Top historic sites in Menorca

Ciutadella de Menorca Cathedral

The Cathedral Basilica of Ciutadella de Menorca was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island, in 1287 on the site of an old mosque. Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the Catalan Gothic style, and is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by six chapels to each side. The five-sided apse is oriented to the east. After the d ...
Founded: 1300-1362 | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Cap d’Artrutx Lighthouse

The Cap d’Artrutx Lighthouse is an active 19th century lighthouse located on the low-lying headland on Menorca. It was completed in 1859 but the tower was significantly increased in 1969. Automated in 1980, the keeper’s accommodation is now used as a restaurant. It was designed by the architect Emili Pou who planned a number of lights in the Balearic Islands. The original tower was much shorter than that seen to ...
Founded: 1859 | Location: Cap d'Artrutx, Spain

Municipal Museum of Ciutadella

The Municipal Museum of Ciutadella is a general history and archaeological museum with a permanent exhibition on the history of Ciutadella and of the island itself from prehistoric times through to the Muslim era and the arrival of king Alfonso III in 1287. Visitors can take a tour through the island"s various historical periods, represented by the archaeological remains and artefacts on display. The Historic and Art ...
Founded: 1935 | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Cales Coves Necropolis

Cales Coves is an emblematic and spectacular prehistoric necropolis, both for its setting and for the large number of tombs in it. They take the form of a set of cavities excavated from the rock walls of the ravines and coastal cliff faces (about 90 altogether), used by local communities to bury their dead. Several types of cave have been documented. The necropolis was used for about 1000 years, from the 11th century BCE ...
Founded: 11th century BCE | Location: Illes Balears, Spain

Sant Antoni Castle

The Sant Antoni Castle is located in the Spanish village of Fornells, in the municipality of Es Mercadal. It was built in the 17th century in the local harbour and due to this building, the town was born. Only some ruins are left from the structure, as it was dismantled by the Spanish after the British domination, just like St. Philip"s Castle. Not far from there, there is the Fornells Tower, a defensive tower ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Es Mercadal, Spain

Talatí de Dalt

Talatí de Dalt is one of the Menorca's most significant prehistoric settlements. It consists of various monuments: an elliptical-shaped conical talaiot, a taula enclosure, an area with dwellings and some caves.The taula enclosure at Talatí de Dalt is one of the largest and most beautiful in Menorca. It has an unusual aspec, as the pillar and its capital are leaning against the side edge of the centre T, probably because ...
Founded: 850 BCE | Location: Mahón, Spain

Naveta d'Es Tudons

The Naveta d"Es Tudons is the most remarkable megalithic chamber tomb in the Balearic island of Menorca.  In Menorca and Majorca there are several dozen habitational and funerary naveta complexes, some of which similarly comprise two storeys. Navetas are chronologically pre-Talaiotic constructions. The Naveta d"Es Tudons served as collective ossuary between 1200 and 750 BC. The lower chamber was f ...
Founded: 1200 - 750 BCE | Location: Islas Baleares, Spain

Trepucó Talayotic Settlement

The settlement of Trepucó is one of the largest on Menorca, covering an area of around 49,240 square metres. Today, only a small part of the site can still be seen, the two oldest buildings, the talaiots (1000-700 BCE). Other remains include parts of the wall, two square towers on the west wall, the taula enclosure and traces of dwellings from the post-Talayotic period (650-123 BCE).The taula enclosure is one of the bigg ...
Founded: 1000 BCE | Location: Mahón, Spain

Torralba d'en Salort Talayotic Settlement

A prehistoric settlement dating from the Naviforme period (1700-1400 B.C.), in which the foundations of a circular cabin can still be seen. The main features are two talaiots, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle room, some caves dug out of the ground and the remains of other buildings used as dwellings. The taula and its enclosure are among the largest and most beautiful on the island. The building dates from the 4th-3rd ce ...
Founded: 1700-1400 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Torre d'en Galmés Talayotic Settlement

Torre d’en Galmés is the largest settlement in Menorca. Its hilltop location made it the ideal spot for keeping watch over the land on most of the island"s south coast. In chronological terms, it was occupied from the Naviforme period (1700-1400 BCE), and you can still see an underground chamber from this period near the area where water was collected, right through until the late Roman era, although some remains ...
Founded: 1700 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Torretrencada Talayotic Settlement

Torretrencada is a Talayotic settlement (1000-700 BCE) that was occupied until the Roman conquest in 123 BCE. Several of its monuments can still be seen. They include the talayot a seriest of artificial burial caves dug out of the rocky ground and burial chambers carved in the rock, probably dating from the high medieval period. The taula is one of the most beautiful on the island, with a reinforcement pillar at the back, ...
Founded: 1000 BCE | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Cala Morell Settlement

The settlement of Cala Morell is a Menorcan pretalayotic archaeological site situated on a 35-meter-high coastal headland which closes the northeast side of Cala Morell"s bay. This promontory is protected by a dry-stone wall, which is found in the area where the promontory connects to solid ground. Radiocarbon dating of the site offers an approximate chronology of its occupation between 1600 and 1200 BC. Arou ...
Founded: 1600-1200 BCE | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Trebalúger Talayot

A Talayotic period settlement (1000-700 B.C.) in Trebalúger was a spectacularly large talaiyot; it is 28 metres in diameter at its widest point. It has an elliptical layout and was built on a high rocky outcrop on the site of an earlier structure from the Naviforme period dating from 1350 B.C., with the bases of the pillars still preserved inside. At the front of the monument, near the entrance, you can see the remains ...
Founded: 1000 BCE | Location: Es Castell, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.

Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.

Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.

When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.

In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.

The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.

The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.