Friday, 30 March 2018

Portinatx Pirate Tower.

Ibiza has always been a popular destination for visitors welcome or unwelcome. The islands position in the Mediterranean meant that people travelling between Europe and Africa often used it as a stopping off point during the journey. During the growth of Ibiza during this time the island also became a target for invaders and pirates who attacked the island due to it's trade links, fertile soils, salt which was a valuable commodity, harvests and population which was spread across the island and difficult to protect, often these were sold in to slavery after capture.

As time went by the islanders developed a series of lookouts from high points along the coast, and by the 16th century these had started to be developed in to the pirate towers which are scattered around the island today. The first ones were built around the main population centres Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eulalia. By the 18th century there was approx. 15 towers around the island including the one that still stands at Portinatx.

They were primarily built as shelter for the lookout but were stocked with muskets, shot, gun powder and small cannon. They usually had there entrance built approx. 10 feet above the ground accessible via a rope ladder that would be raised at the first sign of trouble. Because of the high access boiling water / oil was sometimes poured upon attackers trying to climb the outside walls. The warning was done via smoke signals during daylight and fire through the night. Some of the walls were built 10 feet thick and no tower was successfully taken when attacked. Despite most towers having been restored, they are now mostly closed off to the general public with only the outside areas accessible. This is due to vandalism and their are even stories of ritual suicides having taken place within some of the towers.

The 4 pictures were taken in July 2014 using a Polaroid is2132 bridge camera. They are taken from my album of Portinatx Pictures.

Portinatx Pirate Tower 2.

Portinatx Pirate Tower 3.

Portinatx Pirate Tower

Portinatx Pirate Tower

These pictures can also be downloaded from my Clickasnap account.

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