Its geo-strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea have made the White Island is an object of great empires and civilizations that have left their mark on the identity, culture and society Ibizan
Delving into the history of Ibiza is to know the mosaic of cultures that have passed through these lands. megalithic civilizations, Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Muslims and Christians have dominated Ibiza throughout its history. And its geo-strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea have made the White Island is an object of great empires and civilizations that have left their mark on the identity, culture and society Ibizan. The chapters in this story are fascinating because for centuries the Ibizan were forced to fend off pirates and looters. The people of this became peasant farmers, fishmongers and exceptional sailors until the arrival of the tourist boom in the 60s, which allowed transform the insular microcosm in a society open to the world.
It seems that during the most recent phase of the Stone Age, Ibiza was a crossing of sailors engaged in trade. Researchers have found traces proving that the island was inhabited during the Bronze Age, probably Iberian peoples. Behind them, Phoenicians and later the Romans denominaros, next to Formentera, 'Pine Islands'. Place pine in Greek. In 654 B.C. the Carthaginians founded the city of Ibosim, a strategic and commercial strength and, most importantly, an excellent natural harbor for their ships. Were the Carthaginians who began the exploitation of the salt, making the salt of Ibiza a bargaining chip to trade with neighboring territories. Punic footprint preserved in the necropolis of Puig des Molins and the Temple of Tanit, as well as in Ses Paisses of Cala d'Hort.
It was precisely the Carthaginians who transformed the island into an enclave with production for export of agricultural, livestock and, especially, salters. After the fall of Carthage in 146 A.C. until 70 AD, Ibiza became a strategic point in the Mediterranean frequented by pirates. That was the reason why the Roman Empire decided to occupy the island, and in the year 70 AD It was incorporated into Spain under the name Augusta Insula, and the ancient Phoenician-Punic settlement of the capital is renamed Ebusus. The city, in fact, had typical elements of the Roman city, as the forum or s'Argamassa aqueduct in Santa Eulària.
Almost four centuries later, Ebusus was devastated by the Vandals of Genseric, who incorporated it into his North African empire. Muslims Ibiza christened as Madina Yabisa, not occupied the city until 902, after more than two centuries of battles. The Muslim invasion strengthened the recovery of urban life and the role of Madina Yabisa as the center of the territory of the Balearic Islands. Meanwhile, in the field working the land and irrigation systems were improved with the construction of irrigation ditches, ponds and canals to improve productivity.
However, in 1235 the archbishop of Tarragona, Guillem de Montgri, took the island to the Crown of Aragon with the approval of King James I of Aragon, the Conqueror. He was expelled or enslaved the Muslim population, repopulating the island with people from Barcelona, Tarragona and Ampurdán. The Catalans took the Arab constructions; the mosque was converted into a parish church and in the thirteenth century, began to rise the church of Santa Maria, who centuries later would become Cathedral. the military (in the Castle), religious (in the church of Santa Maria) and political (the University), which included representatives of the different stages: in the center of the city the headquarters of the great powers were located Ibizan society which, in turn, formed the government of the island.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries remained stratified society, and the polarization between commercial and aristocratic class and peasants was increasing. The latter is gradually impoverished, among other things due to pests and severe droughts that hit the island. Moreover, the arrival of the sixteenth century was marked by the constant attacks of the Turkish fleet and Algerian pirates, with constant attacks on ports and fields of Ibiza. In fact, it was precisely at this time of constant insecurity when the defensive system of the city was reinforced, among other things thanks to the Italian engineer Giovanni Batista Calvi, who developed the bastion wall proof artillery along the lines of the medieval walls. The impoverishment of the peasantry continued throughout the eighteenth century, despite the remarkable shipping activity on the privateering.
However, the Enlightenment came slowly to Ibiza, involving urban improvements such as paving streets, installing running water and local markets in Dalt Vila and the Marina, where farmers outside the city could trade with their gender . In this way, the city of Ibiza and faced the arrival of the nineteenth century, from which time the island benefited from the contribution of capital from overseas Spanish colonies such as Cuba and the establishment of regular boats with Peninsula.
It is at this time when the city accelerated its growth, building new neighborhoods and emblematic buildings, such as Teatro Pereira or the current Passeig de Vara de Rey. It was not until the twentieth century when growth in Ibiza was frantic because the so-called 'tourist boom' from the sixties, a frenetic pace that has remained unstoppable until today. The hippie movement made a free island of Ibiza in a nation ruled with an iron hand by Franco dictatorship. His fame transcended borders, and the island was proclaimed territory of bohemians, dreamers, hippies and artists who wrote and spoke constantly of Ibiza. Its beauty and magic make Ibiza a place recognized.