Es Castell, Menorca (Minorca) is situated at the mouth of the Port of Mao and framed by two attractive coves, Cales Fonts and Cala Corb, and is the easternmost town in Spain, and the first to see sunrise.
It is a town steeped in history and military connections, evidence of which can still be seen today. Originally named Georgetown by the English who built it in square-block military style, it was later renamed Real Villa de San Carlos (Villacarlos) when the island reverted to Spanish rule in 1782. It is now known as Es Castell (The Castle) because of it’s proximity to the previously demolished Fort San Felip.
The town’s history is strongly reflected in its layout and architecture. The most obvious
is the central square, previously the parade ground, which is dominated by the elegant
facades of the clock tower of the 18th century town hall and military barracks (now a
Military Museum which is open to the public).
The more gruesome-minded like to inform us (falsely?) that the cove adjacent to the square
is named Cala Corb (corpse) - because the currents had a tendency to wash up the bodies
of the escapees from the quarantine islands in the harbour!
Es Castell has plenty to offer its residents and visitors alike in the way of shopping,
restaurants, and nightlife. There are market days twice a week, and the town has its own
annual fiesta, the Fiesta de San Jaume, at the end of July. Many of the bars and restaurants are situated around the two coves, Cala Corb, and more especially Cales Fonts, and many are in converted caves around the harbour - a superb atmospheric setting. Many of these caves were believed to have
been carved out by the earliest inhabitants around 2500 BC.
A turning off the roundabout at the entrance to Es Castell leads to the prehistoric village
of Trepuco, and just 1Km from Son Vilar. There can be found a massive talyot (conical
mound of stones - some have an inside chamber and passage) and taula , (which is unique
to Menorca - a huge upright stone slab, supporting another large slab lying horizontally
across it). Mystery still surrounds their purpose, and indeed how the got there! In an
adjacent field to the west, part of the village has been excavated. These monuments were
originally built during the second millenium BC, and are well worth a visit.