|The Phoenician ruins at Sa Caletta date back to 650BC|
Ibiza was first noticed by the Phoenicians in 680BC and it remained a vital and strategic service station for seafaring vessels up until 1500AD just after Christopher Columbus set sail for the Americas. Dalt Villa in Ibiza town is built on the ruins of 4 ancient civilisations.
First was a Carthaginian Temple, then on top of that a Roman Temple, then a Muslim Mosque and finally a Christian Cathedral which now remains and is called the Santa Maria De Las Neus. The impressive Renaissance walls and ramparts that enclose Dalt Villa were completed by the Catalans in 1585.
The Phoenicians ran the Island up until 550BC, when their cousins the Carthaginians moved in. With them they brought their revered Goddess Tanit, the Goddess of sexuality and death who replaced Bez the god of protection fun and dance, whom the Island was named after. Tanit is still worshiped on the Island today at her caves in Cova Des Cuieram. The Carthaginians ruled up on to 147 BC when they were destroyed by the Romans during the Punic Wars. Ibiza lays claim to the famous Carthaginian General Hannibal, who is said to have been born on the Island of Conillera, which can be seen from the Sunset Strip in San Antonio. This claim is disputed though.
After the Fall of Rome in 476 AD both the Vandals and Byzantines occupied Ibiza until 650AD, when the Muslim Moors gradually moved in bringing prosperity and Arab culture to Ibiza. They were overthrown by Christian Catalans during the Reconquista in 1235 which brought with it the dreaded Spanish Inquisition. In 1276, Ibiza officially became a part of the Balearic Kingdom.
During the War of Spanish Succession in 1702, the Catalans were defeated by King Philip V. Ibiza came under the rule of the Spanish crown in 1717.
The Barbary corsairs under the Pirate Barbarossa, terrorised the Island up to his death in 1535. The round stone watchtowers that dot the coast, were built to warn people that pillaging Pirates were approaching.
|The Acropolis of Dalt Villa with Sa Penya below|
Licensed by the Crown of Spain, The Corsairs controlled the seas around Ibiza up until 1830, when the French finally defeated them. One of Ibizas most famous sons was Antoni Riquer, who defended the island from Pirate raids. He became a hero for his defeat of the British brigantine The Felicity by his much smaller ship The Vives in 1806.
Ibiza remained under Spanish Crown rule until the fall of the Monarchy in 1931. A Republic was established until the Spanish Civil war in 1936 when the Dictator Franco overthrew the democratically elected Popular Front. The civil war in Ibiza was a particularly nasty and bloody affair. Franco declared Spain a Monarchy in 1947 and ruled Ibiza with an iron fist until his death in 1975, when he was succeeded by current Spanish Monarch, Juan Carlos.
Spain held its first democratic elections on June 15, 1977 under the guidance of the Adolfo Suárez government. Today in Ibiza the socialist PSOE party control the Island as an autonomous government with Madrid being the administrative Capital.