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DALT VILA BY FOOT, AN UNAVOIDABLE VISIT


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The fist thing to do in Dalt Vila is to stop and contemplate the majesty of the Renaissance walls

If you arrive by foot, the best option is to enter the enclosure through the so-called Portal de ses Taules, located at the plaça de la Constitució (Constitution Square), opposite the Mervat Vell (Old Market), and go up to the Cathedral.

The first thing to do is to stop and contemplate the majesty of the Renaissance walls. They were built by the Italian architect Calvi and became distinguishing mark of the city. Once we have gone beyond this first entrance ramp to the citadel, presided over by a monumental coat of arms of Philip II, you arrive at the plaça de Vila, a place that invites you to make your first stop to have a beverage or have a look around at craft stores. On your left, taking the street that leads into the plaza de los Desamparados, there is another slope where you find another “must stop”, the monument to the local historian Isidor Macabich in the sa Carrosa Street. Many visitors sit by this “famous figure” to immortalize him by taking a photo.

Santo Domingo

Resuming our journey, and before turning to the convent of Santo Domingo (Esglesia des Convent), a flight of steps leads into the bulwalk of Santa Llúcia (Santa Lucía), a work by the French Joseph Fratin (1575). This collection of buildings is of great beauty, like the views one may enjoy by leaning on its thick walls. Looking downwards, the visitor will find the quarter of sa Penya, an area of fishermen's old houses that are now under alteration and resortation projects. After visiting this bulwark, you may return to the flight of steps or either continue your journey along the wall next to the coastline, which is the most advisable. Then you will arrive at plaça d'Espanya, a cool and cusy square, where the statue of Guillem de Mongrí, the conqueror of Ibiza lies.

The following stop is the Casa Consistorial (Town Hall), which was a Dominican convent until the sale of church lands by Mendizábal in 1835. Though the restoration it underwent in the 18th century -after the explosion of the arsenal at Santa Llúcia- was severely criticized and a part of the building nneded rehabilitation, the visit to the cloister, where different cultural events take place throughout the year, is worthwhile. Next to the town hall is the church of Santo Domingo, now known as Esglèsia des Convent. The building began in 1592 and continued up until to mid 18th century. It is the second largest religious enclosure in the island, coming next to the Cathedral. Special attention should be paid to the frescoes, the nave tiles, and the choir in the temple with the image of the Santo Cristo del Cementerio and the Rosario chapel, which has a highly interesting altarpiece, with a Marian image from the 18th century.

Through the visitor may choose to continue the journey to the cathedral through a tunnel opposite to the entrance of Eivissa's Town Hall, we suggest going along Pere Tur Street and contemplating the architecture of the houses. The first one, opposite the Town Hall, is the house Fajarnés-Cardona, in a neo-colonial style dating back to the beggining of the 20th century. Next in the Pere Tur Street come the house Montero (18th century, no.1, also called Can Botino), Mariano Tur (18th century, no.5), Llobet (19th century, no.7), Vedova (17th century, no.6, renovated by the architect Erwin Bronen in the 60s) and TuellsWallis house (19th century, at the corner with Sant Carles Street, under restorarion).

Ciriac

Now we go into Joan Roman Street, where we will find the Puget house at no.1, a mansion from the 19th century, and also the old Seminary from 17th century and a defence tower from the 16th century. We then find the chapel of Sant Ciriac, patron saint of the city, dating from the 18th century. The legend tells that the first soldier from the conquest entered through a passage in this chapel in 1235.

On top of the hill we arrive at the Cathedral of Eivissa, consecrated to Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, whose feast is held on August 5th, a few days before the date Ibiza was conquered by Guillem de Montgrí, Pere de Portugal and Nuño Sanz. These three men, grateful for divine help in their victory, promised to build a temple over the existing mosque. Thus, the Cathedral started to be built in the 13th century, though it underwent alterations in the 17th. Next to the Cathedral is the Casa de la Curia (Curia House), which housed the first courts in the island and the so-called 'Universitat', a germ of what now is the Consell Insular (Island Administrative Board). Next to it, the Archaeological Museum, housing collections from prehistoric, Punic, Roman and Islamic times.

Castillo

A viewpoint between both buildings boasts a spectacular view of Eivissa. The Castle has been undergoing restoration works for years. Nowadays, there is a firm project to reconvert it to a “Parador de Turismo” Hotel and thus it will be used for different purposes in the city. Its current appearance is due to the alterations it underwent in the 18th century. Once this collection of buildings was visited, we may choose to follow the “bulwark route”. Next to the castle are the Sant Bernat castle, and then the Sant Jordi castle, from where the Puig des Molins, which could be translated as “mill hill”, can be seen. From this bulwarks starts the road ronda de Giovanni Battista Calví (the wall's architect), where we can visit the still existing section of the medieval walls.

Then we arrive at the bulwark of Sant Jaume, then at the Sant Pere's where we find the square plaça del Sol, a lovely spot in the citadel. From this square, going up the steps of the picturesque Portal Nou Street and turning left at Sant Josep Street, we find the church of Hospitalet exhibition hall. From there we go down to the bulwark of Sant Joan, where the Contemporary Art Museum lies. Built in the 18th century as an arsenal, it became a museum in 1971.

Outside the wall enclosure, but a few meters distance, we can visit the Punic Necropolis of Puig des Molins, declared Artistic-Historic Monument in 1931 and World Heritage in 1999 by the UNESCO. This area of 50,000 square meters was used from Phoenician times (6th century BC) up to the first century of the Roman imperial age. Most tombs are crypt-type with sarcophagus made of local sandstone. A complete refurbishment project for the Archaeological Museum is currently underway.