La Xanga salt trading precinct

Heritage and culture

This is the most visible and striking part of what was once the centre of the salt trade in former times, not only during the Carthaginian and Phoenician era, but also later, during the Christian period.

It has been calculated that this open square once extended over 6,000m2, 250m2 of which have been recovered to date, together with a section of roadway that provided access to the installations and which some have erroneously dated from the Roman era. It was part of the first salt dock on the island and this historic site is unique in the Balearic Islands.

During the 16th century, the precinct was used for the salt trade, where the salt was collected and stored for embarkation, and it is also where the tuna was salted following its capture in an almadraba trap situated at the ses Salines headland close to es Freus, the channel separating the two Pityusic islands. In fact, this structure can be found in the sandy cove known as la Xanga, which, it is said, takes its name from the Italian word chianca, the table where the fish was cut up and filleted.

Part of the precinct has been engulfed by the sea which constantly erodes the shoreline, and some remains of this rocky platform are set among the coastal rocks that rise like blocks from the waters nearest the shore. Another part of the original square is now found on private property and the visible part, which is currently under restoration, can be easily distinguished with its rounded stones structured in clearly defined sections, with straight lines and diagonal markings that are visible in the form of geometric star shapes.

From the square you can see several fishermen’s huts and there is a beautiful view of the walled town of Dalt Vila, whereas to the west, which is the most sheltered part of the beach, there are more moorings and slipways.

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