Es Castell means The Castle. It was originially a suburb of the Castell de San Felipe (Saint Philip's Castle), erected in the 16th century at the mouth of the Maó port after a cruel attack by the Turkish pirate Barbarossa.
The village was founded by the British and originally named Georgetown after George III. The British influence is still clearly visible in the architecture, for example in the distinctive read town hall with its English clock tower.
The local population used to call the village S'Arrabal Nova meaning The New Suburb.
In 1782 Menorca was reconquered by the Spanish. Now this village was named Real Villa de San Carlos. (Ironcially, it was Charles III who ordered the destruction of the castle).
There are still people to-day who prefer to call it San Carlos, although the village officially changed its name to Es Castell in 1985.
The island's military museum can be found in the old Cala Corb barracks at the main square, a former parade ground.
Another interesting place to visit for history buffs is the Fort Marlborough.
The summer festivals are held on July 24th and 25th in honor of Saint James.
Access to the sea is possible via three coves:
- the little harbour of Cales Fonts just a short walk from the main square.
- Cala Corb and
- Ses Fontanelles
Nearby, at the south of the Maó port, there is also the pictoresque narrow Cala Sant Esteve
(Saint Steven's Bay).
Being Menorca's most-easterly point, Es Castell is the first place in Spain to see the sun rise! (As explicity pointed out by the town's hallmark poster: "The first sunrise in Spain")
18th century British proclaimer.
These men announced the Government's decision to the - mostly illiterate - village people.