The Castell de Bellver (Bellver Castle) just outside of Palma is unique among Spanish castles in being entirely circular. It was built between 1309 and 1311 for Rey Jaume II, when there was the Regne de Mallorca, a proper Mallorcan kingdom. Now it is one of the main sightseeing attractions of the island.
Today, the castle contains Palma’s museum of municipal history, with pottery from Talaiotic, Roman, Arab and Iberian periods. In the past, the castle was used for many centuries as a prison; the widow and sons of Jaume III were imprisoned here for most of their lives. The intellectual and writer Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (1744-1811) was one of the most famous prisoners of the castle. I’ll tell you more about him in a future blog entry. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the castle was used as a military prison for French soldiers serving under Napoleon, and again, during and after the Spanish Guerra Civil. Emili Darder Cànaves, the erstwhile mayor of Palma (1933-34 and 1936) was also imprisoned here before he was executed 75 years ago last week.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca. The date: February 24th, 2012. The time was 17:36:38. The image (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of fabian.balearweb.net.