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Ibiza History

Ibiza history

Ibiza History goes back to: 8 million years ago, at the end of the Tertiary era, the Balearic islands, were created as they arose from the ocean like all other European mountain ranges.
In the beginning the islands were still attached to the Spanish mainland, but due to further rising of the sea level the Balearic Islands came about 12.000 years ago.
Ibiza was part of the Balearic Islands, and human habitation dates from at least 5000 BC.
Ibiza History tells us that the Balearic islands were positioned on the Phoenician trade route which soon caused the island being conquered and inhabited by Phoenicians, who named their new found port Ibossim, after their god Bes. They founded a settlement in Sa Caleta (the remnants are certainly worh a visit).
Back to the 9th century BC the Phoenician culture carried on trading lead, silver and minerals but due to covering great distances they needed places to lay in provisions. Ibiza very soon became their port of call where necessary supplies were put on board and repairs were carried out .

Later on the Carthaginians did the same but more important they also founded Ibiza Town, which became an important port in those days. They also used Ibiza as their burial grounds and constructed Les Salinas for saltmaking, Ibiza's most important trading product the 'White Gold' = Salt.
Archaeological discoveries have taught us much about the presence of the Carthaginians in Ibiza.
123 years BC, the island was occupied by the Romans, who, for the first time, governed Formentera, Ibiza (Ebusus), Majorca and Menorca as an archipelago. The islands most importantly supplied the Romans with necessary soldiers and wood while in the mean time they learned the local population how grow grapes, corn and olives.
Of course in those days. there were also constructed bridges, roads in the Balearic Islands, and cities such as Manacor, Palma, and the main town in those days: Pollentia now known as Alcudia.
Later on, in the 4th and 5th century, Ibiza was also occupied by the Vandals and Byzantines, and the first basilicas were established.

The Moors and the Vikings came, but they were eventually displaced by the Arabs who conquered the island in 707, and would remain for 5 centuries. Traces of all these sieges are clearly reflected in the walled part of Ibiza -Upper Town, called D'Alt Vila, meaning 'that high city'.
The ramparts of D Alt Vila include 7 watchtowers and 3 gates, including the Tablasgate - entrance gate, that are now declared unique historical monument in Europe.

Later in Ibiza History came, in succession, the Romans, Visigoths and Muslims. The Muslims left an important and recognizable imprint in the island's typical architecture and the traditional costumes.
During Christian domination in the 13th century the Muslims were driven of the island by the Catalans, and then Ibiza quickly lost its importance for the region.
Once in 1479 Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile got married, the Balearic Island officially belonged to the Kingdom of Spain and reconquest of the lost Spanish regions began.
This Bourbon government would stand until the 18th century.
The Balearic islands were now a major centre for maritime trade and thus a target for pirates from North Africa. Already for centuries Ibiza attracted the attention of pirates who were mainly specialized in stealing people. Formentera even was entirely depopulated by them.

Historians assume that the Ibicenco built their fincas so far apart since previously larger settlements drew the attention of the pirates at sea. The islanders thus painted their houses that pointed towards the seafront in a more natural color that merged into the landscape.
The population of the island had been depleted by many wars and as a result the Ibicenco were extremely motivated to protect their island from further attacks from the sea. So they built protective watchtowers, each tower with views in different directions.
The news of approaching pirates was quickly passed through, from tower to tower, by signs of fire, so the population could find refuge in the protective churches that were already built.

The residents of Ibiza formed a sort of vigilante by acting as pirates - corsair - themselves, in order to minimize the attacks. Antonio Riquer Arabi in those days, was a glorious corsair captain, which conquered more than 100 ships and helped prevent the island from much further sufferings. To honor him the island later placed a memorial, Corsair Obelisk, that still today is the only pirate statue in the world.

In 1554, the now visible walls were built on top of the old city walls of arabic D'Alt Vila.
The town of D'Alt Vila, with watchtower at sea is also one true historic building dating from ancient times.
In the 17th century Punic dominaters chopped more than 4000 graves from the rocks, for their vaults.
The Archaeological Museum of Eivissa, at the Cathedral square in D Alt Vila, you can look at all survived Punic artefacts.
Remains of these times are found at:
- Es Soto: Punic water tanks, tombs belonging to the cemetery Puig des Molins, remains of an old Moslem cemetery and a Christian chapel
- Ses Feixes: historic irrigation system
- Las Salinas: historic salt flats & wetland of great beauty & ecological importance, with specific flora and fauna.
In the Museum of Ethnography of Eivissa in Can Ros des Puig the Missa in Santa Eulària des Riu, one can view collections of primitive objects and the Church of Jesús houses paintings from the historic Valencian School.
The imposing 13th century cathedral of Ibiza also houses an interesting museum.
Furthermore, Ibiza, also hosts a Museum of Modern Art for lovers of contemporary art.

In 1880 one begun construction of, what eventually would be, 180 windmills, that were used to pump water and for corn grinding. Because of their importance for the rural architecture of the Balearic Islands, although a large part of the mills had lapsed, a number of them was now declared to World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO such as Molí d'Toni Joan, Molí des Porxet and Molí des Puig d'en Valls.
The nearly extinct Oceanic Posidonia - Seagrass fields in the water of the Oceanic Nature Reserve of Las Salinas was declared World heritage by UNESCO on december 14, 1999.
The mostly restored remains, from Ibiza's history of occupation, abandoned by various different prevailing cultures, are absolutely worthwhile visiting during a stay on this beautiful island, so you truly can imagine the life that the Ibizan population must have passed, during centuries of oppression by so many different cultures.
Even in the modern 20th century again there was excessive interest in Ibiza when in the 70-ties hippies came to the island and succeedingly clubbers in the 90-ties inevitably followed by the tourist industry.
An explanation can be found in the remarkable tolerance of the Ibicenzan inhabitants towards the annual invasion of exuberant and dissipated holidaymakers who only want to have fun no matter what.
As stated earlier, the local population is very tolerant to the sometimes odd-dressed holidaymakers, and strikingly extravagant gayscene that spread on their island in large numbers during the summer months.
The Ibicenco in this free, sunny island, live according to the motto, life and let live!
Don't leave Ibiza island without visiting the reminders of passed times of the Ibiza History.

Puig des Molins Necropolis
Via Romana, 31, 07800, Ibiza -

+34 971 301 771
1 April - 30 September
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 6pm - 8pm
Sunday 10am - 2pm
 1 October - 31 March
Tuesdays - Saturdays 9am - 3pm
Sundays 10am - 2pm
Closed: Mondays & public holidays
Museo Arqueológico de Ibiza y Formentera
Plaça de la Cathedral, 3 Dalt Vİla, 07800, Ibiza
+34 971 301 231
1 April - 30 September
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 6pm - 8pm
Sundays 10am - 2pm
1 October - 31 March
Tuesdays -Saturdays 9am - 3pm Sundays 10am - 2pm
Closed: Mondays & public holidays
Centro de Interpretación Madina Yabisa
Carrer Major, 2 Dalt Vila, 07800, Ibiza
+34 971 399 232
1 April -15 October,
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 5pm - 8pm,
Sundays 10am - 2pm
July & August,
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 6pm - 9pm
Sundays 10am - 2pm
16 October - 31 March,
Tuesdays - Saturdays 10am - 3pm Sundays 10am - 1pm

Museo Etnográfico Ses Païsses De Cala D'Hort
Ctra. Es Cubells, Cala Vadella, Cala d'Hort, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, Ibiza
+34 971 338 154
1 April -30 September,
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 5.30pm - 9pm
1 October - 31 March
Tuesdays - Saturdays 10am - 2pm Closed: Sundays, Mondays, public holidays and from 20 December to 20 January.
Museo Etnográfico de Ibiza
Barrau Museum

Puig de Missa, 07840, Santa Eularia des Riu, Ibiza
+34 971 332 845
1 April -30 September,
Tuesdays - Saturdays
10am - 2pm + 5.30pm - 8pm
Sundays 11am - 1.30pm
1 October - 31 March
Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 2pm  Sundays 11am - 1.30pm
Museo Diocesano
Cathedral of Ibiza, Plaça de la Cathedral, 07800, Ibiza
Open: all year
Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 1pm  month November
Wednesdays - Saturdays
10am - 1.30pm
Sundays Closed

Experience the feel of Ibiza's history, during the annual Eivissa Medieval Festival, (2nd weekend of May), held between the fortified walls of Dalt Vila. This festival commemorates the importance of the protective ancient fortification and its acknowledged World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1999. During the 4 day festival that attracts over 50.000 visitors, Dalt Vila, sets back in time by colorful decorations and breaths a Medieval atmosphere, where residents are dressed up in Medieval costumes, countless market stalls sell Medieval fare, craftsmen show their crafting skills, and endless entertainment & performances take place in a lively and unique Medieval festival atmosphere. (incl. free entry to all Dalt Villa's galleries & museums)
Various restaurants participate in EIVISSA GASTROMEDIEVAL, serving special Medieval Tapas & Menus on Thursdays, throughout May.




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