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Balearic Islands: History

The numerous prehistorical findings made on Balearic Islands are not only of importance for studies on the history of the islands, but of all Europe. Alone on Menorca some 500 findings were made, that is why it is nicknamed sometimes a prehistorical open air museum. The monumental stone constructions, Talayots, Taulas and Navetas, probably served for ritual ceremonies.

Of great importance are Asentamiento de Trepucó, at 2 km from Mahón, the Talayot de Trebaluger in the surroundings of Villacarlos, and the Naveta des Tudoms Photo close to Ciutadela, the biggest and best conserved prehistorical monument. At Mallorca the Talayot de Sa Canova and the remains of settlements Ses Paises, Capocorb Vell and Claper dels Gegants need to be mentioned.

Almost all the important cultures left their traces on the islands: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthagineans, Byzanthinians, Moors, ...

Mallorca was conquered in 1229 by Jaime I of the Spanish kingdom Aragon. He left the island to his son, Jaime II, as an independent kingdom, but in 1243 it became again part of Aragon.

Menorca became part of Aragon in 1231. The island was then frequently attacked by pirates, many fortifications still remind of that epoch. In 18th century, as a consequence of the treaty of Utrecht, Menorca belonged to the British empire, and the architectonical style, specially of Mahón, is clearly influenced by that fact. After a short French domination the island became part of Spain in 1802, by the treaty of Amiens.

Historical findings on Ibiza prove to us that this island was an important Carthaginean colony. As a consequence of the war between Carthago and Rome, Romans conquered the island. From 707 it was dominated by Moors, until they were expelled by Jaime I. Also Ibiza and Formentera where frequently attacked by pirates, the latter was even temporarily left by its population.

More Information: Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera) | Fiestas and Folklore | Gastronomy


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