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IBIZA, BALEAR ISLANDS

Ibiza party Mallorca

Ibiza is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea about 80 km off the coast of Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands autonomous community (Spain). With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands. Its largest cities are Ibiza Town, Santa Eulària des Riu and Sant Antoni de Portmany.

Eivissa is the official Catalan name, but the name in Spanish is Ibiza, usually pronounced using the standard Spanish variation. In British English, the name is usually pronounced the Spanish way, while in American English the pronunciation is more varied.

The island of Ibiza is well-known for its summer club parties which attract large numbers of tourists, but the island and the Spanish Tourist Office have been working to shed the prevailing "sex-and-alcohol" image in order to promote more family-oriented tourism. Noted clubs include Space, Pacha, Privilege, Amnesia, DC10, Eden and Es Paradis. It is also home to the 'West End' party district of Sant Antoni, a popular stop for many tourists.

In 654 BC Phoenician settlers founded a port in the Balearic Islands, as Ibossim (from the Phoenician iboshim dedicated to the goddess of the music and dance Bes). It was later known to Romans as "Ebusus". The Greeks, who came to Ibiza during the time of the Phoenicians, were the first to call the two islands of Ibiza and Formentera the Pityûssai (Πιτυοῦσσαι, "pine-covered islands"; a translation of the Phoenician name). With the decline of Phoenicia after the Assyrian invasions, Ibiza came under the control of Carthage, also a former Phoenician colony. The island produced dye, salt, fish sauce (garum), and wool.

A shrine with offerings to the goddess Tanit was established in the cave at Es Culleram, and the rest of the Balearic Islands entered Eivissa's commercial orbit after 400 BC. Ibiza was a major trading post along the Mediterranean routes. Ibiza began establishing its own trading stations along the nearby Balearic island of Majorca such as Na Guardis, from which large quantities of renowned Balearic slingers were hired as mercenaries who fought for Carthage.

During the Second Punic War, the island was assaulted by the two Scipio brothers 209 BC but remained loyal to Carthage. With Carthaginian military luck running out on the Iberian mainland, Ibiza was last used by the fleeing Carthaginian General Mago to gather supplies and men before sailing to Minorca and then to Liguria. Ibiza negotiated a favorable treaty with the Romans, which spared Ibiza from further destruction and allowed it to continue its Carthaginian-Punic institutions well into the Empire days, when it became an official Roman municipality. For this reason, Ibiza today offers excellent examples of late Carthaginian-Punic civilization. During the Roman Empire, the island became a quiet imperial outpost, removed from the important trading routes of the time.

After the fall of the Roman empire and a brief period of first Vandal and then Byzantine rule, the island was conquered by the Moors, as well as much of the Iberian peninsula. Under Islamic rule, Ibiza came in close contact with the city of Dénia (the closest port in the nearby Iberian peninsula, located in the Valencian Community) as the two areas were administered jointly by the same taifa. Moreover, the tribes who lived in Ibiza and Denia during the period 1060–1085 were Moorish tribes named Bno-Alaglab & Bano-Mujahed.

The island was reclaimed for Christendom by Aragonese King James I of Aragon in 1235. Since then, the island has had its own self-government in several forms but in 1715 King Philip V of Spain abolished the local government's autonomy. The arrival of democracy in the late 1970s led to the Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands. Today the island is part of the Balearic Autonomous Community, along with Majorca, Minorca and Formentera.


Map of Ibiza:

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