Ibiza: the history that has brought us to the present

To understand Ibiza it is essential to know its history. Phoenicians, Punics, Romans, Byzantines, Vandals, Arabs and Christians have dominated it over the centuries. The island has been inhabited since the year 5,000 BC, although it was not until the arrival of the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC that it became a strategic enclave in the Mediterranean. At that time the Phoenician village of sa Caleta was created, of industrial nature and close to the salt lagoons, the future salt marshes.

Aiboshim, town of Bes, was founded a century later and was key on the Phoenician trade route, being fortified from almost its beginnings. The necropolis of Puig des Molins was also created by these first settlers. With the arrival of the Punics of Carthage, around 550 BC, that modest port distribution center became an enclave with its own productions destined for export.

The Roman occupation of Mallorca and Menorca, in 123 BC, began the decline of the Punic Ibiza. Their Romanization, however, took place more slowly. The city was renamed Ebusus and had the characteristic facilities of the Roman city. Other infrastructures were also built throughout the island, such as the S’Argamassa aqueduct. The last Roman times were marked by fear and insecurity. The arrival of Byzantines and Vandals (5th century) means the definitive decline of the capital, which was semi-abandoned for long periods.

The Muslims baptized Ibiza as Madina Yabisa and did not occupy it definitively until 902, after two centuries of skirmishes. They rebuilt the city and established the power center at the top of the walls, which they rebuilt with towers. In the fields they worked the land and created ditches, pools and canals to make it more productive. This legacy can still be seen in SES Feixes de Talamanca and is Broll de Buscastell.

In 1235, the Catalan troops commanded by the Archbishop of Tarragona, William of Montgrí, conquered Ibiza from the Muslims. The mosque was converted into a church and the canvases of the fortress were repaired. Subsequent centuries were marked by piracy, which generated terrible insecurity among the population. In the 16th century, the Spanish Crown ordered the construction of the Renaissance walls. Thereafter, the city grew inland. In the countryside were built defense towers and the Crown, in the eighteenth ordered the creation of others on the coast.

The creation of the diocese of Ibiza in 1782 and the arrival of the first bishop, Manuel Abad y Lasierra, was an important impulse for rural Ibiza, since numerous temples were erected throughout the island and new population centers were established.

The great change, however, occurred with the arrival of tourism, from the sixties of the twentieth century. The travelers brought prosperity and put the island on the map. Today it is one of the best-known destinations in the world.

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