History


Ibiza, which dates back to over 3000 years back, is a country with a rich history and culture. It is the third of the Balearic Islands and combined with Formetera is called Pitiuses islands, meaning the ‘island of pines’. The origin of its present name can be traced back to the times of the Carthaginians who called this island Ibosim, Aibusim or Ebusim, meaning island of Bes who was a mischievous god associated with celebrations.

The archeological excavations, cave paintings, graves, bronze axes and discs are the proof of its 3000 year old history. The Phoenicians were the first to arrive here and since then this place has been populated.

After the downfall of Phoenicia, Ibiza was conquered by the Carthaginians. During their rule Ibiza became an important trading centre. The island mainly for trading purposes but the Carthaginians also contributed to its growth by founding the Ibiza Town which has become an important tourist attraction now. They also constructed the Salinas to produce salt which is one of the most important products even today. Another feature added during this time was the huge burial ground or the necropolis.

Then came the Roman Empire during which Ibiza came to be known as the Confederate City. The bridges and roads were constructed during this period to connect the cities. The Arabs conquered the island in the 9th century and called it ‘Yebisah’. Their rule lasted for about 500 years. They built a large mosque on the hills. There was remarkable growth in the economy during their rule. The Catalans came next and destroyed the Arab mosque and built a Cathedral on its place. Christian influence became prominent during this time. The churches were reconstructed and the names of the cities were named after Christian saints.

The islands remained neglected and this brought many pirates and who plundered the wealth in the island. The fortified walls were built to protect the people from any attacks.

With all these invasions, Ibiza saw not only geographical and historical changes but its language, traditions and architecture were also affected. In all walks of life Ibiza shows the influence of all the culture that ruled it once.

Today this small island is an amalgamation of various culture and traditions from across the world. At present, the island of Ibiza has five provinces: Ibiza the capital, Santa Eularia, Sant Antoni, Sant Josep and Sant Joan.

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