Sunday, October 20, 2013

The balearic islands

The Balearic Islands


A look at the Spanish archipelago of the Balearic Islands or Islas Baleares in the western Mediterranean. This island group comprises Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

Islas Baleares, Balearic Islands, Formentara, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca

The islands have been inhabited since prehistoric times, around 5000 BC, and there are many Cyclopean remains. These show the communities constructed dwellings of stone. There is evidence of primitive agriculture including the keeping of domesticated animals. Jewellery, pottery and tools appear to have been manufactured. Later they were frequently visited by Phoenician traders. In 654 BC the Carthaginians founded what is today Ibiza city. Roman occupation followed and they were in turn evicted by the Visigoths. The Moors invaded the islands during the 8th century and there is still evidence of their 300 year occupation to be found in the islands architecture and the customs of the islanders themselves. Christians reconquered the islands during the 13th century. Mallorca falling first in 1229, followed by Ibiza six years later. Menorca was the last to fall in 1287. Initially the islands flourished as Catalan colonies but famines and raids by pirates encouraged by isolation from the mainland saw the Baleari


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