In 1713 Minorca officially became British property. From this moment and for almost hundred years Minorca remained under the influence of Britain’s culture and traditions. Today, we propose to visit the traces of this historical period from the sea.
In the five and a half kilometre entrance of the port of Mahon, we observe some of the principal foundations of the British colonial era.
On the north shore of the port we find a cemetery named the English cemetery, even though, today, there is only one English man buried there. The truth is that in this cemetery lie the bodies of non catholic, American soldiers who died during the first half of the XIX century, when America used the port as a naval base.
At just a few minutes from Mahon’s harbour we find “La Isla del Rey” – the King’s Island. History states that in 1287, Alfonso III landed there to save Minorca from the Muslims. In the XVIII century, during the British domain, the island ran a military hospital.
From the calm water of the harbour we can also observe examples of British colonial architecture. In this house known as Golden Farm one of the most famous sailors of the history, Admiral Horatio Nelson, resided during a few years before his death.
The Castle of Sant Felipe, raised in the middle of XVI century by order of Felipe II of Austria, was expanded during the British colonization, therefore becoming in 1756, the largest fortification in Europe. Today, the ruins of the castle are the setting for wonderful night guided tours and theatre performances.
The British legacy survives on the island and is a compulsory visit for all those who want to penetrate into the history of Minorca.