Eivissa, the age-old history of the island of Ibiza
Vista de Dalt Vila con murallas renacentistas
Ibiza is famous for its beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, its excellent weather and, of course, its unbeatable nightlife. However, since time immemorial, this Balearic Island has also been coveted by many different cultures from around the Mediterranean Sea. The old town of its capital, Eivissa, has the UNESCO World Heritage designation, and conserves the valuable legacy left behind by these different civilisations.
Located in the Balearic Islands, washed by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, you will love Ibiza for many different reasons. The island's rich heritage is one of its most outstanding attractions: it is no coincidence that it has received the UNESCO World Heritage designation. Ibiza is well worth discovering, and here you can see the mark left behind by the different civilisations that made their home on the island over the ages: from the first Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements, to the Roman, Moorish and Medieval periods.
This journey back in time will take you to the island's capital, Eivissa. The old town is in the upper part of the city: the Dalt Vila acropolis. Strolling through its narrow, whitewashed streets is like a walk through an open-air museum, with a succession of convents, palaces and churches. Dalt Vila is surrounded by a wonderful city wall built in the 16th century, a unique testament to military architecture and Renaissance aesthetics. This highly beautiful and simple Renaissance construction model was to have a notable influence on colonial fortifications established in the New World.
In search of the past
The Portal de Ses Taules Gate is the main entrance to the walled area of Dalt Vila, where you will find some of Eivissa's most emblematic monuments. This is the case of: the 13th century Cathedral which has undergone various alterations since then, incorporating different artistic styles according to the tastes of the age; the Town Hall, which is set in an old Dominican convent building; Santo Domingo Church, whose exterior is outstanding for the domes of its cloister; also the Almudaina complex, a Moorish fortress that predates the Renaissance defensive walls. From its keep there are magnificent views of the city's port and the south of the island.
Your visit to Dalt Vila should also include a visit to the Archaeological Museum: it has a broad array of exhibits that will let you discover Ibiza's past and the different cultures that lived here from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The museum also has another centre at the Punic necropolis of Puig des Molins. This site is in an excellent state of conservation. It has close to 3,000 underground tombs and is considered the most important funereal site in the western Mediterranean. If you still have time left over, be sure to visit the Sa Caleta archaeological site, a unique example of a Phoenician town, with remains dating from the 7th century BC.
In Ibiza you will find crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, fascinating areas of countryside and an incredible atmosphere. But the island has rich heritage and monuments too. Are you going to miss them?
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