and the coastline, Capdepera Castle looks like something out of a fairy tale.
It was built during the 14th century under the orders of King Jaume II so that inhabitants of the region would have somewhere to shelter, especially during pirates’ attacks. In the 16th century, it hosted 125 houses within its walls but fell later into disuse and remained uninhabited until the 18th century when it became a military complex.
The castle was occupied by military troops up to 1854 when it was abandoned. From then until 1983 it was under private ownership. At that time the owners donated it to the Capdepera Town Council.
Today this popular landmark has been restored to its original beauty with the help of preservationists and architects. Capdepera Castle was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (“BIC” in the Spanish acronym), a status which affords maximum protection for Mallorca’s historic heritage.
The Capdepera Castle can be visited all year round. The income raised from the entry fee goes toward the maintenance and conservation of the cultural heritage of the municipality of Capdepera.
Its name comes from ancient Catalan and means “Buena Vista”, (fair view) as the views of the city, the port, the Sierra Tramuntana Mountains, and the Pla de Mallorca from its 112-meter height are wonderful.
The Castle is a Gothic-style construction built between 1276 and 1349 by the Mallorquin architect Pedro Salvà at the request of King Jaime II who worked together with Francisco Cabalti author of the paintings inside the castle. What makes it unique is the singular round layout of its construction similar to the design of the Herodion palace in Cisjordan.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the castle was used as a political prison and in 1717 it was converted into military prison with its own garrison. Nowadays, it houses the City Historical Museum, which contains pieces from archaeological excavations, municipal art collections, and the Despuig Classical Sculpture Collection. It also houses the chapel of Saint-Marc, patron saint of the castle.
Bellver Castle is open for visits every day except on Monday
The castle was an impregnable fortress initially built by Christian inhabitants of the island, Rum (descendants of the Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines) to protect themselves against pirates and raids during the High Middle Ages. The Christians were able to resist the Muslim siege here for eight years.
Currently, we can see the remains of an ancient fortification from the Muslim time. The mountain is also home to the seventeenth-century Sanctuary of the Mare de Deu del Refugi and an inn.
The history of the Castle of Alaro is closely linked to the legendary epic starring Guillem Cabrit and Guillem Bassa who were burned in the thirteenth century, after fiercely defending the fort, to remain loyal to James II of Mallorca.
This is is one of the most spectacular excursions that can be made in the beautiful mountainous area of Mallorca. It can only be reached on foot but during the 20-minute climb up the hill, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the plain “Es Pla”, the bays of Palma and Alcúdia and the “Serra de Tramuntana” – the Tramuntana mountains.
This is one of the few points from which the whole island can be seen.
You can spend a romantic or an adventurous evening in this castle! For only €6 per person, you will stay in a kind of cell room with several beds. There are double rooms, as well as rooms with 5, 6, 8 and 10 beds.
To enjoy this adventure all you need is a sleeping bag, sheets, and a towel.
Rocky castles – like Alaró Castle were located in high areas of difficult access where the ramparts were adapted to the rugged terrain, and the cliffs were part of the defensive system. They aren’t usual castles, but fortresses that, thanks to their geographical position became military support while acting as a refuge for the defenseless population.
In Mallorca, there are two other rocky castles besides Alaró castle, the Castle of the King in Pollença, and Santueri Castle in Felanitx.
These too were not typical castles of the nobility but merely shelters to defend the coast against possible pirate attacks.
All three castles were used as a refuge by communities in the Late Roman Period before the Muslim conquest and, later, by the Muslims during the conquest of James I in 1229. They fell into Christian hands, around 1231.
From that moment, they became royal castles owned by the King and the Government, except the Santueri Castle which, due to some agreements before the conquest, became owned by the Knight Nunyo Sanç until his death.
In 1715 the King’s Castle and the Castle of Alaró were abandoned, the latter became later an oratory.
The Alaró Castle belongs to the Ministry of Culture of Spain, while the Castle of the King and the Sanctuary Castle are privately owned.