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Ibiza Natural Histree

An Ibiza legend and connection with the past met its end on Saturday when the giant Araucaria

An Ibiza legend and connection with the past met its end on Saturday when the giant Araucaria, or Monkey Puzzle Tree, which dominated the entrance to San Jose was cut down. Renowned for its size, symmetree and age, it could be seen from all over the village, including my bathroom window, from where our photos were taken.

monkey puzzle tree in san jose, ibiza

Local legend has it that the tree was planted as a seed on on 14th April 1931, the day the Second Republic was proclaimed in Spain. For those who may not know the significance of this, here's what Wikipedia says:

“The Second Spanish Republic was the system of government in Spain between April 14, 1931, when King Alfonso XIII left the country following local and municipal elections in which republican candidates won the majority of votes in urban areas and April 1, 1939, when the last of the Republican (republicanas) forces surrendered to Nationalist (nacionalistas) forces led by Francisco Franco, at the end of the Spanish Civil War.”

Ibiza and the tree saw some terrible things during the conflict - a massacre of priests in the castle, a concentration camp in Formentera where prisoners died through lack of food and the brutal regime, and the bombing of the German ship Deutschland which almost caused Spain to declare war on Germany.

monkey puzzle tree and crane in san jose, ibiza

It's somewhat ironic that the day the owners called in a giant crane to help move the remains of the tree was the 14th April 2012 – the Araucaria's 81st birthday!

The view doesn't seem quite the same without it.

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