Santa Eulària des Riu

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Santa Eulària des Riu

Santa Eulalia del Río (Spanish)
The beach of Santa Eulària des Riu in 2014
The beach of Santa Eulària des Riu in 2014
Coat of arms of Santa Eulària des Riu
Coat of arms
Municipal location
Municipal location
Santa Eulària des Riu is located in Ibiza
Santa Eulària des Riu
Santa Eulària des Riu
Location of the Town of Santa Eulària des Riu
Coordinates: 38°59′5″N 1°32′0.1″E / 38.98472°N 1.533361°E / 38.98472; 1.533361
Autonomous communityBalearic Islands
ProvinceBalearic Islands
 • BatleVicent Marí Torres (PP)
 • Total5,926 sq mi (153,48 km2)
171 ft (52 m)
 • Total36,457
 • Density6.2/sq mi (2.4/km2)
Demonym(s)Eularienc, eularienca (Catalan)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Official languagesCatalan and Spanish
WebsiteOfficial Website

Santa Eulària des Riu (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsantə əwˈlaɾiə ðəz ˈriw], Spanish: Santa Eulalia del Río) is a coastal town on the south eastern seaboard of the Spanish island of Ibiza. The town is located on the designated road PM 810.[2] Santa Eulària is the third largest town on the island and also has the only river on the island which flows into the sea at the western end of the town.


The town is 9.3 miles (15.0 km) north east of Ibiza Town and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) of Ibiza Airport.[2] The town sits next to a wide bay with the promontory of Punta Arabí at the east end of the Bay. Also at the eastern end of the bay is new harbour, mariner called Port Esportiu which is full of restaurants, shops and bars. The town has two beaches which are kept clean and tidy[3] and have gently sloping sands and are ideal for young families. At the western end of the bay is the prominent hill of ‘Puig d’ en Fita’ which dominates the landscape. The hill is dotted with apartments, hotels and private houses, and at night is dotted with the dwellings lights.

The Town[edit]

At the centre of the town on the ‘Plaça d’Espanya’ is the Ajuntament (town hall) which is now one of the last historical buildings[3] of the town. The present building, which has been renovated, dates from 1795[3] and reflects the typical architecture of the period on the island. Nowadays the building is less functional as a town hall and is used with a civic representative purpose. In front of the Ajuntament is a small square which has a fountain with a stone surround which faces the busy main street of ‘Carrer Saint Jaume’. Behind the fountain is a stone monument, erected by the city of Palma, Mallorca to thank and honour the local fishermen who, On 17 January 1913,[3] rescued victims of the shipwrecked steamboat ‘Mallorca’ which had run aground on a reef near the rocky inlet of Redona at Punta Arabí. The town streets run grid like from the ‘Plaça d’Espanya’ with the ‘Carrer Saint Jaume’ running west to east. The ‘Carrer da Sant Vincent’ runs parallel, one street back from ‘Carrer Saint Jaume’ with the western end of ‘Plaça d’Espanya’. This street is pedestrianized and is filled with typical Tavernas and restaurants.[4] There are also one or two lively bars. The ‘Carrer Saint Jaume’ is full of stores, banks, bars and restaurants.[3] The ‘Passeig de s’Alamera’ is an attractive thoroughfare which runs south from the ‘Plaça d’Espanya’ down to the seafront. This boulevard has a tree lined central pedestrianized area with gardens.[3] In the summer this shady ‘Ramblas’[4] is lined with market stalls selling jewellery, sarongs, tie-dye Thai garb and trinkets of all kinds.[4] At the southern end of ‘Passeig de s’Alamera’ is Santa Eulalia's harbour front with views of the bay. Running in either direction is a paved and landscaped promenade. Below the promenade are the resorts two sandy beaches which have safe designated bathing areas which in the season are patrolled by lifeguards. Behind the promenade the bay is ringed by concrete apartment blocks, some of which have shops, bars, café and restaurants opening on to the promenade.

The River[edit]

The river is called Riu de Santa Eulalia, it is more of a small stream and only ever becomes a raging torrent following very heavy rainfall. The source of the river is below the 342-metre-high Puig d’en Sopes close to Sant Miquel. The river then meanders for 17 kilometres (11 mi) through the countryside to the sea at the western end of the town. A small way inland from the mouth of the river there is a small triple arched bridge, the Pont Vell, the bridge crosses the rocky valley and is claimed to have been built by the Romans as part of the imperial road building schemes on the island between 200 BC and AD 400, although the bridge's earliest mention is in a document of 1720. The river is also the only one of its kind in the Balearic Islands, and is fed by several small tributaries, notably the Torrent de Labritja, which originates at the northern village of Sant Joan de Labritja.[5]

The Parish Church of Santa Eulària[edit]

To the west of the town centre is the hill called ‘Puig de Missa’. The hill is 52[5] metres above sea level and its summit is dominated by the Església de Puig de Missa. The church is dedicated to Saint Eulalia.[5] The Path to the church spirals up around the hillside before arriving in a courtyard beside the church come Fortress. The Church is thought to have been built in 1568[5] although it is recorded that there was a chapel dedicated to the saint as far back as 1302.[5] Despite the huge natural advantage of constructing the church on this hilltop, the small community of Santa Eulària, employed the skills of military designer Giovanni Calvi[5] to fortify the church you see here today. Calvi[5] had a rounded bastion constructed in the style of the islands many watchtower although the church's bastion is solid and has no internal guardrooms. The churches nave roof is higher than the Bastion which restricted the range and scope of any cannon placed on the bastion, although it is thought that at one time the roof may have been lower than the bastion. The Porch of the church, added in the eighteenth century,[5] is larger than most on the island and stands separate from the main church building. It has multiple pillars and rounded arches which has been compared to the Moorish style of architecture, and this does compare well with a mosque and its prayer halls still seen on main land Spain.[5] The porch is probably[5] the newest part of this church. On the west elevation of the church there is a small chapel which is topped with a plain stone dome complete with a lantern. This chapel is an addition to the original church, and is entered through a ponderous arch bored through the massively thick walls. The interior is square and rather small with the dome above supported on squat arches over each corner. The lantern above has stained glass lights. There is another similar chapel on the opposite wall which gives the nave a footprint in the shape of the crucifix. There is a gilded altarpiece which was brought and installed from Segovia in 1967.[5] the rest of the church is very sparse and has been heavily restored due to the extreme damage done to the church by iconoclast Republicans during the Spanish Civil War of 1936[5] who viewed the church as a hotbed of sedition.


Ball Pagès[edit]


The roles of men and women are clearly differentiated in our dances. The woman, indifferent, holds her arms close to her body, walking with short and rapid steps, circling around a central point. The man, however, does not have previously determined steps. He tries to show his force and manliness by taking great leaps, in order to win the favour of the woman. The dances and the popular culture are part of rural, or country, society. The people who lived in and from the countryside did not have many opportunities for socialising or parties. The songs have a decidedly Oriental sound. The words have to be guessed, with syllables cut off so they fit into the monotonous and unvarying melody. Christian influence is perhaps the strongest. In 1235, Catalan men during the reign of Jaime I took the island from the Arabs. Its influence is seen in the jewels, the men's dress and the language we speak. In spite of the Christianisation of the dances and the inclusion of music in the liturgy, the profane nature of the same can be easily recognised.

LA CURTA This is a short dance. The steps and the rhythm are suitable for the elderly. Generally, the elderly, the well owner with the heir to the house, or the in-laws of the couple marrying – depending on the occasion – started and finished the party with this dance, granting permission to the rest to continue.

LA LLARGA Young people display their energy with this much faster dance. In almost all the dances, the dancer selects his partner with a bang on the castanets. This gesture, a quite rude way to issue an invitation to a woman, is forgiven at the end of the dance when the man kneels before her. The woman reciprocates with a small curtsy.

SA FILERA A man dances with three women in a line. It seems like a wedding dance where the recently married bride is accompanied by two friends or ladies. The rhythm is the same as the Llarga.

SES NOU RODADES This may be the prettiest and most important dance in our repertoire. Parties culminate with this dance and it is a nuptial ceremony. The newly married couple dance in a series of circles, separating and then meeting again in the centre, where they link elbows. After the sixth turn, the wife flashes her rings (twenty-four in total) that her husband has presented her.

THE INSTRUMENTS The basic rhythm of our music is percussion and wind. It may seem surprising that such a Mediterranean island does not include string instruments in their music. The drum, the flute, the espasí (a metal sword-shaped piece) and the castanets always accompany our dances and fiestas.

THE DRUM A hollowed pine trunk. The outsides are adorned with carvings or paint, with red and green colours predominating here. The motifs are vegetal or geometric. The skin is made from rabbit.

THE FLUTE An oleander branch hollowed out with fire. With only three holes, it is also adorned with vegetable and geometric shapes. This instrument requires greater skill, even though composers do not have a conventional knowledge of musical theory or other disciplines and play accompanied by the drum.

THE ESPASÍ A piece of metal in the shape of a sword. The stridency of the metal backs up the music.

THE CASTANETS This may possibly be the strangest instrument, due to both its size and its sound. Created from juniper wood, they are carved with vegetable or geometric shapes using knives. While castanets are widely used throughout the Mediterranean, we use the largest ones available. The sound resembles a trotting horse.

THE XEREMIA Another wind instrument, which was used principally by shepherds. It is created with two young bamboo shoots, with a vibrating reed. You can see an instrument identical to the xeremia at the British Museum in London, which is the Egyptian maid. Besides accompanying our dances, some of these instruments can be heard at religious celebrations and other solemn occasions. Ses Caramelles is the song played on Christmas Eve. Sa Pujadeta and Sa Calera are songs that are already classics and enjoy great popularity amongst the Ibizans.

THE DRESS The originality and authenticity of some of the native dress styles offer some samples that are over three hundred years old. In the different villages of the island, similar to how the exact dance style varies, there are also small variations in dress. We can distinguish between three different types of dress, both for men and women, in accordance with their function and age.

THE BLACK GONELLA This is the oldest dress for women, probably dating from the 18th century. It is a tunic of knitted wool, consisting of an underskirt, a serge jerkin with embroidered satin sleeves, silver buttons and coloured ribbons. This is topped with an apron, a yellow silk shawl and a cambuix, a lace scarf tied under the neck. It is usually worn with a black, felt, wide-brimmed hat. Jewels on the dress are silver and red coral. Gold, which was traditionally used, became scarce during this time. The jewels are affixed to the body with coloured, embroidered ribbons.

THE WHITE GONELLA OR WHITE DRESS A luminous white colour, consisting of the same garments as the gonella (underskirts, jerkin, apron, shawl and scarf), but with some particularities. A hat is never worn. The bride layered on underskirts until their width no longer allowed her to pass through the door of her bedroom. The jewels are made from gold. This was generally the dowry that her family contributed to the wedding. The cross, la joia, hung with eighteen spans of golden braid (6 or 7 times over the chest) and two or three necklaces. The sleeves were adorned with gold buttons. The rings could be in different shapes - the family seal, the heart and key to the house, etc. These were gifts from her fiancée, with a total of twenty-four rings.

COLOURED GONELLA OR COLOURED DRESS Old women that still wear this dress on a daily basis can be seen in isolated villages. On the day of the town festival, they wear their best dresses adorned with jewellery and then go to the church, following a long tradition. They have essentially the same clothing items, but the apron is normally long, short if undergarments are worn. It can be accompanied with a wide-brimmed hat made from pita fibres (capell de floc), with a yellow scarf, but never together with the undergarments. There are also three types of dress for the men. Recognised as the oldest, it seems to have come from a military uniform, and we can place it next to the gonella. Black holds prominence over white. A large rosary with silver and ebony beads is worn at the neck. The following is possibly the most popular. Worn for summer festivals, it is made with luminous white cloth and a highly embroidered shirt. The sash has bright colours and the waistcoat has silver button work: 14 or 24 buttons, depending on the man's wealth. Lastly, the most modern outfit that disappeared only quite recently, was worn by the elderly. All signs of ostentation have been suppressed here: there is no button work or adornments. It consists of a loose-fitting shirt closed only at the neck that goes over the inside shirt. Dark-coloured, and worn with a silk scarf, generally yellow. Topped by a black felt hat. All these dresses were worn with handmade pita-fibre espadrilles. The most common colours for men were red and white. Women put much more imagination into the colouring of their clothing. The jewels merit special mention. S'emprendada, a set of gold, silver and coral jewels, has an artistic and historical value much greater than their economic value. And we could not finish without mentioning the importance that dance, music and dress play within our culture and as an extremely relevant part of our entity.

Hippy Markets[edit]

There are two Hippy Markets which attract large numbers of tourists and locals: Punta Arabi, located in Es Canar runs all day every Wednesday from April through October. Las Dalias, near Sant Carles, runs all day every Saturday, throughout the year. Las Dalias also has a "Night Market" which runs Monday and Tuesday evenings from June through September.[citation needed]

Popular culture[edit]

The town was depicted, in the time before and up to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, in Elliot Paul's Life and Death of a Spanish Town (1937).[6]

Notable people[edit]


Media related to Santa Eulària des Riu at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipal Register of Spain 2018". National Statistics Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "579 Regional Map, Spain, Islas Baleares." Pub:Michelin Editions des Voyages, 2004, ISBN 2-06-710098-X
  3. ^ a b c d e f The Rough Guide to Ibiza & Formentera. Pub:Rough Guides, Penguin Group, 2003, ISBN 1-84353-063-5
  4. ^ a b c Everyman MapGuide to Ibiza & Formentera. Pub:Alfred A Knopf, New York, 2004, ISBN 1-84159-2293
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ibiza & Formentera’s Heritage, A Non-clubber’s Guide. Author: Paul R Davis Pub:Barbary Press, 2009, ISBN 978-84-612-2908-6
  6. ^ The Life and Death of a Spanish Town: Author: Elliot Paul Publisher: London : Peter Davis; Publisher USA; Random House, New York;1st Edition (1937) ASIN B002DQL7GK
  7. ^ Four fair isles: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza & Formentera. Author Patrick Pringle.Publisher: Evans; First Edition (1961) ASIN: B0000CL346

External links[edit]