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Museums

Molí Vell de la Mola

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the cut-off point between cultural and natural value on such a small piece of land as Formentera, where land and sea resources have affected life considerably on the island. Proof of this is the breadth of our ethnological heritage, which bears witness to the sustainable use of various natural resources. Flour mills are a particularly special part of this extensive history.

These mills are linked to the importance of wheat on the island of Formentera, as the cereal was the basic source of food for the island's population. However, in order to make bread, the grain had to be ground to be made into flour, which initially took place in the so-called molins de sang (blood mills). They were called this because they were powered by animals that went round to work the millstone. They were relatively small and usually located in an outbuilding near the home. However, in the 18th century, another, more complex and larger system was beginning to take shape which was powered by the wind, enabling a better yield to be obtained.

This is one of three mills that were documented in the 18th century. On the scale part of the machinery the date '1778' is engraved, the year in which it is said to have been built. In 1781, Francesc Serra "Rempuixa" and Josep Costa sold the mill to Bartomeu Mayans "Moliner" and it stayed in the family's hands until 1993, when it was acquired by the Fundació Illes Balears (Foundation of the Balearic Islands), the current owner.

How to get there:
Venda de sa Talaiassa. El Pilar de la Mola (map)

Free admission

Molí Vell de la Mola Molí Vell de la Mola Molí Vell de la Mola

SOS Patrimoni

The undersea archaeological patrimony of Formentera faces serious problems of plundering and destruction. It is all of our responsibility to ensure the conservation of this legacy, because it represents relevant first-hand evidence for the study of our history. If you have any information that might help us find and identify new archaeological sites, please complete the following questionnaire or contact the office of patrimony of the Formentera Council. Your participation is key to protecting our cultural heritage.

How to communicate a finding to the Consell Insular de Formentera:

- Phone 971 32 12 75 i 971 32 10 87

- Mail patrimoni@conselldeformentera.cat, attaching questionnaire to download

Capella de sa Tanca Vella

A small chapel, rectangular in shape, with a tunnel vault roof. The archbishop of Tarragona authorised its construction in 1369 and dedicated it to Saint Valerius. In those years it served the small population of Formentera, which had been reduced some years before due to the Black Death in 1348. In the 18th century, when the island was repopulated, the Saint Valerius chapel was joined to a new house called Sa Tanca Vella, where the building gets its current name from. At the start of the 1980s the house, in ruins, was demolished to restore the chapel, which was purchased by the Formentera Council in 1983. It was declared a site of cultural interest in the monument category in 1993 and is located in the protected area of the Sant Francesc Xavier historic complex.

How to get there:
Capella de sa Tanca Vella (mapa)

Visiting hours:
10.00am to 1.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday

Free admission

 Capella de sa Tanca Vella Capella de sa Tanca Vella Capella de sa Tanca Vella

Església de Sant Francesc Xavier

The first stone of the Sant Francesc Xavier church was laid on 15 May 1726. Islanders' collaboration in the endeavour was pivotal, not least because it provided materials and manpower. Consecrated twelve years later, the building was a vicarage until 1785, when it became, together with most of the churches on Eivissa, a parish.

The building clearly served a defensive function: extremely thick walls, absence of openings at lower segments, barrel vault ceiling with rector's quarters overhead. One standout feature is the system of defence at the door, complete with iron-cladding and protection afforded by an embrasure.

The baptismal font holds watch inside, wrought in stone with carvings in low relief—an indication that the structure is in fact older, and perhaps the repurposed capital of a column. The choir rail is original and bears an engraving of the year it was built: 1737.

Classed in 1996 as a historical site with noted cultural interest.

How to get there:
Plaça de la Constitució, Sant Francesc (mapa)

Visiting hours:
10.00 am to 1.30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday

Free admission

Església de Sant Francesc Xavier Església de Sant Francesc Xavier Església de Sant Francesc Xavier

Cap de Barbaria I, II i III (jaciments prehistòrics)

The Cap de Barbaria is a geographic area that ended up being densely populated during the early and middle Bronze Age (approximately 1600-1000 BC). As an example of this, we have the 20 or so sites from this period, three of which have been excavated. Cap de Barbaria II is the largest, a structure with a complex shape formed by different areas joined together, making various curved shapes: circles, semi-circles, horseshoes and ellipses. It seems that the compartmentation of this kind of construction was due to the space's use: areas for living, working and keeping animals. Cap de Barbaria I and III are simpler constructions.

How to get there:
Cap de Barbaria I (map)
Cap de Barbaria II (map)
Cap de Barbaria III (map)

Cap de Barbaria Cap de Barbaria Cap de Barbaria

Can Blai (castellum romà)

The remains of a fortified construction from the late Roman era. The estimated date for the site is between the end of the 3rd century and the start of the 4th century AD. It is special due to its square shape with a tower at each corner. It can be compared to other similar constructions located in bordering areas of the empire, such as Romania, Bulgaria, Syria, Palestine and Tunisia. The results of excavations in 1979 and 1980 suggest that it was unfinished and possibly privately owned, built to protect the surrounding population. It was declared a site of cultural interest in the archaeological site category in 1994.

How to get there:
Can Blai (map)

Can Blai Can Blai Can Blai

Ca na Costa (megalithic tomb)

A burial site with a central circular chamber bordered with large vertical stone slabs, surrounded by three paved concentric circles and 22 radial stones, plus a corridor that leads to the middle of the construction. Discovered in 1974, the subsequent excavation revealed the remains of 8 individuals, 15 triangular and pyramidal bone buttons, fragments of flint and some examples of incised ceramics, which can now all be found in the Archaeological Museum of Eivissa and Formentera, in the main branch in Eivissa. The carbon-14 datings for the materials place the site around 2000 BC, which makes it the oldest megalithic site in the Balearic Islands. It was used for a long time, some 400 years, until approximately 1600 BC. It was declared a site of cultural interest in the archaeological site category in 1994.

How to get there:
Ca na Costa (map)

Ca na Costa Ca na Costa Ca na Costa

Formentera Museum of Ethnography

The second half of the XX century brought pervasive and rapid change to Formentera, transformation that in turn had environmental, societal and cultural repercussions. With ways of life steeped heavily in tradition and a more or less self-sufficient economy as its points of departure, Formentera evolved toward a model based almost exclusively on tourism and the service sector. This effected a rejection of many once important traditions, the people of Formentera becoming actors in an ever more globalised world.

For this very reason, one of the goals of the Formentera Museum of Ethnography is to provide visitors an approximation of the lifestyles more typical to the island's not-too-distant past. An array of tools, utensils, furniture and dress comprise the museum's permanent collection, an acutely representative display of daily life in this Formentera of years past.

The museum is organised into different sections and has a scope conceived to be all-encompassing. Included is everything from land-tilling equipment and tools of the fishing trade to representations of the different areas of a traditional country home. A close look is given artefacts from more specialised crafts like carpentry and ironworking, elaborate processes like breadmaking, vinification and shoemaking, and the not altogether far-off spectre of limestone-extraction.

How to get there:
Formentera Museum of Ethnography
Carrer Santa Maria, 16, 1r pis · 07860 Sant Francesc. Formentera · tel. 971 32 26 70. (map)

Hours of operation:
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 am to 2 pm


Free admission


Col·lecció Etnogràfica de Formentera Col·lecció Etnogràfica de Formentera Col·lecció Etnogràfica de Formentera

 

Fossar Vell de Sant Francesc Xavier

The apparition of this XVIII-century cemetery followed construction of the Sant Francesc Xavier church, consecrated in 1738. Although the exact date of the cemetery's construction remains unknown, historical documentation indicates the structure was already in place in 1757. The presence of death records indicates use of the site could date back to 1744. It was the only such place on the island until 1784-1788, when another cemetery was conceived for La Mola. More than a century later, in 1903, a third was established in the town of Sant Ferran de ses Roques. El fossar Vell (literally, 'the old burial ground') de Sant Francesc was used until September 1940, after which point Formentera's departed were buried in the new cemetery, the construction of this having begun two years prior.

The original structure was rectangular and measured eighteen by fifteen metres. On the side nearest the church, a door and frontispiece stood at the centre. The northwest corner coincided with the western edge of the half square league that King Carlos II ceded to Marc Ferrer in 1695. In 1839, the cemetery was expanded at its western and southern walls, essentially giving the site its current shape: an almost-square 22 x 22 metres. The cemetery's five chapels were constructed between the close of the nineteenth and turn of the twentieth century.

How to get there:
Carrer de Sant Joan. Sant Francesc (map)
 
Hours of operation:

Tuesday to saturday from 10 to 13.30 h.

Free admission

Fossar Vell. M. Castelló's photos Fossar Vell. M. Castelló's photos Fossar Vell. M. Castelló's photos
M. Castelló's photos

Torre des Pi des Català

One of Formentera's four defence towers, the one located in the es Pi des Català area of the island was, like its three counterparts, erected between 1762 and 1763 in strategic locations which where determined by Francisco de Paula Bucarelli y Ursúa, the then general captain of the Balearic Islands. The project was carried out under the guidance of military engineer José García Martínez. The constructions were used both for defence and –as was most often the case– surveillance until 1867.

Bearing the form of a truncated cone, the tower was built upon a circular foundation and is divided into three floors. A gunpowder arsenal is located on the ground level, as is a section of ample floor space which was previously occupied by a stone staircase that united the ground floor with the central chamber of the tower. An aperture in the chamber wall was converted into what is today the main tower entrance, a feature that has permitted the tower's opening for public visit. The first floor is also the site of the original entrance, situated above ground level for questions of defence and protected by a machicolation and by a vertical conduit. Initially, the two elements had the additional safeguard of a watchtower, of which little more than a trace remains today upon the floor. Access to the upper platform is gained by a spiral staircase.

How to get there:
Venda des Pi des Català (map)

Hours of operation:
Thursday and Saturday: 17h to 20 h (summer season)


Free admission

Torre des Pi des Català. M. Castelló's photos Torre des Pi des Català. M. Castelló's photos Torre des Pi des Català. M. Castelló's photos
M. Castelló's photos

Xarxa de Biblioteques

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics

Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera