Halfway along the Passeig Marítim in the Port of Ibiza you will find this beautiful 100 year old stone obelisk that is the work of Catalan architect Augusto Font and which was inaugurated in 1915. It is and is a tribute by the people of Ibiza to the Corsairs and is located next to a small square, Plaça d’Antoni Riquer, which is named after a legendary Ibizan corsair who defeated more than a hundred enemy ships.
The first stone in the monument was laid in 1906, on the 100th anniversary of the victory of the schooner San Antonio and Santa Isabela, which was captained by Antonio Riquer, over the Felicity, a much larger vessel displaying the flag of Gibraltar which was captained by one of the most famous pirates of the time, Miguel Novelli, alias ‘El Papa’.
The monument to the corsairs recalls that event and is a permanent reminder that Ibiza is not only an island of fishermen but also of Corsairs.
During the 17th and 18th century North African raiders would regularly attack villages, coves and farm houses on the coastlines of Ibiza and Formentera with a vengeance, taking everything they could, from food to domestic animals, and locals who often ended up in the slave markets.
The Pitiusan corsairs were pirates who crossed the Mediterranean under an agreement with the Spanish crown to combat the threat of raiders, and later on from attacks from the British and the French. They were free to stalk any vessel or enemy port, in exchange for a fifth of the booty and defended the coastlines of Ibiza and Formentera for centuries.
Did you know
The monument is very unique, since pirates were notorious and were generally rejected by society making it a sculptural curiosity. It is actually one of only two monuments in the world that are dedicated to pirates, the other is located in Plymouth, England in honor of Francis Drake.