Santueri Castle sits on top of a rocky outcrop some 475 metres above sea level. It is a stunning, well preserved castle with remarkable views of the south east of Mallorca and the Cabrera Islands on a clear day. The present walls date from the 14th century but a fortification has existed here since Roman times.
The castle's surrounding area has many caves, with archaeological remains much older, that highlight a continuous use of this space since prehistoric times, documented from Bronze Age period (about 2,200 BC), which could be defined as a sacred place of worship. Some archaeological samplings in the interior of the castle have revealed remains of Roman and Byzantine occupations.
It is believed that the enclosure already was used as a refuge, by the existing population in the surroundings, during the Islamic invasion of Mallorca (by the year 903 AD), and later returned to be used during the Christian reconquest by King Jaume I, in 1229.
It is from this time, the beginning of the 13th century, when we have more information about the Santueri Castle, which came into the hands of count Nunyo Sans until his death in year 1241, when it was inherited by his nephew the King Jaume I of Mallorca.
But, in 1248, during the conquest of Mallorca by King Alfonso III of Aragon, the castle's resistance was low, and surrendered after a few days of siege. From this date until mid-fourteenth century the castle was in operation at the continuing clashes over the ownership of the Kingdom of Mallorca.
Then the castle worked as a surveillance against possible attacks from the sea. At the end of the fifteenth century it is practically obsolete, though it was a point of resistance during the majorcan movement called “the Germanies', facing sieges between years 1522 and 1524, being the only one of the three majorcan rocky castles that remained loyal to the Crown, in all times.
After this stage, during 17th and 18th centuries, the castle remained more or less active against possible threats coming from the sea, but its degradation and loss of importance were increasing. In year 1,811 it was sold by the Spanish State to a private owner, and totally abandoned its role of a fortress.
You can now enter its interior where you will find a splendid central tower, ruins of ancient defensive structures, the old keeper's room, a cistern and many other constructions that tell the story of the life inside the castle. Additionally, you can enjoy the walls and towers and of course the views. There are plenty of hiking and cycling trails in the area, or you can drive right up to the castle by taking the road from Felanitx to Santanyi.
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.