Culture and heritage

Heritage Catalogue

Living history of the island.

Although the island of Formentera is well-known for the magnetism of its natural landscapes, the island also conceals all manner of historical vestiges that show that it was a point in the Mediterranean that has been taken into account by many civilisations since ancient times.

The first signs of settlement on the island are calculated to date from the third millennium BC and since then various empires have made this small island their home. The island was inhabited successively by the Phoenicians, Romans and Andalusians. After the Moorish period, Ibiza and Formentera became part of the Kingdom of Aragon in 1235. However, the difficulties in establishing a new population on the island were aggravated from the second half of the 14th century onwards, due to the effects of the Black Death and, subsequently, to the threat posed by piracy. There were numerous attempts to repopulate Formentera, but they did not materialise until the end of the 17th century. It was then that the process was finally set in motion and increased throughout the 18th century with people moving from Ibiza.

For Formentera, the second half of the 20th century was a period of intense and rapid changes that directly affected the environment, society and culture. From lifestyles that could be called traditional, characterised by an economy that tended towards self-sufficiency, there was a shift towards a system based on the tourism services sector as the main economic driving force, a fact that led to a progressive change from the practices of the past to others more typical of the globalised world. Tourism radically changed the island’s economy and society.

To learn more about the history of Formentera, you can consult the Encyclopaedia of Eivissa and Formentera, and our Heritage Catalogue, visit the Ethnographic Collection of Formentera or discover the Image and Sound Archive of Formentera.

Events in Formentera