Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

Balearic Islands
N38 54 40.1 E1 26 6.7
Date of Inscription: 1999
Property : 9,020.3 ha
Buffer zone: 7,567.63 ha
Ref: 417rev
News Links/Travelogues:

Ibiza provides an excellent example of the interaction between the marine and coastal ecosystems. The dense prairies of oceanic Posidonia (seagrass), an important endemic species found only in the Mediterranean basin, contain and support a diversity of marine life. Ibiza preserves considerable evidence of its long history. The archaeological sites at Sa Caleta (settlement) and Puig des Molins (necropolis) testify to the important role played by the island in the Mediterranean economy in protohistory, particularly during the Phoenician-Carthaginian period. The fortified Upper Town (Alta Vila) is an outstanding example of Renaissance military architecture; it had a profound influence on the development of fortifications in the Spanish settlements of the New World.

Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ix): The evolution of Ibiza’s shoreline is one of the best examples of the influence of Posidonia on the interaction of coastal and marine ecosystems.

Criterion (x): The well-preserved Posidonia , threatened in most Mediterranean locations, contains and supports a diversity of marine life.

Criterion (ii): The intact 16th century fortifications of Ibiza bear unique witness to the military architecture and engineering and the aesthetics of the Renaissance. This Italian-Spanish model was very influential, especially in the construction and fortification of towns in the New World.

Criterion (iii): The Phoenician ruins of Sa Caleta and the Phoenician-Punic cemetery of Puig des Molins are exceptional evidence of urbanization and social life in the Phoenician colonies of the western Mediterranean. They constitute a unique resource, in terms of volume and importance, of material from the Phoenician and Carthaginian tombs.

Criterion (iv): The Upper Town of Ibiza is an excellent example of a fortified acropolis which preserves in an exceptional way in its walls and in its urban fabric successive imprints of the earliest Phoenicians settlements and the Arab and Catalan periods through to the Renaissance bastions. The long process of building the defensive walls has not destroyed the earlier phases or the street pattern, but has incorporated them in the ultimate phase.

Suggested Bases:

Ibiza (city) is the major settlement on the eponymous island in Spain. “Ibiza” is the Spanish name; in Catalan, it is known as Eivissa. The locals call it Vila for short. Ibiza is widely known and visited for its exciting nightlife. The town is divided into two main parts: the old town, called the Dalt Vila (literally “Upper Town”), which is on a little mountain by the sea, and the modern part, called the Eixample (“extension”). The city, which has a population of about 50,000 (2019), is the capital and most populous settlement of the island and of the Pine Islands group, which includes Ibiza and Formentera. See Dalt Vila, the old walled city at the top of the hill. Catedral de la Verge de les Neus o d’Eivissa. Ibiza’s cathedral’s name can be translated as Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snows. It was built in the Catalan Gothic style in the 16th century [read more].

Xàbia (Spanish: Jávea) is in the Costa Blanca region in Alicante, Spain. The town has three main areas, namely Xàbia old town, Xàbia port, and the beach area. The old town has not changed much and is a maze of narrow winding streets with homes that have wrought iron balconies and windows in gothic style, and a number of ancient churches and other structures. The harbour and fishing port have numerous restaurants and bars overlooking the sea. The Arenal beach area is the main commercial and recreation centre of the town. Montgó’s prehistoric cave dwellers and hunters date from at least 30,000 years ago, and the paintings in Migdia cave are well-enough known. Its slopes have certainly yielded evidence of the ancient past to many local residents whether collecting Stone-Age handaxes and flints, Roman pottery or Muslim ceramics. The slopes of Montgó and the tops of surrounding hills and of the valley tell of the earliest known Neolithic settlements in the Western Mediterranean, where men developed agriculture and domesticated animals from around 3000 BC and into the Valencian Bronze Age between 1900 and 500 BC [read more].

Valencia or València, pronounced [baˈlenθja] (bahl-EHN-thyah) in Spanish, and [vaˈlensia] (vahl-EHN-see-ah) in Valencian, is a charming old city and the capital of the Valencian Community. With just over 800,000 inhabitants in 2020, it is Spain’s third-largest city and, after Barcelona, the most significant cultural centre along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. It is the capital of the autonomous Valencian Community, and is known for tourism and cuisine. In March visitors flock to the city for the annual UNESCO-listed Falles celebration, but the city is worth visiting at other times of year for its paella, ultramodern architecture, and good beaches. Valentia Edetanorum was established as a Roman colony in the second century BCE. In the early 8th century CE the Moors invaded, and Balansiyya became the capital of the Muslim Taifa of Valencia, thriving as a trading centre for paper, silk, ceramics, glass, and silver. With a brief interlude of Christian control in the 11th century under El Cid, the city remained in Muslim hands until the Christian Reconquista led by King Jaime I of Aragon in 1238, and was incorporated as a kingdom under the Crown of Aragon [read more].

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