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Balafia Traditional Houses, North Ibiza

Traditional Ibizan houses with Moorish echoes

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Just outside the village of San Lorenzo in the north, there are echoes of an old Moorish settlement, seven houses and two towers with a distinctive defensive function

The Arabs conquered the Balearic islands in the year 902 and their domain over Ibiza lasted for 300 years. These seven houses in Balafia show echoes of what villages under their government would have looked like, even if they are first mentioned in documents of the 15th century.

So rife were pirate attacks that house owners built defence towers adjacent to their homes. These towers still stand today although the houses are privately owned so you can only view from the outside.

Probably the most famous is Can Pere Mosson. Even if the first mentions of the house date back to the 18th century, its origins remain a mystery. The tower has three floors joined by a staircase in the wall.

The other houses are called Balafia, Can Fornàs, Can Marès, Can Vicent Ferrer, Can Pere de na Bet and Can Bellmut. Many of them have crosses on their outside walls to dispel bad spirits, and there is also a small font that has been recently restored.