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SANT JOAN, UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Going past the church of Sant Joan, a rural path leads into a landscape of great beauty and heritage interests that starts at Can Pere Mosson

The first thing to visit is the church, built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Elegant and sober, a one-arch porch catches the eye in its façade. Inside, the rectangular nave is covered by a half-barrel vault. The whiteness of its whitewashed clear-out shapes shines with singular strength on very clear days. Going past this church, a rural path leads into a landscape of great beauty and heritage interests that starts at Can Pere Mosson. Soon after we fins the rural architectual collection of Balfàbia -this is an Arabic word meaning fountain bearing the same name in this area- made up of five peasant houses, two shelter towers, bread ovens and lime-painted crosses to keep bad spirits away. These houses are characteristic in the Ibiza traditional architecture, with cubic rooms, double walls to prevent summer heat and small windows. This collection of buildings is privately owned but it can be enjoyed from the outside, where we fins road signs.

Taking the direction of Sant Miquel and following road signs, we find a church that competes in beauty with that of Sant Llorenç. However, it is older since it dates back from the 14th and 17th centuries. It was used as a fortress agains Berber attacks. We only need to have a look at the wall width to easily understand that this enclosure had other uses than religious ones. The central nave is supported by Gothic arches. Nowadays, the floor plan is cross-shaped with two chapels. Before reaching the village of Sant Joan, it is worthwhile to turn off to Portinatx, a tourist area accessed through the road from Sant Miquel to Sant Joan and then connecting with the C-733 road.

Portinatx

To the right, near Cala d'en Serra, we find the tower Torre de Portinatx, a very beautiful construction, built in 1763 and about to be restored nowadays. The landscape in this area is overwhelming, with steep and winding cliffs and a savine forest at a few meters distance. If we go to the village of Sant Joan, we can visit the church, the works of which started around 1730. It is a temple with a single nave and a barrel vault where the ribbed dome or dome in the shape of orange segments and wall paintings are woth some remarks. The belfry is quite singular since it is finished in a cone-shaped capital.

Culleram

From Sant Joan and at six kilometres distance we find the village of Sant Vicent and its church, built between 1827 and 1838. It is one of the simpliest in the island and its located on a small hill at one hundred meters from the road. Following this same road, at around two kilometres away and nearly on top of a pine tree mountain is one of the most interesting places: the Punic Sanctuary of es Culleram. This monument is inside a natural cave and was used for Phoenician religious rites. Several votive offerings to the Goddess Tànit -supreme deity for the Carthaginians that has become a symbol of the island- were found inside at the beginning of the 20th century. Bronze plates with inscriptions dedicated to the divinity Resph-Melkart and Tànit, made by Adbemun, the son of the priest Azarbaal were also found. Most part of these remains is in the archaeological museum and date back to around the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.