The best-preserved necropolis in the Mediterranean area and home to the goddess Tanit
This is the world’s largest and best-preserved necropolis. Located in Puig des Molins, in ancient times it served as the Ibiza Town cemetery.
The site is located 500 metres west of Puig de Vila on the site where the town has existed since its foundation by the Phoenicians towards the end of the 7th century B.C. As was customary in Phoenician settlements the living and the deceased existed side by side though separated by a geographical feature. The name is derived from the windmills that have dominated the peak from about the 15th century onwards. While these are currently in disuse and only a few remain, one of them was inhabited briefly by the poet Rafael Alberti and his wife Mª Teresa León in July of 1936, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
The original cemetery was founded towards the end of the 7th century B.C. by the Phoenicians and occupied a specific area of the lower part of the hillside. It subsequently increased greatly in size due to the development of the town in Punic and Roman times.
The terrain was subsequently used for agricultural purposes and the hillside was divided into plots for olive, almond, carob and fig trees and for the construction of windmills.
The hillside currently forms part of the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera and is covered by a thick blanket of bushy vegetation. A conservative estimate of the tombs solely from the Punic era, the Hypogea, puts the number at around 3000, of which just 340 are visible from the exterior. The greater part of these belong to this era and were dug out of the rock, though the only ones now open to visitors are those known as the ‘Mule Hypogea’, which were unearthed in 1946 as the result of an unfortunate accident.