Alaro castle is perched on top a rocky mountain above the town in the west of Mallorca. A popular walk from the town (or further up the hill if you prefer to drive) takes you to a ruined castle and hilltop chapel offering spectacular views of the Tramuntana mountains and over towards Palma and all the way to the sea.

A castle has stood on this site since Moorish times; it was so impregnable that the Arab commander was able to hold out for two years after the Christian conquest. Later, in 1285, two heroes of Mallorcan independence, Cabrit and Brassa, defended the castle against Alfonso III of Aragon and were burned alive on a spit when he finally took it by storm. Their punishment was a consequence of their impudent defiance of the king. The present ruins date from the 15th century and seem almost to grow out of the rock, dominating the landscape for miles around.

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Address

Unnamed Road, Alaró, Spain
See all sites in Alaró

Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

More Information

www.seemallorca.com

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jackie Philpott (32 days ago)
Great walk up from Alaro, an hour on the windy road then 30 mins of purpose built path with lots of shallow, rocky steps. It was very misty so the views which I imagine are fantastic were hidden. The castle itself, also was hidden and we didn't explore as much as we could at the top because we couldn't see anything. Choose a day when the mountains are clear to fully appreciate.
Dave McPherson (34 days ago)
Absolutely magic views after a 1.5 hour walk. The walk in was not particularly strenuous, but is sustained, so bring water and sunscreen. The castle ruins are modest but interesting, and there is a small shrine at the top also. We had lunch at a small cafe at the top - a simple lunch where all ingredients are brought in daily by donkey. There are no toilet facilities at the top, so be prepared! Highly recommended this as a day out.
Jae Hoff (36 days ago)
Unless you are a very serious hiker, don't try and hike all the way from the town. You can drive up to the restaurant (about 1 hr to the top) or to the upper parking lot (30 minutes to the top). If you hike from the bottom, it's 2+ hours of straight up (and it sucks!). The "castle" itself is just a gate and few small chunks. It's honestly not very remarkable. The views are incredible but that's really the only reason to go.
Pablo S (2 months ago)
Nice views from the top. The castle is just remains, and in very bad condition. Need some work to improve it. I recommend walking to the top starting from the town of Alaró, it's worth the extra effort as you walk by beautiful houses and yards.
Thomas Edel (2 months ago)
A scenic, well marked hike, less than 2 hrs from Alaro centre. 70% on a winding road, 30% on a fairly well maintained path. Height difference of 700m. Accessible by car, too- then a 30 min walk.
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Limburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Limburg is one of the best preserved late Romanesque style buildings. It is unknown When the first church was built above the Lahn river. Archaeological discoveries have revealed traces of a 9th-century church building in the area of the current chapel. It was probably built in Merovingian times as a castle and the chapel added in the early 9th century.

In 910 AD, Count Konrad Kurzbold (cousin of the future King Konrad I) founded a collegiate chapter of 18 canons, who lived according to the rule of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, on the hilltop site. The original castle chapel was torn down and a three-aisled basilica was built in its place. The foundations of this basilica have been found beneath the present floor.

The construction of current cathedral is dated to 1180-90. The consecration was performed in 1235 by the archbishop of Trier. It seems certain that the cathedral was built in four stages. The first stage encompassed the west facade, the south side aisle, the choir and the transept up to the matroneum. This section forms the Conradine church. The second stage consisted of the addition of the inner pillars of the south nave. In this stage the bound system was first introduced. In the third phase, the matroneum in the southern nave was built. The fourth stage included the north side of the transept and the choir matroneum. By this stage Gothic influence is very clear.

The interior was destroyed by Swedish soldiers during the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and reconstructed in a late Baroque style in 1749. The Baroque renovation was heavy-handed: the surviving medieval stained glass windows were replaced; all the murals were covered up; the ribs of the vaults and columns of the arcades were painted blue and red; the capstones were gilded; the original high altar was replaced. The colorfully painted exterior was coated in plain white and the central tower was extended by 6.5 meters.

The collegiate chapter of Limburg was dissolved in 1803 during the Napoleonic period, but then raised to the rank of cathedral in 1827 when the bishopric of Limburg was founded. Some renovations in contemporary style followed: the walls were coated white, the windows were redone in blue and orange (the heraldic colors of the Duke of Nassau) and towers were added to the south transept (1865).

Further changes came after Limburg was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. It was now the Romantic period and the cathedral was accordingly restored to an idealized vision of its original Romanesque appearance. The exterior stonework was stripped of all its plaster and paint, to better conform with the Romantic ideal of a medieval church growing out of the rock. The Baroque interior was stripped away and the wall paintings were uncovered and repainted.

Further renovations came in 1934-35, enlightened by better knowledge of the original art and architecture. Art Nouveau stained glass windows were also added. A major restoration in 1965-90 included replastering and painting the exterior, both to restore it to its original appearance and to protect the stonework, which was rapidly deteriorating while exposed to the elements.

The interior is covered in medieval frescoes dating from 1220 to 1235. They are magnificent and important survivals, but time has not been terribly kind to them - they were whitewashed over in the Baroque period (1749) and uncovered and repainted with a heavy hand in the Romantic period (1870s) before finally being restored more sensitively in the 1980s.