Category: Gothic

Category: Gothic

Royal Palace Of La Almudaina

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina was a 10th century Muslim fortress (alcázar ) prior to being converted into a residence for the Mallorca Royal Family at the end of the 13th century.

A long time before the Moors arrived in the 10th century, the site had been utilised by both the Talaiots and the Romans and the area was once home to a Roman fort.

Symbolically, the King of Spain still resides here; however it is unlikely that you will see him there with the exception of an occasional important ceremony, the Royals prefer to spend summer in the Palau Marivent (in Cala Major) instead. In fact, since King Jaume III died in 1349, no king has lived in La Almudaina on a permanent basis.

Remodelled in the Levantine Gothic style by the Christians, The Royal Palace of La Almudaina is located opposite the magnificent Palma Cathedral, La Seu. Its elevated position has provided the palace with protection and strategic importance over the years and the building still serves as the Balearics military command.

Today, the palace is one of the capital’s main attractions and tourists can enjoy incredible, scenic views overlooking the Bay of Palma in addition to exploring the inside of the palace and its numerous rooms.

Whilst exploring the interior of the palace, you will find three grand rooms with bricked-in-Gothic arches that have been cut off in the middle, they were once double their height and would have formed a vast hall. These rooms have been luxuriously decorated and furnished with period pieces and tapestries.

Within the main courtyard, you will find the 11th century lion fountain and and the entrance to St Anne’s Chapel. This Chapel was built for the Queen at the beginning of the 14th century, as was St. James’s Chapel, which was for the use of the King.

The grand staircase takes you up to the royal apartments with beautiful timber ceilings and lavishly appointed rooms, which are worth seeing as many of the palace rooms are completely bare.

Beneath the palace are the S’Hort del Rei gardens which are a great place to sit, relax and watch the world go by. Look out for Joan Miro’s Egg sculpture and the Arc de la Drassana, once the gateway to the royal docks.

If you are staying in Palma, it’s a short walk or public bus ride to the Royal Palace. There is also plenty parking spaces in front of the Cathedral along the Paseo Marítimo.

The palace is open from 10am – 4pm Tuesday to Friday (closed on Monday) and 10am – 6pm on weekends and public holidays. Prices are €7 (basic), €4 (reduced) with an extra €4 for a guide or €3 for an audio guide.

Visitors can explore the grand rooms and apartments, and the chapel, at their leisure. See the opulent art, tapestries and furniture, then wander through the tranquil gardens.

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Free entrance: Wednesday all day and Sunday from 3pm to 6pm.

Further information can be found on the official website – patrimonionacional.es

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Royal Palace Of La Almudaina from Booking.com – Search now

Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is a well-preserved 14th century circular castle straddling a wooded hillside to the west of Palma with spectacular views of the Bay of Palma and the Tramuntana mountains in the distance.

Surrounded by fragrant pine woods, the castle is unique in design and is Spain’s only round castle. Now a renowned Palma landmark located at the top of the hill Puig de Sa Mesquida, the former grand fortress and Catalan Gothic masterpiece attracts visitors by the hundreds who come to admire the architecture, the views and visit the interesting ground-floor museum.

King Jaume II gave the order for Bellver Castle to be built back in 1300 and the job was given to Pere Salva, the architect who designed the Almudaina Palace (The Royal Palace).

Bellver has three large towers surrounding a two-level central courtyard and a moat. You’ll see a contrast of architectural design as you explore the castle ranging from Gothic arches to rib-vaulting to semi-circular arches. The best way to see these contrasts is to look down at the courtyard from the roof.

The castle was built to serve as a royal residence; however with the exception of residencies by King Sanç and Joan I of Aragon, the building has spent more time as a prison than a home. Bellver Castle has hosted many prisoners over the years including King Jaume IV & King Jaume III’s widow and sons and has been used as a penal institution during both the Napoleonic and Spanish Civil wars and World War II. If you visit the roof of the castle, you can see prisoners’ graffiti, carved into the stonework.

On the ground floor is Palma’s museum of municipal history (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat) which follows the development of the city from the prehistoric Talayotic civilisation to the present day via its artefacts including pottery from Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Spanish periods and classical statues from the Despuig Collection.

The central courtyard is the stage for a series of classical music concerts performed by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra each July. These open air evening concerts are very popular.

The best way to get to Bellver Castle is via car, there is parking available, alternatively combine your visit with the Palma City Sightseeing open-top bus, which stops at the castle as part of its circuit. If you use public transport, then the closest you will get is Plaça de Gomila, from there it is a 15 minute, 1km walk up a steep hill.

Bellver Castle Private Tour and Surrounding Highlights

Discover the Bellver Castle and explore the area around it, while admiring the gothic architecture, and hearing local insights from your host. A tasty lunch is included.

After a convenient pick-up, your host will take you to the military museum. Learn about the history of Mallorca and checkout the viewpoint.

Next up, the beautiful Bellver Castle. Listen to local stories and wander through the courtyard and royal rooms. Enjoy the views of the city and bay from the terrace – Book now

Accommodation near Bellver Castle

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Bellver Castle from Booking.com – Search now

Old Town Palma

There are a few must-see tourist attractions in Palma and many of these are located in Palma’s Old Town.

In Spanish the area is known as ‘El Casco Antiguo’ and it is home to the vast, beautiful and historic Palma Cathedral, the Royal Palace Of La Almudaina and the Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum.

Palma Old Town is very picturesque and the best way to explore it as by foot. You’ll find medieval streets, Gothic architecture, a host of shops selling antique products and the elegant avenue Passeig des Born with its designer brand shops.

Over the years, many different cultures have left their mark on Palma and you can see this imprinted on and within the architecture of Palma Old Town.

The Royal Palace of La Almudaina was a 10th century Muslim fortress (alcázar ) prior to being converted into a residence for the Mallorca Royal Family at the end of the 13th century. Not so far away, another reminder of the Arabs time on the island are the Arab Baths.

The Cathedral ‘La Seu’ occupies the site of what once was the central mosque of Medina Mayurka, the capital of Muslim Mallorca for 300 years. The story behind the cathedral is long and full of interesting twists but began with the young King Jaume 1 who vowed to build a grand cathedral if he was successful in surviving a storm and also ridding the island of Moors.

Climbing high above the old city walls, the cathedral is the glory of Palma, a magnificent demonstration of the wealth and strength of the island’s Christian conquerors, from the sea, it is a superb sight.

This started a period of time when Moorish structures were either demolished or adapted and today many structures around the city show Gothic and Baroque influences.

Within the Old Town, you will also find 17th & 17th century homes, many now restored and adapted to become boutique-style hotels.

For further information about the Old Town, check out – Palma Old Town – Turismo de Interior