The History of Ibiza

Ibiza's long history...

A human presence on Ibiza has been proved as far back as 4860BC from animal skeletons, the animals being brought to the island by Neolithic man and settlements have also been discovered dating back 3000 years, through archaeological diggings, it would seem that all throughout history, people have been discovering and moving to Ibiza.


Captain Caveman Parties!

The Carthaginians arrived on the island in 654BC, claiming it as their own and naming it Ibossim. They were merchants and traders and Ibiza grew into an important trading centre, salt from the Salinas, constructed by the Carthaginians, being the most important commodity.

They also used Ibiza as their burial ground and large amounts of Punic artefacts have been found in the graves at Puig des Molins in Ibiza town. The Carthaginian goddess Tanit became the goddess of Ibiza and her image is still in incorporated in ceramics and artwork today.

Long before Mike & Claire ever thought of it..
Long before Mike & Claire ever thought of it.. | Source

The Romans conquered the Balearic Islands in 123BC. A reminder of their presence is still seen in the Roman bridge which forms the entrance to Santa Eulalia town and the Roman statues at the entrance to Dalt Vila, the old town in Ibiza.

After the Romans came a succession of invaders such as the Vandals, Barbarians and the Byzantines, even the Norwegians had a go when fter the fall of the Western Roman Empire and a brief period of first Vandal and then Byzantine rule, the island was conquered by the Moors in 990, the few remaining locals converted to Islam and Berber settlers came in

When the Arabs invaded in the 9th Century AD, they renamed the island Yebisah and settled there for nearly 500 years. There was a period of economic growth, the basis of which was formed by salt, agriculture and fishing.

Traces of their influence can still been seen in the house styles, traditional costumes and the island dialect, Ibicenco. The moorish architecture in particular has been studied and perfected with modern day building techniques, famously by Rolf Blacksted.

In 1235AD the Catalans invaded and Arab rule came to an end. They tore down the mosque that the Arabs had built on the hill overlooking Ibiza town and replaced it with the cathedral that is still there today. They renamed the villages with the names of Christian saints and constructed more churches around the island.

Tradiitiona Ibicenco building styles


The Pirate Years

During the subsequent centuries the Catalans rather left the islands alone and the inhabitants had to build defences to protect themselves against the constant attacks made by pirates. These defences can still be seen today-the wall of Ibiza town and the towers around the coast of the island, which were used as lookout posts. When pirates were sighted out at sea fire was lit on the tower which could be seen by the next tower and so on forming a warning chain which alerted the whole island to possible attack.

Modern day Ibiza

Today sees another kind of invasion - holidaymakers. Approximately 2 million people descend on Ibiza every year and the tourist industry is worth E710 million every year. Initiated in the 1950s, when mass tourism took off, and continuing through the 1960s with the development of hotels and the influx of people seeking an alternative lifestyle.

In the 1970s the big nightclubs were established and Ibiza’s reputation as the party capital of the world has continued to the present day, and with the more recent advent of VIP culture the island is fast shedding the low-end reputation (San Antonio) and becoming a millionaire's playground (Cala Jondal - Blue marlin etc) and with property prices to match

Undisputed Summer Club Capital of the World

Weddings & Honeymoons

In more modern times Ibiza has also established itself as one of the premiere go-to destination wedding locations in the world, within easy reach of Europe and with its stunning landscapes and scenery, the selection of beautiful wedding venues combined with the peaceful tolerant vibe makes the island an ideal choice for couples from all over the world, including of course same sex marriages.

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