Ibiza Monuments; History & Culture of Ibiza
- Nicole Torres gives her special Ibicenco insight to some of the Ibiza monuments and historic sites.
Roman Aqueduct at S’Argamassa
Located very close to S’Argamassa beach, in the municipality of Santa Eulalia des Riu, you can find this historic architectural complex.
It is a declared monument formed by the set of a Byzantine Roman villa, a Punic Roman aqueduct, the archaeological site and the rural maritime settlement at S’argamassa. It is a listed as Historical Heritage since 1983 and considered of Cultural Interest since 1998.
The most famous part of this archaeological site is the aqueduct, dating from the first century BC, approximately. It is approximately 450 linear metres that are still standing, at the top of which there is a channel through which the water flowed.
Currently, the aqueduct is practically stuck to the Hotel S’Argamassa, so the lucky people staying at this hotel can enjoy a part of the history of Ibiza from their windows.
Mariá Villangómez Statue
The Monument to this illustrious citizen of the municipality of San Miguel de Balanzat, was inaugurated in 2005 and is located opposite the entrance of the church of San Miguel.
Mariá Villangómez Llobet, was born in Ibiza on January 10th, 1913 and died on May 12th, 2002. He was the son of a wealthy family, studied law in Barcelona, then studied to be a teacher, later dedicating his life to teaching in the village of San Miguel de Balanzat.
He was a great poet dedicated to the colours of the earth, later in his life he also wrote prose. For his literary achievements he was awarded in 1989 the Honorary Award of Letters in Catalan language.
Statue of Isidoro Macabich
The monument is located on Paseo de Sa Carroza, just past the Plaça de Vila and before reaching the Baluarte de Santa Lucia, Ibiza Town.
The statue in his name was erected in honour of this great man admired throughout Ibiza. The monument is located in the shade of eucalyptus to which he dedicated one of his writings. The poet lived in one of the houses that are behind the monument.
The Ibicenco poet Isidoro Macabich i Llobet was born on September 10th, 1883 and died in 1973, the son of a wealthy family. He was a great historian and poet, lover of local customs and researcher.
He left us a body of work, such as his monumental History of Ibiza, “Es Feudalisme a Eivissa” (Feudalism in Ibiza), “Santa María la Mayor. Los Cronistas” (Saint Mary the Great. The Chroniclers).
He alternated his life between church and culture.
The Old Bridge in Santa Eulalia
The Pont Vell (Old Bridge) in Santa Eulalia, also known as Pont des Molins or Roman Bridge, even though its construction was much later (the first references that exist date back to 1720 and the theory of the standing bridge is of Roman origin has lost strength in the latter years, investigation is still ongoing, some have the theory of a previous Roman bridge that no longer stands).
It formerly represented the main entrance to Santa Eulalia, until in 1918 when the Pont Nou (new bridge) was built, parallel to the old one and closer to the Puig de Missa (the fortified church that sits on the hill), which favoured motorized traffic. From then onwards, the Pont Vell has been used by pedestrians.
Under the bridge, which was recently restored, flows the river of Santa Eulalia. The pool at the foot of the arches represented a popular enclave few decades ago, as the young people of the town went there to bathe. You can pass the pond on the River Road, which links it to the Interpretation River Centre, Can Planetes, on one side, and the mouth on the other.
In the old days, the bridge was a constant target of pirate attacks, due to the constant movement of peasants, carrying wheat and other grains to water mills located along the banks. The popular tradition said the bridge was home to witches and familiars (a small little devil that brings luck, or not!) so some also called it the Devil’s Bridge.
Statue of Guillem de Montgrí
The Plaça d’Espanya, near the Dominican Monastery of Dalt Vila, offers spectacular views of the harbour, the district of Sa Penya, the dam at Botafoc and the little islands on the way to Formentera.
The statue in the centre of the mirador represents Guillem de Montgrí, elected archbishop of Tarragona who promoted the conquest of Ibiza over the Arabs in 1235. Every 8th of August commemorates the conquest and the authorities make a floral offering at this figure. It is a reproduction of the sarcophagus of the tomb, kept in the Cathedral of Girona.
Monument to the Corsairs
In the middle of the platform of the Ibiza port there is an obelisk dedicated to the privateers, designed by Catalan architect Augusto Font. It is the only public tribute to pirates in the world, together with the British monument built in honour of Sir Francis Drake.
In the case of Eivissa, the first stone of the obelisk was placed in 1906, coinciding with the centenary of the capture of Gibraltar flag ship Felicity by the Ibizan schooner San Antonio and Santa Isabel, led by Antoni Riquer. The seizure was a huge achievement, since the foreigners, who sailed with a British Patent, were far superior in arms and men, and served under the command of a famous pirate of the day: Michael Novelli, alias The Pope.
The obelisk was finished in 1915 and pays tribute to all the brave sailors who, over the centuries, risked their lives in the waters of the Mediterranean to safeguard the island.
These Ibizan privateers had no bad reputation, but their legend grew under the carte blanche that the Crown granted them in their dangerous missions.
Their great invention was the fire bottles, jars filled with gun powder which they threw on enemy ships, decimating their crews. They were distinguished by their courage, against much larger and higher calibre artillery ships.