YESTERDAY it was exactly 75 years (November 8 1931) since the Spanish Government ceded Bellver Castle to Palma council, along with the wood which surrounds it, “for a municipal park and a museum of antique art”, according to the ceding document. The document was signed three quarters of a century ago in the council chambers by the then Spanish Minister for the Economy, Luis Nicolau, and the then Mayor of Palma, Francisco Villalonga. The present day councillor for Culture and Education, Rogelio Araujo, said that this cession had a very special significance for Palma, and recalled the many events which have been celebrated in the castle since that historic date. The origins of the cession are rooted in the days following the proclamation of the Second Republic in Spain on April 14 1931 when, six days afterwards, a special commission was created by a decree of the Provisional Republican Government “for the seizure of goods belonging to the former Crown Heritage Commission”. The castle and its park formed part of this heritage. According to the document signed on November 8 1931, the goods seized were, “a rural estate named Monte and Castillo de Bellver, sited in this town, consisting of pinewoods, carob trees, olive trees and foothills, an ancient castle and fortress constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries, two stone huts for guards and another (in a bad state) without any special purpose, and another separate building which is a chapel dedicated to San Alonso Rodriguez”. The document added that, to the north, the estate joins the estates of “Son Berga, La Taulera and Son Dureta”; to the south the estates of “Son Vich, El Retiro and La Cova and the settlement of Terreno”; to the east “the aforementioned settlement and the settlement of Son Armadams”; and to the west “Son Bono and Son Berga”.

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