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
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
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.