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SANT JOSEP, HISTORICAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

In the centre of Sant Josep, the parish Church deserves a special mention

At a few meters distance from Sant Jordi and following the same road there is a round-about that will lead us into the ses Salines area, where salt ponds are a part of the heritage, already exploited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians. Nowadays, ponds produce around 120,000 salt tones per year aand all kind of migratory birds arrive there. On one side of the road going though ses Salines we find the church of Sant Francesc de s'Estany, a temple by comission of King Charles III so that salt gatherers could attend mass. It is a simple construction and the window and belfry in the façade catch the eye. There was a cementery next to the church, which was finally abandoned due to the acumulation of salt.

From this church and taking the road again, we can take a track leading into the towers Torre des Carregador or Sa Sal Rossa, a defensive element boasting conic shape and two floors. Better preserved and located in a verge accessed through a path from the beaches of ses Salines and es Cavallet in the Tower of ses Portes, dating from the 16th centuty, and highly similar to the Carregador tower. An overwhelming view of the passage of es Freus -a tongue if sea between Eivissa and Formentera- can be contemplated from there. All this heritage elements are located in the Natural Park of ses Salines, a highly tourist area in summer which, however, is almost virgin. Returning to the roundabout that led us into ses Salines, we now take the road to the airport. Before arriving, there is a turn off to the right leading us into sa Caleta.

Caleta

Next to the jetty and near some abandoned army premisses, we can visit the Phoenician settlement of sa Caleta, dating back to the 7th century before Christ. It is said that it was the first settlement of this people in the island. Among its ruins we can distinguish the small streets between stores, houses and shops. Following the coastline road, it will lead us into the main road to Sant Josep. In the centre of this municipality the parish Church deserves a special mention. Its appearance is simple, but it is more majestic than other similar constructions. It was built despite it underwent a number of ups and downs. The building started in 1736 with the uninterested cooperation of the locals. A plague epidemic forced that works were discontinued. After resuming the works, the explosion of the arsenal at the bulwark of Santa Llúcia in Dalt Vila of Eivisa required the presence of the work superintendent, and therefore there were discontinued again.

From this municipality and taking the road to es Cubells, at a kilometre away from this village, there is a turn off leadint into Cala d'Hort. Following the road that leads into this beach there is a turn off that can be followed by car. This path leads into a level ground area, from where the most overwhelming view of the islet of es Vedrà -383 meter high- can be contemplated. In this spot is the Tower of es Savinar, also known as del Pirata (Pirat's Tower), which is one located in the highest point af all this type of constructions in the island. The name of “Pirate's Tower” is due to the name it received in the novel “Los muertos mandan” (The Dead Command) by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. There are countless legends about this area, the islet and the tower, as the one telling abount an underground honeyy river or the one ensuring that it is the center of operations from outer space.

Paisses

In this area, between Cala Vedella and Cala d'Hort, the remains of the rural Punic-Roman settlement of Ses Païsses de Cala d'Hort, inhabited between the 5th - 7th centuries AD, is found. Though it is believed it was founded by Carthaginiand, it was also inhabited by the Byzantines and the Romans. Nowadays, two necropolises can be visited: a Punic one, made up of twenty crypt-type vaults-coves and a Byzantine one, located on a hill that has individual tombs with gravestones. From Cala Vedella, following the winding coastline road and always paying attention to directions, is the tower Torre de Comte or d'en Roviera. It is located in the point bearing the same name, overlooking a lovely landscape where the islets of s'Espartar, ses Bledes, sa Conillera and s'Illa des Bosc can be seen. This tower is higher than other similar defence constructions in the island. It dates back from 1763. Though it was used as a household, it bears a resemblance to the original.