Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#753 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

In its past life it was a Roman camp, but it suffered Vandal and Viking attacks, was influenced by the Byzantines, before being a Moorish stronghold (with both Muslims and Syrian Christians bringing their influences) until the Reconquista and James I established his control. Now it is a sailing hub, a strong Mediterranean destination, and a holiday location for the royals of Spain.
Capital of the autonomous Balearic Island provinces, it shows the influences of all its rulers in its narrow street layout (Moorish), architectural heritage (Byzantine cathedrals) and strategic location (Bellver Castle).
File:Castillo de Bellver.jpg
From Wikipedia Commons
The gothic-style Bellver Castle was built in the 14th Century for King James II, and is one of the few circular castles in Europe, possibly modeled on the Herodion in the West Bank, although with strong Moorish influences and use of former minarets. The castle was given to the City of Palma in 1931 by the republic to become a museum. The views from the top over the Bay of Palma are superb!

Why is it amazing? Its paths are as windy and narrow with as lovely restaurants as anywhere on the mainland, but the palm-tree breezes and nearby caves and beaches give it a holiday feeling. Island fever with historical city charm!


No comments:

Post a Comment