Es Castell - Menorca

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Es Castell

In this town, the sun rises over the Kingdom of Spain. It's the easternmost settlement within Spain, and thus the first to see the sunrise.

Es Castell was born as an extension of the fortress of San Felipe. It has undergone many transformations during its long history, including name changes. The ruins of San Felipe are located somewhat above the town, towards the entrance to the port of Maó. When the English conquered Menorca, they situated the town between two coves, Cales Fons and Cala Corb, and structured it as a military installation. They named it Georgetown in honour of King George III.

During the re-conquest of Menorca by troops of King Carlos III, the town was renamed 'Real Villa de San Carlos', popularly known as Villa Carlos. However, the arrival of the Spanish democracy and the creation of the autonomous regions of Spain brought linguistic changes. The town's name was changed to the more Menorcan 'Es Castell', a clear reference to the original settlement as an extension of the castle of San Felipe. Es Castell is situated on the south shore of the entrance to the port of Maó.

The most outstanding feature of Es Catell is the 'Plaça Major'. It is surrounded by the elegant façade of the 18th century Town Hall and former British military barracks. Also the Roser church, built at the end of the 18th century, is located on this squre. One of the barrack houses is today's Military Museum of Menorca.

The square boasts numerous bars and restaurants, most of which are open all year round. A small market is held here twice a week. The festival of the patron saint of Villacarlos, Sant Jaume, takes place at the end of July. The sea, particularly in Cales Fons, concentrates the area's main touristic and gastronomic facilities.

A turnoff from the roundabout at the entrance to Es Castell leads to the prehistoric ruins of Trepucó. Here you'll discover a large talayot and a taula. In the neighboring field one can see partially excavated ancient dwellings. These monuments were built between 1000 and 2000 B.C., at approximately the same time when Moses led the people of Israel to the Promised Land. Trepucó is worth visiting, even for the non-archaeologist.




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