Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands ( / ˌ b æ l i ær ɪ k aɪ the ə n d z / ; Catalan : Balearic Islands , pronounced [iʎəz bələas] ; Spanish : Balearic Islands , [1] [2] [3] pronounced [ Arelas baleaɾes] ) are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea , near the eastern coast of theIberian Peninsula .

The four largest islands are Majorca , Menorca , Ibiza and Formentera . There are many Cabrera , Dragonera and S’Espalmador . The islands have a Mediterranean climate , and are the most popular tourist destinations. Ibiza, in particular, is known as an international party destination, attracting many of the world’s most popular DJs to its nightclubs . [4] The islands’ culture and cuisine are similar to that of the rest of Spain but have their own distinctive features.

The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain, with Palma de Mallorca as the capital. The 2007 Statute of Autonomy declared the Balearic Islands as one nationality of Spain. [5] The co-official languages in the Balearic Islands are Catalan and Spanish .


The official name of the Balearic Islands in Catalan is Illes Balears , while in Spanish They Are Known as the Balearic Islands . The term “Balearic” derived from Greek ( Γυμνησίαι / Gymnesiae and Βαλλιαρεῖς / Balliareis ). [6] In Latin it is Baleares .

Of the various theories on the origins of the ancient Greek and Latin names for the islands- Gymnasiae and Baleares -classical sources provide two.

According to the Lycophron’s Alexandra verses, the islands were called Γυμνησίαι / Gymnesiae ( γυμνός / gymnos , meaning naked in Greek) because of its inhabitants were often nude, probably because of the benevolent year-round climate.

The Greek and Roman writers ( βαλεαρεῖς / baleareis , from βάλλω / ballo : ancient Greek meaning “to launch”), Strabo regards the name as of Phoenician origin. He observed it was the Phoenician equivalent for lightly armored soldiers the Greeks would have called γυμνῆτας / gymnetas . [7] The root bal does point to a Phoenician origin; Perhaps the islands were sacred to the god Baal original research? ] and the resemblance to the Greek root in (in βάλλω/ ballo ) is accidental. Indeed, it was usual Greek practice to assimilate local names into their own language. Aim the common name of the Greek islands is not Βαλεαρεῖς / Baleareis , goal Γυμνησίαι / Gymnesiai . The trainer was the name used by the natives, and the Carthaginians and Romans, [8] while the latter probably derives from the light equipment of the Balearic troops γυμνῆται / gymnetae . [7]


The Balearic Islands are on a raised platform called the Balearic Promontory , and are formed by uplift . They are cut by a network of northwest to southeast faults . [9] [10]

Geography and hydrography

Majorca ( Mallorca ), Menorca / Minorca ( Menorca ), Ibiza ( Eivissa / Ibiza ) and Formentera, all popular tourist destinations. Cabrera is one of Cabrera’s most popular landmarks in the world .

The islands can be further grouped, with Majorca, Menorca, and Cabrera as the Gymnian Islands ( Illes Gimnèsies ), and Ibiza and Formentera as the Pityusic Islands ( Illes Pitiüses officially in Catalan), also referred to as the Pityuses (or sometimes informally in English as the Pine Islands). There are many smaller or smaller islands, such as Es Conills, Es Vedrà, Conillera, Dragonera, S’Espalmador, S’Espardell, Ses Bledes, Santa Eulària, Plana, Foradada, Tagomago, Na Redona, Colom , The Area, etc.

The Balearic Front is a sea density diet north of the Balearic Islands on the shelf slope of the Balearic Islands, is responsible for qui Reviews some of the area flow characteristics of the Balearic Sea . [11]


Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea , the Balearic Islands are unsurprisingly typical Mediterranean climates . The below-listed climatic data of the capital Palma is typical for the archipelago, with minor differences in other stations in Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca. [12]

[ hide ]Climate data for Palma de Mallorca, Port (1981-2010) ( Satellite view )
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Average high ° C (° F) 15.4
Daily mean ° C (° F) 11.9
Average low ° C (° F) 8.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 43
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 6 6 5 5 4 2 1 2 5 7 6 7 53
Mean monthly sunshine hours 167 170 205 237 284 315 346 316 227 205 161 151 2,779
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología [13]


Ancient history

Little is recorded on the earliest inhabitants of the islands, though many legends exist. The story, preserved by Lycophron , that some shipwrecked Greek Boeotians were cast nude on the islands, was obviously invented to account for the name Gymnesiae. There is also a tradition that the islands were colonized by Rhodes after the Trojan War . [7]

The islands had a very mixed population, of which are several strange stories are told. In some stories, it is said that the people went naked or clad only in sheep-skins-whence the name of the islands (an instance of folk etymology ) -until the Phoenicians clothed them with broad-bordered tunics. In other stories, they were naked only in the heat of summer.

Other legends hold that the inhabitants lived in hollow rocks and artificial caves, that they were remarkable for their love of women, and that they could give away a ransom of the precious metals, so those of them who served as mercenaries took care of them instead of money. Their marriage and funeral customs, peculiar to Roman observers, are related by Diodorus Siculus (v. 18).

In ancient times, the islanders of the Gymnesian Islands ( Illes Gimnesia ) have developed talayots , and have been famous for their skill with the sling . As slingers, they served as mercenaries, first under the Carthaginians , and afterwards under the Romans. They went into battle with a small buckler, and a javelin burnt at the end, and in some cases tipped with a small iron point; But their effective weapons are their slings, of which each one has their own conduct, Eustath.), or, as seen in other sources, one round the head, one round the body, and one in the hand. (Diodorus) The three slings were of different lengths, for stones of different sizes; the largest they have been flung from a catapult; and they seldom missed their mark. To this exercise they are trained to infancy, in order to earn their livelihood as mercenary soldiers. It is said that the mothers allowed them to eat with the sling. [14]

The Phoenicians took possession of the islands in very early times; [15] A remarkable trace of their colonization is preserved in the town of Mago ( Maó in Menorca ). After the fall of Carthage , the islands seem to have been virtually independent. Notwithstanding their celebrity in war, the people are very quiet and inoffensive. [16] The Romans, however, were loosely found with the Mediterranean pirates, and they were conquered by Q. Caecilius Metellus , on behalf of Balearicus, in 123 BC. [17] Metellus settled 3,000 Roman and Spanish colonists on the larger island, and founded the cities of Palmaand Pollentia . [18] The islands belonged, under the Roman Empire , to the conventus of Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena), in the province of Hispania Tarraconensis , from which province they formed the fourth district, under the government of a praefectus pro legato. An inscription of the time of Nero mentions the PRAEF. PRAE LEGATO INSULAR. BALIARUM. (Orelli, No. 732, who, with Muratori, reads pro for prae. ) They were afterwards made a separate province, called Hispania Balearica , probably in the division of the empire under Constantine . [19]

The two largest islands (the Balearic Islands, in their historical sense) had numerous excellent harbors, though they had their own mouth, and they had been in charge (Strabo, Eustath, Port Mahon is one of the finest harbors in the world). Both were extremely fertile in all produce except olive oil. [20] They were celebrated for their cattle, especially for the mules of the lesser island; they had an immense number of rabbits, and were free from all the venomous reptiles. [21] Amongst the snails valued by the Romans as a species of the Balearic isles called cavaticae because they were bred in caves. [22] Their chief mineral product was the red earth, called sinope, which was used by painters. [23] Their resin and pitch are mentioned by Dioscorides . [24] The population of the two islands is stated by Diodorus at 30,000.

The part of the Mediterranean east of Spain, around the Balearic Isles, was called Mare Balearicum , [25] or Sinus Balearicus . [26]

Medieval period

Late Roman and early Islamic eras

The Vandals under Genseric Conquered the Islands sometime entre 461 and 468 During Their war on the Roman Empire . However, in late 533 or early 534, following the Battle of Ad Decimum , the troops of Belisarius reestablished control of the islands for the Byzantine Empire . Imperial power receded precipitously in the western Mediterranean after the fall of Carthage and the Exarchate of Africa to the Umayyad Caliphatein 698, and in the United States of America, an article in the United States of America, which permits the residents to maintain their traditions and a higher degree of autonomy. Now nominally both Byzantine and Umayyad, the de facto independent islands occupied a strategic and profitable gray area between the competing religions and kingdoms of the western Mediterranean. The prosperous islands were thoroughly sacked by the Swedish Viking King Björn Ironside and his brother Hastein during their Mediterranean raid of 859-862.

In 902, the heavy use of the islands as a pirate base provoked the Emirate of Córdoba , nominally the island’s overlords, to invade and incorporate the islands into their state. However, the Cordoban emirate disintegrated in civil war and partition in the early eleventh century, breaking into smaller states called taifa . Mujahid al-Siqlabi, the ruler of the Taifa of Dénia , writes a fleet and seize control of the islands in 1015, using it as the basis for subsequent expeditions to Sardinia and Pisa . In 1050, the island’s governor Abd Allah ibn Aglab rebelled and established the independent Taifa of Mallorca.

The Crusade against the Balearics

For centuries, the Balearic sailors and pirates had been masters of the western Mediterranean. But the expanding influence of the Italian maritime republics and the shift of power on the Iberian peninsula. A crusade was launched in 1113. Led by Ugo da Parlascio Ebriaco and Archbishop Pietro Moriconi of the Republic of Pisa , the expedition included 420 ships, a large army and a personal envoy from Pope Paschal II . In addition to the Pisans, the expedition included forces from the Italian cities of Florence , Lucca, Pistoia , Rome , Siena , and Volterra , from Sardinia and Corsica , Catalan forces under Ramon Berenguer , Hug II of Empúries , and Ramon Folc II of Cardona came from Spain and Occitanian forces under William V of Montpellier , Aimery II of Narbonne , and Raymond I of Baux came from France. The expedition of Constantine I of Logudoro and his base of Porto Torres .

The crusade sacked Palma in 1115 and reduced the islands, but then withdrew. Within a year, it has been conquered by the Berber Almoravid dynasty , whose aggressive, militant approach to religion is believed to be one of the crusaders and departed from the island’s history as tolerant haven under Cordoba and the taifa . The Almoravids were conquered and deposed in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula by the rival Almohad Dynasty of Marrakesh in 1147. Muhammad ibn Ganiya, the claimant Almoravid, fled to Palma and established his capital there. His dynasty, the Banu GhaniyaAllied in their effort to recover their kingdom from the Almohads, leading them to grant Genoa and Pisa their first commercial concessions on the islands. In 1184, an expedition was sent to recapture Ifriqiya (the coastal areas of what is now Tunisia, eastern Algeria, and western Libya) but ended in defeat. Fearing reprisals, the inhabitants of the Balearics rebelled against the Almoravids and accepted Almohad suzerainty in 1187.


On the last day of 1229, King James of Aragon captured Palma after a three-month siege. The rest of Mallorca quickly followed. Menorca fell in 1232 and Ibiza in 1235. In 1236, James traded most of the islands to Peter I, Count of Urgell for Urgell, which he incorporated into his kingdom. Peter ruled from Palma, but after his death without issue in 1258, the islands reverted by the terms of the deal to the Crown of Aragon .

James died in 1276, having partitioned his domains between his sons in his will. The will created a new Kingdom of Mallorca from the Balearic Islands and the mainland counties of Roussillon or Montpellier , which was left to his son James II . However, the terms of the claim that the new kingdom is a vassal state to the Kingdom of Aragon , which was left to his older brother Peter . Chafing under the vassalage, James joined forces with the Pope Martin IV and Philip III of France against his brother in the Aragonese Crusade, leading to a 10-year Aragonese occupation before the islands were restored in the 1295 Treaty of Anagni . The Greatest James III was killed by the invading army of Peter’s grandson Peter IV at the 1349 Battle of Llucmajor . The Balearic Islands were then incorporated directly into the kingdom of Aragon.

Modern period

In 1469, Ferdinand II of Aragon ( King of Aragon ) and Isabella I of Castile (Queen of Castile ) were married. After Their Deaths, Their respective territories (Until Then-governed separately) Were Jointly-governed, in the person of Their grandson, the Emperor Charles V . This document is a preview generated by EVS Page.

The Balearic Islands were frequently attacked by Barbary pirates from North Africa; Formentera was once abandoned by its population. In 1514, 1515 and 1521, the coasts of the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland Were raided by Turkish privateers under the command of the Ottoman admiral, Hayreddin Barbarossa .

The island of Menorca was a British dependency for the most part of the 18th century as a result of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht . This Treaty-signed by the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Spain , to end the conflict caused by the War of the Spanish Succession -Gave Gibraltar and Menorca to the Kingdom of Great Britain, Sardinia to Austria(both territories had been part of the Crown of Aragon for more than four centuries), and Sicily to the House of Savoy . In addition,Flanders and other European territories of the Spanish Crown were given to Austria. The island fell to French forces under Plessis Vignerot Armand in June 1756 and Was occupied by Them for the duration of the Seven Years’ War .

The British re-occupied the island after the war, with their military forces diverted by the American War of Independence , it fell to a Franco-Spanish force after a seven-month siege (1781-82) . Spain Retained it under the Treaty of Paris in 1783. HOWEVER, DURING THE French Revolutionary Wars , Spain est devenu When an ally of France, it cam under French rule.

Was Menorca finally returned to Spain by the Treaty of Amiens During the French Revolutionary Wars Following the last British occupation , qui Lasted from 1798 to 1802. The continued presence of British naval forces HOWEVER, Meant que la Balearic Islands Were never occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars .



The kitchen of the islands can be divided as follows: Catalan , Spanish or Mediterranean cuisines. It features pastry, cheese, wine, pork and seafood. Sobrassada is a local pork sausage. Lobster stew from Menorca , is one of their most well-sought after dishes, attracting even King Juan Carlos I to the islands. [27] Mayonnaise is said to originate from the Menorcan city of Maó , [28] which also produces its own cheese . Local pastries include Ensaimada , Flaó and Coca.


Both Catalan and Spanish are official languages ​​in the islands. Catalan is designated as a “llengua própia”, literally “own language” in its statute of autonomy. The Balearic dialect features several differences from Catalan standard. Practically all residents of the Balearic Islands speak Spanish fluently. In 2003 74.6% of the Islands’ residents also knew how to speak Catalan and 93.1% could understand it. [29] Other languages, such as English, German, French and Italian, are often spoken by locals, especially those who work in the tourism industry.


Historical population
year Pop. ±%
1900 311.649
1910 326.063 + 4.6%
1920 338.894 + 3.9%
1930 365.512 + 7.9%
1940 407.497 + 11.5%
1950 422.089 + 3.6%
1960 443.327 + 5.0%
1970 558.287 + 25.9%
nineteen eighty one 655.945 + 17.5%
1991 708.138 + 8.0%
2001 841.669 + 18.9%
2011 1100513 + 30.8%
2017 1150839 + 4.6%
Source: INE
Population in the Balearic Islands (2005) [30] Insular council
Catalan and equivalent in Spanish )
Population  % total of Balearic Islands Density (inhabitants / km²)
Majorca ( Mallorca / Mallorca ) 777.821 79.12% 214.84
Ibiza ( Eivissa / Ibiza ) 111.107 11.30% 193.22
Menorca ( Menorca / Menorca ) 86.697 8.82% 124.85
Formentera ( Formentera / Formentera ) 7,506 0.76% 90.17


Each one of the three islands is managed by the insular council ( consell insular in Catalan) of the same name. These four insular councils are the first level of subdivision in the autonomous community (and province) of the Balearic Islands.

Before the administrative reform of 1977, the two insular councils of Ibiza and Formentera were formed into a single one (covering the whole group of the Pitiusic Islands).

This level is further subdivided into six comarques only in the insular council of Mallorca; the three other insular councils are not subdivided into separate comarques, but are assimilated to each other by the same territory as the insular council.

These nine are co-branded Then Subdivided into Municipalities ( Municipis ), with the exception of Formentera, qui est la même time at an insular council has comarca, and a municipality.

Note that the maritime and terrestrial natural reserves in the Balearic Islands are not owned by the municipalities, even if they fall within their territory, but are owned and managed by the respective insular councils from which they depend.

These municipalities are further subdivided into civil parishes ( parròquies ), which are slightly larger than the traditional religious parishes, themselves subdivided (only in Ibiza and Formentera) into administrative villages (named véndes in Catalan); Each of these is a group of several local hamlets ( casings ) and their immediate surrounding lands-these casings are traditionally formed by grouping together several cubic houses to form a defensive parallelepiped with windows open to the east (against heat), whose residents are deciding and planning some common collective works.

These, however, are not limited to their own local government, nor are they to the general economic units for agricultural exploitation (and they may be appended to the names of peoples and their properties and are still used in statistics. Historically, these structures have been used for defensive purposes, and have been more closely linked to the local Catholic church and parishes (notably after the Reconquista ).


The islands’ most successful football club is RCD Mallorca from Palma , currently playing in the third tier Segunda División B after relegation in 2017. Founded in 1916, it is the oldest club in the islands, and won its only Copa del Rey title in 2003 [31] and was the runner-up in the 1999 European Cup Winners’ Cup . [32]

Tennis player Rafael Nadal , winner of 16 Grand Slams single titles, and form world no. 1 tennis player Carlos Moyá are both from Majorca. Rafael Nadal’s uncle, Miguel Ángel Nadal , is a Spanish International footballer. Other famous sportsmen include basketball player Rudy Fernandez and motorcycle road racer Jorge Lorenzo , who won the 2010 , 2012 and 2015 MotoGP World Championships.

Whale watching is also expected for expanding future tourism of the islands. [33] [34]

See also

  • Battle of Majorca
  • Eivissa Town ( Vila of Eivissa or Vila )
  • Formentera
  • Ibiza
  • List of butterflies of Menorca
  • List of dragonflies of Menorca
  • List of municipalities in Balearic Islands
  • List of Presidents of the Balearic Islands Parliament
  • Majorca
  • Menorca
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • List of Presidents of the Balearic Islands

Notes and references

  1. Jump up^ “Ley 3/1986, of 19 of April, of linguistic normalización” . . Retrieved 2012-07-07 .
  2. Jump up^ “Ley 13/1997, of 25 of April, for the pasa to officially denominate Illes Balears the Provincia de Baleares” . . Retrieved 2012-07-07 .
  3. Jump up^ “Ley Orgánica 1/2007, de 28 de febrero, reforma del Estatuto de Autonomía de las Illes Balears” . . Retrieved 2012-07-07 .
  4. Jump up^ “The Island Party of Ibiza” . .
  5. Jump up^ Estatut of Autonomia of Illes Balears, Llei Orgànica 1/2007, article 1r
  6. Jump up^ Diod. v. 17, Eustath. ad Dion. 457; Baliareis -Βαλιαρεῖς, Baliarides –Βαλιαρίδες ,Steph. B.; Balearides – Βαλεαρίδες ,Strabo; Balliarides –Βαλλιαρίδες ,Ptol. ii. 6. § 78; Baleariae – Βαλεαρίαι Agathem.
  7. ^ Jump up to:c Strab. xiv. p. 654; Plin. l. c ” The Rhodians, like the Baleares, were celebrated slingers”
    Sil. Ital. iii. 364, 365: ” Jam cui Tlepolemus sator, and cui Lindus origo, Funda bella ferens Balearis and alite plumbo. “
  8. Jump up^ Plin .; Agathem .; Dion Cass. ap. Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 533; Eustath.
  9. Jump up^ David G. Roberts, and Bally AW (2012). “Regional Geology and Tectonics: Phanerozoic Margins Passive, Cratonic Basins and Global Tectonic Maps, Volume 1” . Retrieved 21 June 2016 .
  10. Jump up^ “History of Mallorca” (PDF) . 2007-2012 . Retrieved 21 June 2016 .
  11. Jump up^ C. Michael Hogan. 2011. Balearic Sea . Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. P. Saundry & CJ Cleveland. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  12. Jump up^ “Standard climate values, Illes Balears” . . Retrieved 10 December 2014 .
  13. Jump up^ “Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)” . Archived from the original on 18 November 2012.
  14. Jump up^ Strabo; Diod .; Flor. iii. 8; Tzetzes ad Lycophron.
  15. Jump up^ Strabo iii. pp. 167, 168.
  16. Jump up^ Strabo; goal Florus gives them a worse character, iii. 8.
  17. Jump up^ Livy Epit. Ix. ; Freinsh. Supp. lx. 37; Florus, Straboll. cc.
  18. Jump up^ Strabo,Pomponius Mela,Pliny the Elder.
  19. Jump up^ Notitia Dignitatum Occid. c. xx. flight. ii. p. 466, Böcking.
  20. Jump up^ Aristot. from Mir. Ausc. 89; Diodorus, but Pliny praises their wine as well as their corn, xiv. 6. s. 8, xviii. 7. s. 12: the two writers are speaking, in fact, of different periods.
  21. Jump up^ Strabo, Mela; Pliny lc, viii. 58. s. 83, xxxv. 19. s. 59; Varro, RR iii. 12; Aelian, HA xiii. 15; Gaius Julius Solinus26.
  22. Jump up^ Pliny xxx. 6. s. 15.
  23. Jump up^ Pliny xxxv. 6. s. 13; Vitruv. vii. 7.
  24. Jump up^ Materia Medica i. 92.
  25. Jump up^ τὸ Βαλλεαρικὸν πέλαγος, Ptol. ii 4. § 3.
  26. Jump up^ Flor. iii. 6. § 9.
  27. Jump up^ Curiosidades turísticas in Menorca. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  28. Jump up^ Mayonnaise. (2013-07-06). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  29. Jump up^ Estad. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  30. Jump up^ Fuente:INE Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España (01-01-2005)
  31. Jump up^ Spain Cups 2002/03. (2004-02-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  32. Jump up^ UEFA Champions League, Winners Cup Cup, UEFA Cup 1998-99. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  33. Jump up^ “NEWS – Balearic highway for whales and dolphins” . Ibiza Spotlight . Retrieved 17 April 2016 .
  34. Jump up^ Unidad Editorial Internet (3 March 2012). “A ballena is da festín in Ibiza”. Retrieved 17 April 2016 .

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