Adolf Hitler’s letter
On 29 May 1937, two years before World War Two began, a German warship lying off the waters of Ibiza was mistakenly bombed by a Soviet bomber. The islanders rallied to help the survivors, even releasing a series of black Tanit stamps to raise funds for the wounded. Later that year, the Mayor of Ibiza, Antonio Torres, received a letter from the Führer himself, thanking him and his countrymen and requesting a guided tour of Ibiza.
Street of the Devil
Calle de la Soledad is the site of an ancient legend, regarding a witch who sold souls to the devil. The story goes that a woman went to the witch, begging her to bring back a man who had left
her. The sorceress told her that he would return only if she was brave. The test of courage was to walk the eerie Calle de la Soledad night. The woman did, and as the cathedral bells chimed midnight, a voice from beyond the grave froze her blood. And the man returned.
Quite what happened to the Danish writer Carl Erik Soya on his Ibiza holiday in 1959, we will never know. But whatever carnal joys he experienced, it spurred him on to write a book of his trip, which led to a film entitled Sytten – the first film in Denmark that dealt with sexuality and nudity. The film contributed to the development of a 1967 law that legalised pornography in Denmark and paved the way for public nudity.
Brazil brings football to Ibiza
Ibiza’s first international football match took place in 1920, when sailors from the Brazilian schooner Meriam played island locals on Platja d’en Bossa. Given that Brazilian youths grow up playing beach football, the 6/2 win to the sailors was no surprise.
The city of the dead
People have long believed that Ibiza is a magical island. The Carthaginians were particularly enamoured, often choosing to spend their final years here in order to rest for eternity in Ibiza’s red soil. This helps to explain the vast number of ancient crypts on the island – a number that is disproportionate to the amount of Carthaginians who actually lived here.
Ibiza’s pet cemetery
Nestled in the heavy overgrowth of Sa Caleta lies a magical plot of pet tombs that few people know exist. Covering 100 metres of coastline, beneath a maze of pine trees, sits a cluster of stones where owners have laid their beloved animals to rest. These rudimentary graves are adorned with messages, photos and animal toys. There’s even a tin of white paint next to one memorial.
Ibiza enters a new century
The glory days of mule transport, rickety stairs and handwritten letters finally came to end as modern technology arrived in Ibiza 100 years ago. The first car arrived in 1914, for an offical government tour of the villages. The first elevator was installed at the Hotel Noray in 1959, and the first telephone followed two years later at Formentera’s town council building.