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Dalt Vila Walk (Self Guided), Ibiza

Dalt Vila is the walled old city of Ibiza. The walls and fortifications are among of the best-maintained in Europe. The fortifications of the city were listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1999. The bastions, one of Ibiza's cultural treasures, are definitely worth visiting. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the Dalt Vila historical landmarks by following this guide.
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Dalt Vila Walk Map

Guide Name: Dalt Vila Walk
Guide Location: Spain » Ibiza (See other walking tours in Ibiza)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Baluard de Sant Pere (Portal Nou)
  • Església de Santa Maria de Gràcia
  • Baluard de Sant Jaume
  • Baluard de Sant Bernat
  • Castle of Ibiza
  • Catedral de Santa María de Ibiza
  • Iglesia del Convento de San Vicente y San Jaime
  • Baluard de Santa Llúcia
  • Isidor Macabich Statue
  • Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza
  • Portal de ses Taules
  • Baluard de Sant Joan
  • Passeig de Vara del Rey
1
Baluard de Sant Pere (Portal Nou)

1) Baluard de Sant Pere (Portal Nou)

Baluard de Sant Pere, also known as Portal Nou, is located on the northwest side of the old fortified town and is one of the most complex defensive structures. Bunkers can be entered from a tunnel and various artillery objects are displayed in the bastion. An audiovisual presentation is available as well for visitors. This bastion was also designed by the architect Giovanni Battista Calvi.
2
Església de Santa Maria de Gràcia

2) Església de Santa Maria de Gràcia

The Església de Santa Maria de Gràcia, also known as Església de l’Hospitalet, stands on the site of a former medieval hospital known as the Hospital of Arrabal. Documents dating back to 1410 mention the hospital and its chapel dedicated to Mary Full of Grace on the site. The hospital and chapel were funded by Universitat, which was an autonomous local government in medieval Ibiza. At the end of the 17th century, following the abolition of the Universitat Government, the hospital was closed and the Bishop of Tarragon, Josep Mora, ordered a grand church to be built. The church was completed in 1708 and it features a barrel vault nave inside and a whitewashed exterior with a rose window.

There are different exhibitions that are held inside throughout the year. Exhibitions are often related to modern art from Ibiza as the church is now part of the art museums acquisitions. The Església de Santa Maria de Gràcia is located within the Dalt Vila historical quarter and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3
Baluard de Sant Jaume

3) Baluard de Sant Jaume

Baluard de Sant Jaume is another great bastion of the fortified old city in Ibiza. It houses military technology from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. The display guides you in seeing how technology evolved during that time period. Various weapons, bombs, pistols, swords and much more are on display for visitors to see.
4
Baluard de Sant Bernat

4) Baluard de Sant Bernat

The military might of the Spanish between the 16th and 18th centuries meant Spain could become a world power and colonize much of the New World. There are few better places to learn more about Spain’s military past than at the Baluard de Sant Jaume in Ibiza. The Baluard de Sant Jaume is located in the Dalt Vila historical quarter of Ibiza town and is one of the oldest military bastions in the Balearic Islands. The bastion today is open to visitors and displays military uniforms, armor and artillery from the 16th to the 18th century.

Construction of the bastion harks back to the days when Ibiza’s residents lived in fear of invasions from pirates. The bastion was able to defend the city and allow it to prosper throughout Spain’s Golden Age. Touring the site you will be guided through the development of military technology over three centuries and see cannons, swords, pistols, bombs and rifles from that period. There are interactive sections of the museum where you can try lifting cannon balls, don a suit of armor and try wielding replica swords and other weapons. The bastion is open daily from 10am to 2pm and from 6pm to 9pm.
5
Castle of Ibiza

5) Castle of Ibiza (must see)

The Castle of Ibiza overlooks Ibiza Town and its harbor from an awesome hilltop location within the Dalt Vila historical quarter. The castle, built in the 16th century upon the orders of Phillip II and resting upon 12th century foundations, is one of the island’s impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a must see for any visitor. The castle is being converted into a hotel and during the renovations excavations have uncovered many Roman, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Moorish artifacts, as well as what could be the remains of the original Phoenician city walls dating from the 7th century B.C and a Roman temple. At certain times, visitors are allowed to visit the excavations, which are still underway and are tentatively considered one of the most significant archaeological finds on the island. The finds have forced the architectural plans to be amended to preserve the site for future generations.

Since the 18th century, the fortress and castle have been joined to the Almudaina when a connecting wall was destroyed. The Almudaina was the administrative seat of Moorish power and was formerly used as the Governor’s residence. The Castle of Ibiza was historically significant during the Spanish Civil War when more than 100 Ibizian nationalist prisoners were massacred on the site.
6
Catedral de Santa María de Ibiza

6) Catedral de Santa María de Ibiza (must see)

The Catedral de Santa Maria de Ibiza is one of the island’s chief landmarks having stood at the top the “old town” of Ibiza since the 13th century. Once you step inside the walls of the Dalt Vila historical quarter, your eyes are instantly drawn to the imposing fortified walls of the church. The cathedral’s impressive stature is no mistake: following the Catalan Conquest in 1235, where the Christian conquistadors ousted the Moorish from “Yebisah” a grand cathedral was commissioned for the town. It is said that the church was built upon the site of a former Moorish mosque, which was common practice in colonial Spain in order to merge local beliefs with the Spanish royal family’s Christian faith.

The Gothic style tower and chapel are part of the original construction and the interior of the church was redone in the Baroque style in the 18th century. The ancient Monstrance made of silver and gold and dating from 1399 is the cathedral’s most treasured artifact. The eye-catching Madonna, known as Nostra Senyora de las Neus, is another key feature of the cathedral. Inside the cathedral there is a Diocesan Museum where you can learn more about the church’s historical influence in Ibiza; admission is free.
7
Iglesia del Convento de San Vicente y San Jaime

7) Iglesia del Convento de San Vicente y San Jaime

The Iglesia del Convento de San Vicente y San Jaime is nestled in the Old Town of Ibiza at Dalt Vila. The church forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inside the old city walls and is a must see on any visit to the island. Established in 1592 as a convent church, it was not granted public church status to the San Pedro Apostol Parish until 1929. Inside the church there are several chapels that can be visited and which provide a glimpse of the “old Ibiza”. The architecture of the church is an excellent example of the blending of Moorish and Christian influences on the island. Within the church there is rich iconic artwork and many statues and grottoes featuring sumptuous gold leaf.

Several of the chapels feature impressive frescoes adorned with religious artworks. The highlights of a visit to the church are the chapels of Madre de Dios del Rosario, Immaculate Conception and San Antonio. Each of the chapels has a distinctive style featuring architecture from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The church is dedicated to Santo Cristo del Cementario, and the site of the previous convent cemetery is where the Town Hall now stands. The church can be visited every day, except Mondays
8
Baluard de Santa Llúcia

8) Baluard de Santa Llúcia

Baluard de Santa Llucia is the largest bastion of the walled old city. The bastion was designed in 1575 by the engineer Giacomo Palearo. It has an unusual asymmetrical plan. Guns are displayed atop the bastion. There is Polvorin, a building, which served as an ammunition and weapons store. Nowadays, it is an exhibition hall. The bastion offers great views to Sa Penya.
9
Isidor Macabich Statue

9) Isidor Macabich Statue

The statue pays tribute to Ibizan priest and historian Isidor Macabich (1883-1973). The statue depicts him sitting on a bench with an open book next to him. His family was from Croatia, but Macabich was born in Ibiza. He was an active and famous personality in the history of the town. Isidor Macabich founded the Centre for Social Action and Federation Catolicoagrària Ibiza. He began writing his History of Ibiza in 1935 and published it in four volumes in 1966-1967. Macabich also collaborated with newspapers and was the founder and director of l'Institut d'Estudis Eivissencs.
10
Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza

10) Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza

The Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza is paradoxically located in a charming 17th century building in the Dalt Vila section of the “old city”. Ibiza has long had a reputation as being an enclave for artists and a great deal of modern art by local Balearic Islands artists and other well known contributors is on display in the Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza. Inside the edifice’s ancient walls, you will be greeted by a wide range of modern art created by some of the island’s best known artists from 1959 to the present day. Highlights are several pieces by Tàpies and Miralles done during the 1960s at the height of the island’s artistic renaissance. There are many engravings among the museum’s permanent collection, as well as a constant stream of world class temporary exhibitions.

The art museum’s garden is also well worthwhile visiting and makes the perfect place for a pit stop while out exploring other facets of the historical quarter of Ibiza.
11
Portal de ses Taules

11) Portal de ses Taules

The Portal de ses Taules, built in 1585, is the main entrance to the fortified old town of Ibiza and is situated between the bastions of Sant Joan and Santa Llúcia. The entrance gate forms part of the declared UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dalt Vila old city. The entrance is flanked on either side by headless Roman statues and above the gate is the coat of arms of Phillip II on whose orders the city walls were built. The statues that adorn the entrance were unearthed during construction of the gates in the 16th century. These days the statues are replicas, but you can see the originals in the Ibiza Archaeological Museum inside the old city walls in Dalt Vila. A plaque beneath the Phillip II coat of arms describes his dominions and the components of his royal shield.

When you pass through the gate you will see that the walls are two meters thick. Ibiza was under constant attack by invaders and marauders and needed strong defensive support. Originally there was a moat and a drawbridge that protected the city within its walls from siege. The drawbridge was replaced with a permanent bridge at the beginning of the 20th century.
12
Baluard de Sant Joan

12) Baluard de Sant Joan

Baluard de Sant Joan is located on the northern side of the fortified old town. This baluard is one of the seven turrets depicted on Ibiza's town flag. Gardens are on the top of the bastion and the structure itself offers magnificent views over La Marina district to the harbour.
13
Passeig de Vara del Rey

13) Passeig de Vara del Rey

Passeig de Vara del Rey, also popularly known as S’Alamera, is a central walk of about 300 m long surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, featuring a large number of shops, bars, terraces and restaurants. In Paseo de Vara de Rey you can find everything from big brandclothing stores, small and charming classic shops like barber shops, bakeries, groceries or perfumeries.

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