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

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.