Located in the northeast of Mallorca, the Castell de Capdepera is a fortified castle overlooking the city of the same name – Capdepera. The fortified enclosure stretches over 8’069 square kilometers and has the form of a trapez, almost being a triangle. The castle is located 160 meter above sea level and served as a strategic military point to watch the inland and the sea. In order to protect this historic heritage, the site was declared Asset of Cultural Interest by the Spanish government.
Built in the 14th century under King Jaume II, the castle Capdepera represent the typical gothic architecture of this time. Initially, the castle was built in order to protect the population in case of a pirate attack. In the 16th century, the castle encompassed 125 houses inside its walls. However, later it got gradually depopulated until becoming a military enclave in the 18th century. A permanent army with professional soldiers was installed inside the castle. Their job was the defence and vigilance of the coast and the inland area. It got totally abandoned in 1854 and remained that way throughout the 19th and 20th century, with the population only using the land to plant crops and to visit the small chapel for worship. In 1983 it became municipal property and was opened to visitors.
As the castle was built in different stages, it is best to make a tour in chronological order through the construction. Start with the Miquel Nunis tower, located on the highest part of the hill. The tower dates back to the Muslim age (10th to 12th century) and it was here where the important Treaty of Capdepera was signed between the Aragonese King and conqueror of Mallorca Jaume I and the Muslims. Later climb up the church terrace and enjoy the outstanding view over the region. From this spot you will understand the strategic position of this castle, as the view embraces a full panorama of the whole island.
Other places of interest are the water tank,which dates back to 14th century and is one of the first buildings. The church Saint John was built over three phases: construction began in the 14th century and was altered in the 16th century and again during the 17th century. The Governor’s house dates back to the 18th century and is nowadays home to a museum where you will learn about Capdepera’s history and about the traditional handicraft of braiding palm tree leaves. Made up of sandstone, you will definitely get impressed by the height of the castle walls. You can even walk on them and feel like being on guard during the 18th century.
The bus line 411 connects Palma and Capdepera and this line also stops in Manacor.