The Amazing Biodiversity and Culture of Ibiza

The early Phoenicians imprints, the Arab mudejar art and Catalan architecture are all well preserved in the renaissance bastions of the Upper Town of Ibiza. For this fact alone, the town has warranted inscription into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The long process of constructing the defensive walls did not alter the street plans. Rather, the town remained intact. The 16th century Ibiza fortification is unique testimony of the military architecture and engineering and features the aesthetics of the Renaissance period.

There is some uncanny resemblance between the Italian-Spanish model fortifications and those in the New World are due to the exportation of Spanish culture in the New World through colonization.

The upper town of Ibiza is the oldest in the area and looks like an acropolis on a headland overlooking the sea. The architectural fabric of the city has remained unchanged since the 16th century that was based on military precepts of the Renaissance. Amazingly, the defensive walls incorporate those that existed before, hence allowing historians to study all the fortifications.

The town of Ebysos (named after the Egyptian god Bes) was established by the Carthaginians in 654 BC. For a period of 2,000 years the town featured a fortified harbor which was the center of the Mediterranean navigation.

The local economy of Ibiza was based on trading commodities such as figs, wool, and salt. The island town was in alliance with Rome but thereafter fell to the Arabs in 902 AD. After the Islamic period, the town was overrun by Catholic Kings in 1235 who built the Catalan Castle, the medieval fortifications and Gothic cathedral.

From 1530 to 1540, Philip II drew a strategic defensive plan that sought to defend communications between Italy and Spain. From 1584 to 85, further fortifications were erected by 2 Italian architects – Giovanni Battista Calvi and Jacobo Paleozzo Fratin.

Attractions in the Ibiza

-The Phoenician-Punic cemetery of Puig des
-Shafts and funerary chambers
-Tombs, statues, and cult objects
-The Phoenician-Punic Archaeological Site of Sa Caleta
-The ruins of a Christian chapel
-The dual function of collecting water and irrigating the land
-The Cultural Landscapes of Las Salinas

I daresay that the Town of Ibiza contains the most comprehensive Phoenician artifacts and imprints in Europe. It is the one place that you go for some insight into the Phoenician way of life.

By Kennedy Runo

By Sandy Karwacki-Farber, BA about Ibiza Town

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