Bellver Castle, Mallorca, Spain

Bellver Castle (14th century) is located on the island of Mallorca, Spain; three kilometers from the historic center of Palma de Mallorca, on a pine-covered hill of 112 meters, at Bellver wood. Its name comes from ancient Catalan and means beautiful sight. King James II ordered his construction to live there and the architect Pedro Salva directed this construction which took almost 40 years. It is of Mediterranean Gothic style in circular form with rounded towers; also in circular form. The castle was occupied by the kings of the island but it also served as a prison. From 1947, being already owned by the Municipality of Palma, they began to reform it to be able to use it as a cultural building and it was in 1976 that it was inaugurated as the Museum of History of Palma. The castle has a patio in the center and all the facilities on the two floors of the building overlook it, with a gallery of Gothic arches. Since it is visible from the sea and from the city, it is considered one of the symbols of Palma.

Tips

There is an indoor cafeteria open according to public visiting times.

Consult the calendar during your visit as there are concerts or civil weddings taking place on the castle’s patio.

Baie-Saint-Paul, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Baie-Saint-Paul is a town located in the regional county municipality of Charlevoix, in the National Capital administrative region, in Quebec, Canada. It is located at the mouth of the Gouffre River in the St. Lawrence River. Its agglomeration extends on both banks of the river, opposite the Coudres Island. The city attracts many tourists who love the landscapes of the region and the art galleries which are mainly located on St-Jean-Baptiste Street. Several artists have settled there and you can also find stores that sell their art and other shops dedicated to the sale of handicrafts (soap, honey, wines, etc.). There is the Baie-Saint-Paul Museum of Contemporary Art which presents various exhibitions throughout the year.

Tips

If you spend a few days of vacation in the region, you will find several interesting activities. In winter, for example, there is the Le Massif ski resort. You will also find two national parks within a 50 km radius; that of Hautes-Gorges-de-la Rivière-Malbaie and that of Grands-Jardins.

If you go to Baie St-Paul in July or August, you could take a guided tour through the crater of Charlevoix, organized by a scientific organization. Out of season, visits are possible only on request.

Find out about all the producers who sell directly to the public, some of them also offer an explanation of their production as well as the tasting.

Piazza Ducale, Vigevano, Pavia, Lombardy, Italiy

Piazza Ducale is the main square of the town of Vigevano, a town in the Italian province of Pavia in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is a real jewel of the Renaissance, built on the rule of Ludovico Sforza, the Moro (1492-1494), who considered it like the hall of his castle. Originally, it was 138 meters long and 46 meters wide, project in which the architect Donato Bramante involved. At the time of Ludovico Sforza, the square was already closed on three sides by palaces with porches and facades painted fresco, arcades supported by 84 columns with capitals each different. The fourth side was occupied by two triumphal arches at the intersection of the current Via del Popolo and Via Silva, while a long ramp stone, which started from the center of the square, allowing riders and carriages the access to the castle.
The current architectural shape is drawn by the architect Juan Caramuel Bishop Lobkowitz in 1680. The Duomo facade extends curving across the width of the square. It continues to be surrounded by arcaded porticoes and palaces, with arched windows topped by an attic with an open oculus. The ramp to the castle or the triumphal arches disappeared. All the buildings are covered with a bright pictorial decoration. During the Austrian occupation (eighteenth century), they install the statue of St. John of Nepomuk. The paving of the square is formed with tiles of white and black granite from the Ticino River.
Between 1903 and 1910 there has been a big restauration where they found frescoes from the sforzesque time; so they were discovered and restaured. In 1911, they added the cast iron street lamps.
Even today, it is the main access to the Sforzesco Castle and the imposing crenellated Bramante tower .

Tips

Enjoy your visit and go up the Bramante tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
In addition there are many cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops around the square that allow you to sit outdoors to admire the beauty of the place while having something to eat or drink.