Tower in Sant Elm

Sant Elm

The current building was built by order of Jaume II, King of Mallorca, in 1279 as hospital for fishermen and sailors placed under quarantine. A chapel was also built in order to shelter people’s souls, and also a prison. Subsequently, the tower was built to defend and watch the coast and to protect the sheltered. At the end of the 16th century the tower stopped working as a hospital. The chapel remained under religious authority, whereas the tower was kept under the authoriy of a “batle” (mayor). According to the weapon’s inventory, in the tower there was an artillery piece with a weight of 17 or 18 quintals, a capacity for 5 pounds of powder, and several cannon balls. At the beginning of the 19th century the figure of the “batle” (mayor) was removed and the army took charge of the custody and defense of the area. Therefore the army occupied the tower. On the 16th December 1868, Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria purchased the plot, which appears on any of the illustrations of his magnum opus, Die Balearen. After several transfers, the castle lastly was taken over by the Fundació Illes Balears which has restored it and keeps it in an optimal state.