The history of Menorca is a story of successive invasions, which does not appear as a surprise considering the fact the island is found in comercial and strategic location to all empires that have fought for control of the Mediterranean.
Taules and talaiots that spread over the island date from a late era in prehistoric chronology, the bronze age, which developed in Menorca from the year 1600 BC until 200 BC. During the Talaiotic decline, Menorca was often visited by Phoenician and Greek traders and Greeks and was conquered by the Carthaginians, who founded the cities of Jamma (now Ciutadella) and Maghen (now Mahon). Among Carthaginian troops were enlisted the famous Balearic slingers, which were able to break shields and helmets with their projectiles.
The romans, under command of Quinto Cecilio Metelo, conquered the Baleares in 123 AD, naming the Island Balearis Minor (or Menorca) to our island. It is from roman times the mosaic now found on Isla del Rey in Mahon´s harbor. Several bonze statues, objects of adornment, ceramic inscriptions and ceramic pieces are exposed in Museo Menorca, in Mahon.
From the Early Christian period, which lasts until the Arian Vandals take the island in the year 427, the basilica of Son Bou, Torello and the Es Cap d'es Port of Fornells still remain.
The occupation of the Arab island takes place at the beginning of the tenth century, but two centuries before the ships leaving the peninsula North Africa besieged the coast and temporarily some cities .. Four centuries of Muslim domination have left Menorca a deep imprint. Not only in the place names (Binibeca, Binisafulla, Alcaufar, Cala Galdana, and some others), but also the love of horses, archaeological sites like the Castle of Santa Agueda, and beautiful legends that they have been orally transmitted In 1287 Alfonso III conquered Menorca to the Crown of Aragon, exterminating the Muslim population to replace Catalan and Mallorcan settlers.
The most tragic events (after the bloody reconquest) of the history of Menorca are produced in the sixteenth century, with the sacking of Mahon (1535) by the Turkish pirate Barbarossa and moreover, the Ciutadella by Piali, pirate Turkey also in 1558. On July 9 of that year the assailants, after more than a week of siege, managed to breach the walls of Ciutadella. The slaughter and destruction of the city the document called "Act of Constantinople" are exposed in the museum. More than 3,500 people from Ciutadella were taken as slaves.
French and English are alternated in control of the island from the first British occupation in 1708 until the signing of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, by which Britain returned Minorca to Spain. These dominations have left clear traces in architecture, language, and even the character of the Minorcan. Fort Marlborough in Es Castell, or the home of Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, are recommended visits, as well as the Fortess of the mole (Fortress of Isabel II) in the mouth of the port of Mahon.