The town’s former bread basket – a legacy of Ibiza’s Moslem past
In ancient times most of the fruits, vegetables and grain consumed in the town came from the Ses Feixes wetland, an extensive area located behind Talamanca Beach that formerly extended as far as what is today the town centre, occupying an area of 600,000 m2.
The area is subdivided into 164 small holdings and is unique in the world in terms of its irrigation system, a legacy of the town’s former Moslem inhabitants who made use of the water that flowed into the bay area by collecting it in a series of canals and ditches roughly one metre deep and up to three metres wide. In addition to providing constant irrigation for the crops, these channels marked the boundaries between the various properties and any excess water was channelled directly to the sea. Each plot features an entrance arch known as a portal de feixa, ‘feixa’ meaning patch or bed. Some of these still remain today.
While today Ses Feixes is little more than an enormous reed bed on the outskirts of the town, it used to be one of the more fertile areas on the island and was cultivated up until the 1960s, having been divided into two area of similar size: Es Pratet, the area closest to the town, and Es Prat de Ses Monges, located between Eivissa and Talamanca bays and stretching as far as the village of Jesús.
Today the Ses Feixes reed bed is home to dozens of bird species and offers an excursion into nature without the need to leave town. One of the local council’s main projects for the future is the recovery and musealization of this emblematic space.