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The Phoenicians’ Route

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

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The «Phoenicians’ Route» is an international Cultural Route based on the intercultural Mediterranean dialogue, approved by the Council of Europe. The Route crosses 18 Mediterranean countries, with more than 80 towns of Phoenician-Punic origin and culture. The «Phoenicians’ Route» allows the connection of maritime routes that were created on the XII century B.C by the Phoenician people as main channels of trade and cultural communication in the Mediterranean. These routes became an integral and basic part of the Mediterranean culture. Of great strategic importance was the island of Ibiza, an obligatory stop in the shipping lanes through the western Mediterranean. In the second half of the seventh century B.C. Phoenician groups of population, from Gadir, settled in different parts of the southern coast of the island. The colonization coincides with the moment of greatest economic prosperity of the Phoenician colonies of Andalusia, around 630 A.C. They attempted to expand their sphere of business, going to the Gulf of Lyon, in search of tin and other raw materials. Towards the middle of the sixth century B.C. this circuit is interrupted by the commercial crisis of the Phoenician colonies in Spain and shortly after the island of Ibiza enters the orbit of political influence of Carthage. Evidence of the most famous Punic remains in Ibiza are the vast necropolis of Puig des Molins, and the two major shrines of Isle Plana and Cave “Es Culleram”. The Punic past of Ibiza has given the island a peculiarity that distinguishes it from its closest geographic references. The traditional architecture of the island is one aspect heir of this period. The name Ibiza comes itself from the Punic denomination of the island. This importance has determined Ibiza to be part of the itinerary of the «Phoenicians’ Route». The «Phoenicians’ Route» was accepted by the Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe as a pilot project for cultural tourism on 14th December 2003, the Council of Europe acknowledged it as Cultural Itinerary on 27th January 2007 and was approved as a network of routes on 15th May 2009.


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