I always tell my tourists that the most important thing about Ibiza is NOT its notoriety of drugs, clubs, sex (well, this yes...) and hippies. No, the most important is the architecture of its old country houses (unfortunately, not many left nowadays). These houses inspired many great architects who lived here, like Raoul Haussmann, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius (who did the Bauhaus movement in Germany) and the great Catalan architect, Josep Lluis Sert who became Dean of Architecture in Harvard, among others. They were all inspired by the humble Ibizan country houses. The primitive islander, often without knowing how to read or write, had a very advanced knowledge of modern architecture, without knowing it, of course; because he built a block and, as the family grew, kept adding blocks. This became a very functional house, esthetically very beautiful and a very modern concept. The white walls of these houses were nearly a metre wide, had very small windows—sometimes no windows at all (for defence purposes)-- and when they did have windows they put two pieces of Phoenician Juniper wood in the form of a cross for protection. The front of the houses face the southern part of the island. All this, the fact that the walls were wide, the windows small and faced the south also made them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Then the roofs are flat in order to gather the little water that falls (thirty days of rain per year) and would go to the well. The roofs were made in three layers: a layer of Phoenician Juniper wood, another of ash and the leaves of the Posidonia (which is what everyone thinks is seaweed but it's not because it's a plant with seeds and flowers) that acted as isolation and a layer of clay. Now, sometimes, this clay would crack with the hot summer sun, so one would think that if it rained they would have leaks inside the house, no way, they were so clever in olden times even though they were illiterate, and weather was normal, that normally it wouldn't rain from the second fortnight in April until the end of August, beginning of September when we would have a huge summer storm with lightening and thunder, that one would think the island was going to sink... but the following day the sun came out (it rarely rains two days in a row) so what the islanders did is, before this rain fell, they would put dry mud on the roof, this mud would melt with the rain, cover the cracks, dry up in the sun the following day and bingo! No leaks inside.
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