Ibiza's History

In 654BC adventurous seafaring Phoenicians from modern day Lebanon set foot on the sundrenched island of Ibiza which they named Iboshim in honour of their God of music and dance. 26 centuries later the music and dancing is still in full swing. The island attracted the attention of every major power of the region. The Phoenicians were replaced by the Carthaginians, followed by the Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines then the Muslim Moors. In 1235 King James I of Aragon captured the island and began to re-Christianize it and in 1715 together with the other Balearic Islands, Ibiza was integrated into Spain. The British were interested in the Balearic Islands in the 18th Century but didn’t take Ibiza. During Republican Spain 1931-39 the Balearic Islands received autonomy but Ibiza fell to Franco’s Nationalists early in the Civil War in 1936. In 1937 the German battleship Deutschland was bombed in Ibiza by Soviet piloted Republican planes causing an international crisis.

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It’s difficult to believe Ibiza was once a sleepy community of fishing villages with a busy trading port. That all changed with the advent of package tourism in the 1950’s. Cheaper air travel together with favourable exchange rates allowed north European travel agencies to put together cheap holiday packages that allowed everyone to enjoy the Mediterranean sun at discounted prices. Ibiza quickly developed a reputation for partying and by the 1980’s boasted the world’s biggest nightclubs and famous DJ’s. In recent years Ibiza has moved upmarket. Together with non-stop dance parties, magnificent beaches and unending sun, Ibiza is also home to many UNESCO registered cultural sites worth a visit.

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