Torre d'en Galmés Talayotic Settlement

Alaior, Spain

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 have been found from the Islamic era (12th century AD). 

The site consists of a public area, with three talaiots (1000-700 BCE) standing on top of the hill, plus the taula enclosure next to the middle talaiot, dating from the post-Talayotic period (650-123 BCE). The capital of this taula was re-used as a tombstone in the late Roman or medieval period. An archaeological dig carried out in 1974 unearthed a bronze Egyptian figure of the god Imhotep, now displayed in the Museum of Menorca together with other ritual objects found on the site. The figure was most likely acquired between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.

On the south side of the hill are circular houses from the same period, with rooms separated by radial walls that converge on a central patio area with a water tank. On the side of each house are outbuildings that were used as storerooms or larders, and that still preserve the stone roofing slabs supported by pillars. The largest house is the one known as the “Círculo Cartailhac”, dating from the 2nd century B.C. and excavated in 2008. There is also a rainwater catchment system formed by cisterns or tanks of different sizes carved out of the rock. The whole settlement was probably enclosed by a perimeter wall that connected the houses to each other following an irregular layout.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1700 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

More Information

www.menorca.es

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sergey L. (2 years ago)
Really interesting place!
Michael S (2 years ago)
Well worth the visit, just trying to imagine the lives people had here thousands of years ago. Pleasant surroundings as well, take a small picnic, plenty of places to sit and enjoy . I wouldn't recommend the site for someone with limited mobility, but there are good well maintained pathways around the site to enable access, but with steepish inclines.
Emily Kington (2 years ago)
Great little architectural site. Good information.
Andrew Taylor (2 years ago)
Excellent place takes a good while to go around reading and going into the burial chambers
Sarah Henderson (3 years ago)
Excellent archaeological site, lots to see and well curated to allow visitors to understand more of what is on the site. Some areas are less excavated than other parts but where work has been done it is truly unique and great to be able to get up close. Inexpensive fee to access the site during the summer (except Mondays).
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.