Santueri Castle in Mallorca

Santueri Castle is one of only three rocky castles in Mallorca. The other two are the Castell del Rey in Pollensa, which is private and is not open to the public, and Alaro Castle, which is the most famous one, with a popular walk followed by delicious lamb.

The other day I visited Santueri Castle with our Winter Activities group. There were 25 of us, and though Santueri Castle is normally closed on a Saturday, they opened especially for our group.

We arrived by car after a drive across the island, through Petra and Felanitx and up a very windy road to the top of Santueri Hill where the castle is located 423m above sea level. Actually, you can walk up the last part if you want, from the bottom of the hill.

We were greeted by a cold sharp wind and a magnificent view over the south-east of Mallorca and out to sea.

Santueri Castle

Guided Visit of Santueri Castle in Mallorca

Waiting to meet us at the entrance to the castle was Eva, who would be our guide for the visit.

We spent a good hour inspecting the ruined castle, with Eva giving us plenty of information about what we were looking at and about the castle’s history.

Santueri Castle, Mallorca

Eva gave us a great introduction to Santueri Castle

If you decide to visit Santueri Castle, I would certainly consider booking in advance and arranging a guide. It was only 20€ for the guide and she was with us the whole time. Obviously 20€ for a group of 20 is nothing, but if you are just two people then you might have to consider whether or not it is worth it.

If you decide not to hire a guide, you can visit the castle by yourself and there are leaflets with information in different languages, plus at every point of interest there is a letter associated with it and a QR code.

Excursion castillo santueri Mallorca

QR codes at the important monuments

About Santueri Castle

History

The exact year of construction is not known, but it is believed that the remains of the Santueri Castle that stand here today are from the period of Arab occupation of Mallorca between the years 902 and 1229.

There is evidence that Santueri Castle was an Islamic construction such as the way the stones used to build the walls are set in a zigzag pattern.

Santueri Castle, Mallorca

Typical Moorish building style

However, it is also believed that the Romans and Byzantines used the same site for a fortress, and there is even the suggestion that the summit of Santueri Hill was used as a place of worship in Talayotic times.

When King Jaime I of Catalunya conquered Medina Mayurqa (the city of Palma) in 1229 from the Moors, he proceeded to take over the rest of the island village by village until he had the whole island under his control and had expelled the Moors completely. During this time, Santueri Castle was an important Muslim stronghold of resistance and did not fall to the Christians until 1231.

Santueri Castle, Mallorca

Once Santueri Castle was in Christian hands it was awarded to Nunyo Sanç, uncle and guardian of King Jaime I. It is suggested that King Jaime I awarded the castle to his uncle knowing that as he had no sons, it would come back into his own hands on his uncle’s death, which is exactly what happened in 1241 when his uncle died and he inherited the castle.

Throughout the centuries Santueri Castle was used as a place of vigilance and a fortress against potential maritime attacks until the late 15th century when it became virtually abandoned.

During the 16th century it was a point of resistance in the Revolt of the Germanies and was besieged between 1522 and 1524. It was the only one of Mallorca’s rocky castles that remained loyal to the crown and resisted the brotherhoods.

Santueri Castle, Mallorca

After this date Santueri Castle continued to play the role of surveillance and was an enclave of protection from the Turkish piracy, providing refuge for the whole village whenever necessary.

When the guards on the ramparts spotted an approaching pirate ship, a huge bell would be rung out, signalling the villagers to take refuge within the walls of the fortress.

These were dangerous times during which the families living in the inland villages would not allow a daughter to marry a man from a coastal village because they did not want her in harm’s way at the coast (in those days it was traditional to get married in the village of the bride and live in the village of the groom).

Santueri Castle, Mallorca

Over the centuries, as the threat to Mallorca’s coasts decreased, so did the importance of the castle. It fell into disrepair and was abandoned.

Finally it was sold in 1811 to a private buyer. It is currently owned by the Vidal family.

Opening Santueri Castle to the public

Santueri Castle has been closed to the public for several years after having been declared as unsafe.

It seems that the owners could not get to an agreement with the Heritage Council regarding the funds to restore the castle. In fact, there was even talk of the government confiscating the castle, and in 2011 the expropriation order was even signed, but the owners began working swiftly to avoid their land being taken by the government.

The restorations took two years and then the castle was deemed safe for visits from the public.

Visiting Santueri Castle

Days and Times

Santueri Castle is currently open to the public only on Sundays and public holidays 10:00-17:00 unless you call ahead to arrange a group visit.

As of 1st March 2015 the castle will be open every day.

Price

The entrance fee is 4€ per person. If you decide to contract a guide the fee is 20€ for the visit.

Route of the Visit

Despite being a ruin, it is easy to visit Santueri Castle, as a logical route around the ruins has been designed for you to follow. Just pick up a leaflet by the entrance.

Each important part of the castle has a letter and in the leaflet is a description of what you are looking at:

A: Access to the Castle, main door and Guard house
B: Tribute Tower
C: West wall with passing guard
D: Oven and Castilian chamber
E: Main reservoir
F: Southwest stretch of ramparts and quadrangular towers
G: Chamber with terraced cisterns
H: South rampart and quarry
I: Stretch of rampart, Cistern and Lower Terrace
J: Northeast rampart and tower
K: North rampart

How to get to Santueri Castle

Santueri Castle is located just outside Felanitx on Santueri Hill, looking over the village of S’Horta, and with views of Cala Dor and much of the east coast of Mallorca.

For public transport check out TIB.org.

**********

As you know, we do many things in Mallorca with our Winter Activities group, including visits, walks and adventures. To see more of Mallorca through our expeditions, or indeed to join one of them, take a look at my brand new page: Winter Activities.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

Filed Under: featuredFelanitxmallorcaspainWinter Activities

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.