Curiosities and stories from Ibiza: ancient personalities
Not only the landscape tells stories in Ibiza. Its streets and monuments do too. We already told you about a few curiosities of Ibiza, its place names and spirits, but this time we’ve moved our attention to Ibiza’s streets and squares bearing the name of important persons whose stories are often ignored. In this post you’ll learn who these people are, so the next time you see a name that appears in different towns, you’ll be familiar with the story behind it.
Who was Isidor Macabich?
You will find this name on avenues, streets, statues and even a high school as a tribute to this well-known and loved personality from Ibiza (1883-1973). Ordained as a priest in 1907, his remarkable intellectual profile led him to become a historian, archivist and poet apart from an academic of the Real Academia de la Lengua (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language) and a member of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Superiores (High Council of Advanced Research), among other achievements. And, of course, he was also known for his evening classes teaching the island’s people to write and read for over 30 years.
Why is there a monument devoted to Vara de Rey?
Joaquín Vara de Rey y Rubio was a General who was born in Ibiza in 1841. He died in the Battle of El Caney in Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American war in 1898. Given his heroic spirit in defending the fort together with 500 Spanish soldiers, he received a posthumous medal from the Spanish Government and was buried with full military honours by the American army. In the city of Ibiza, you will find a sculpture that pays tribute to this General in the central avenue that bears his name.
Who were Bisbes Cardona and Torres?
Juan Torres and Antonio Cardona were two Ibizan priests who were ordained as Bishops (Bisbe in Catalan). The former in the Diocese of Menorca and the latter in the Diocese of Ibiza. In fact Bisbe Cardona left the Diocese in the late 50s, and was the last Bishop of Ibiza who’d been born on the island until this year, when Vicent Ribas, born in Sant Antoni, was ordained as the new Bishop of Ibiza. Among other things, we owe Bisbe Cardona the Cor de Jesús monument in Puig d’en Valls.
What did Ignasi Wallis do?
Born on the island mid-19th century, Ignasi Wallis (1856-1939) was a ship-owner and philanthropist who went to school in France and England and is known for his political role on the island. Among other relevant acts, he opened the first direct sea route between Ibiza and Barcelona with the Niny, a steamboat that carried salt and farm products from Ibiza. This was a good boost for the island’s economy.
Who was Guillem de Montgrí?
Guillem de Montgrí, a nobleman and clergyman of the Crown of Aragon, promoted the conquest of Ibiza and Formentera against the Arabs, who lost their control over the islands on 8th August 1235, the Day of the Virgen de las Nieves, which is why she became the patron of Ibiza and Formentera. Guillem de Montgrí gave the salt flats to Ibiza’s people, who made the most of this source of wealth until King Philip V took control of the island in the 18th century.
Who was Father Guash?
The street that winds up the Puig de Missa hill towards the temple is devoted Antonio Guash i Bufí (1879-1965), a Jesuit priest born in Santa Eulària des Riu who was known for his linguistic studies on the Guarani language. Besides this, he also mastered the Catalan, Hebrew, Latin, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, English and Japanese languages.
Main picture: ©photosforyou/Pixabay