White, cubiform and with small windows. The Ibicencan houses and churches are one of the identifying characteristics of the island and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Laid out along the valleys, their simple and harmonic aesthetics remain branded in the traveller’s memory. They are breathtaking, up to the point where modern architecture takes inspiration on them. Using modular construction, simplicity and functionality. You mustn’t leave the island without going on a fieldtrip to discover them.
The Ibicencan houses may all seem the same at first sight, but they are not.Every building has its unique construction, more so the older they are. This is due to the fact that the modular construction allows to add on rooms as the needs of the family grow. Main characteristics of these houses are a rectangular base with a flat roof to save and benefit from rain water; very wide walls to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. Unlike the rest of the traditional mediterranean architecture, the ibicencos always built their houses isolated, in a farming valley and an autosufficient design which includes a well and oil press. A true haven; sober, functional and cozy.
The churches also render this construction model, with an added defense factor since it was necessary from the middle ages to the 18th century, when the island suffered constant scourge by pirates. This gave the temples their fortified looks in the long run, as can be seen in the local churches; San Antonio, Santa Inés, San Rafael and San Mateo. One of the main elements is the porch or “porxo”, also visible in the houses. This maximized the social function of the church as meeting point on an island where the inhabitants were scattered and isolated.