Ciutadella de Menorca
|Ciutadella de Menorca|
|Autonomous community||Balearic Islands|
|• Mayor||Pilar Carbonero Sánchez|
|• Total||186.34 km2 (71.95 sq mi)|
|Elevation||24 m (79 ft)|
|• Density||160/km2 (410/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||07760, 07769|
Ciutadella de Menorca (Catalan pronunciation: [siwtəˈðeʎə ðə məˈnɔrkə]) or simply Ciutadella (Spanish: Ciudadela) is a town and a municipality in the western end of Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands (Spain). The name means "citadel". It is one of the two primary cities in the island, along with Maó.
Originally founded by the Carthaginians, it was already the seat of a bishop in the 4th century. After being governed by the Moors under the names of Medīna el Jezīra (Arabic: مدينة الجزيرة) and Medīna Menūrqa (مدينة منورقة) for several centuries, Ciutadella was recaptured during the reconquista by men serving Alfonso II and became part of the Crown of Aragon. During the Middle Ages, it became an important trading center.
On 9 July 1558, the Turks under Piyale Pasha and Turgut Reis with a powerful Turkish Armada of 140 ships and 15,000 soldiers, put the town under siege for eight days entered and decimated the town. The town was defended by only a few hundred men. All of Ciutadella's 3,099 inhabitants who survived the siege were taken as slaves to Turkey together with other inhabitants of surrounding villages. In total, 3,452 residents were sold into slavery in the slave markets of Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey.
Despite no longer being Minorca's capital, Ciutadella has remained the island's religious center as the Bishop refused to move. The festival of Saint John, its patron saint, takes place each year on the 23 and 24 of June. The Cathedral of Menorca, located in the old quarter of Cuitadella, was built in 1287 on the foundation of an older mosque.
In the 17th century, many civil and religious buildings were built in the Italian style there and give Ciutadella a historical and artistic unity.
Ciutadella's town hall is the former palace of the Arab governor and later served as a royal palace under the Crown of Aragon and again as a governor's palace until the British moved the capital to the eastern town of Mahon in 1722.
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