The walled city
Elegant and majestic, a sentry guarding over the people of Ibiza that rests at its feet, we find the walled town of Dalt Vila, the pride of the islanders and treasure of antiquity. This route proposes a walk round the wall and the 7 bastions that protected Eivissa from attacks by Turkish pirates. This magnificent place, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO, affords unforgettable views of the white island.
Ibiza was a walled city practically from the moment it was founded back in the 7th century BC when the hill rising up over the bay was the site chosen by the Phoenicians to live. The wall was a defensive structure that was already present back in the Punic period, as stated in the oldest source still conserved that mentions the city, attributed to the Greek Timaeus of Tauromenium, in the 4th century BC, and translated into Latin by Diodorus of Sicily, in the 1st century BC. It talks about a place that “… has gates worthy of mention and large walls and many well-built houses.”
There is also information and visible remains of the triple walled premises dating from the Andalusian period (in chapter 126 of the Llibre dels Feyts by James I, when it describes the conquest of Ibiza by the Catalans on the 8th of August 1235), as well as the walls from the Middle Ages.
The construction of new walls to replace the old mediaeval walls was prompted by the island’s insecurity because of the large number of Turkish incursions. In 1554, the Crown commissioned Italian architect Gianbattista Calvi to design new walls. The lines they would trace were approximately the same as the mediaeval walls, which left the areas outside the walls unprotected. In 1574, Jacobo Paleazzo "el Fratín" arrived on Ibiza to replace Calvi after his death as the supervisor of the fortifications in the Mediterranean, and he included the outlying area of Sant Llúcia in the design, giving the walls their definitive appearance.
In 1999, Dalt Vila was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.