La Fortalesa, an asset in the cultural interest since 1997. | Archive


It is a demand that has been made for years and which has been ignored for as many years - 26 to be precise. The Council of Mallorca is finalising the drafting of its own demand that La Fortalesa on the Bay of Pollensa is open to the public at least four times a month. Once completed, this will be sent to the current owner, Ivar Tollefsen, a Norwegian billionaire.

The Council has responded to a formal complaint last month from a Pollensa political grouping, Alternativa per Pollença. This stated that there had been non-compliance with regulations regarding visits by members of the public to a property that was classified as an asset in the cultural interest (BIC) in 1997.

It was the Council which issued this classification. As the mayor of Pollensa, Martí March, points out: "It's not up to the town hall but to the Council to guarantee visits to a property that the Council has itself listed." A few days ago, March reinforced the Alternativa's complaint by saying that he would be urging the Council to guarantee compliance. The fact is that, regardless of their political persuasion, mayors have consistently urged compliance over the years.

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BIC is a status that is defined by the Balearic law of historical heritage and which stipulates that the public must be granted access.

La Fortalesa is a fortress on the Formentor peninsula that was built in the seventeenth century. Its preservation has been ensured by its various owners. What particularly irks Pollensa residents is that it has become a location reserved for filming TV series, most notably the BBC's The Night Manager, and for 'VIP' weddings, such as that of Rafael Nadal in October 2019 and Gareth Bale.

The Council's demand only applies to the grounds. As well as the minimum of four days a month, the property would have to be open for minimum of four hours on these days. The Council explains that if the owner does not comply with its demand, "disciplinary proceedings" will follow. If even sanctions do not result in guaranteeing public visits, the Council may itself determine the appropriate regime for visits.