WORLD HERITAGE

WORLD HERITAGE

During the 23rd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Morocco from 29 November to 4 December 1999, Ibiza, based on natural and cultural criteria, was declared World Heritage. Nature Ibizaís marine component is characterised by the presence of dense and very well preserved prairies of oceanic Posidonia (seagrass) and coral reefs. The oceanic Posidonia beds at the Marine Reserve are the best preserved beds in the Mediterranean basin. The island's seabed contains the most diverse community of Cladocora caespitosa, supporting 220 species, the highest record for a marine community in the Mediterranean. This community offers protection to three globally endangered species such as the Mediterranean monk seal. In this area can be found an important community of Ecteinascidia turbinata, a marine species with recognised value to prevent and combat different types of cancer. Parts of the declared areas are included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) for their importance for migratory birds. Culture 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. 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 quality and importance, of material on the discovery and origin of Phoenician and Carthaginian tombs. The Upper Town of Ibiza Dalt Vila 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 Phoenician 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.