Top historic sites in Menorca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a former Spanish royal residence. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After the Christian conquest, Aranjuez was owned by the Order of Santiago and a palace was built for its Grand Masters where the Royal Palace stands today. When the Catholic Monarchs assumed the office of Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Aranjuez became part of the Royal estate. This fertile land, located between the Tajo and Jarama Rivers, was converted into the Spanish monarchy's most lavish country retreat: during Spain's Golden Age, Aranjuez became a symbol for the perfection of nature by mortal hands, as El Escorial was for art.

Such excellence was based on strong Renaissance foundations, as Charles V envisaged this inherited estate as a large Italian-inspired villa, a desire continued by Philip II who appointed Juan Bautista de Toledo to design leafy avenues that ran through the gardens and farming land. A series of dams was constructed in the 16th century to control the course of the Tajo River and create a network of irrigation canals.

The splendour of the estate was only enhanced by the Bourbon monarchs, who would spend the whole spring, from Easter to July, at the Palace. Phillip V added new gardens and Ferdinand VI designed a new system of tree-lined streets and created a small village within the estate, which was further developed by Charles III and Charles IV. As Ferdinand VII and Isabella II continued to visit Aranjuez during the spring, the splendour of this site was maintained until 1870.

The Royal Palace, built by Phillip II on the site of the old palace of the Grand Masters of Santiago, was designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo –under whom construction began in 1564– and later Juan Herrera, who only managed to finish half the project. Although glimpses of the original layout still remain, the building itself is more characteristic of the classicism favoured by the Hapsburg monarchs, with alternating white stone and brick. The original design was continued by Phillip V in 1715 but not finished until 1752 under Ferdinand VI. The rectangular layout that Juan Bautista de Toledo had planned, and that took two centuries to complete, was only maintained for 20 years, since in 1775 Charles III added two wings onto the Palace.

Real Casa del Labrador

As the Prince of Asturias, Charles IV was a frequent visitor to the pier pavilions built by Ferdinand VI and grew up playing in the Prince’s Garden. When he became King, he decided to build a new country house at the far end of these gardens, known as the Casa del Labrador (the labourer's house) due to its modest exterior that was designed to heavily contrast the magnificent internal decor. It was built by chief architect Juan de Villanueva and his pupil Isidro González Velázquez, who designed some of the interior spaces. These rooms, developed in various stages until 1808, are the greatest example of the lavish interior decor favoured by this monarch in his palaces and country retreats. Highlights at this Site include the combination of different types of art and the luxurious textiles, in particular the silks from Lyon, as well as wealth of original works on the main floor, where Ferdinand VII added various paintings and landscapes by Brambilla.

King's Garden, the Island Garden, Parterre Garden and the Prince's Garden

Phillip II, a great lover of gardens, paid special attention to this feature of the Aranjuez Palace: during his reign, he maintained both the Island Garden, designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, and the King's Garden, immediately adjacent to the Palace and whose current layout was designed by Philip IV. The majority of the fountains on this island were commissioned by Phillip IV, while the Bourbons added other features such as the Charles III benches.

Phillip V made two French-style additions to the existing gardens: the Parterre Garden in front of the palace and the extension at the far end of the Island Garden, known as the Little Island, where he installed the Tritons Fountain that was later moved to the Campo del Moro park by Isabella II.

The Prince's Garden owes its name and creation to the son and heir of Charles III who, in the 1770s, began to use Ferdinand VI's old pier for his own enjoyment. He also created a landscaped garden in the Anglo-French style that was in fashion at the time and which was directly influenced by Marie Antoinette's gardens at the Petit Trianon. Both Juan de Villanueva and Pablo Boutelou collaborated in the design of this garden.