Cabrera, Balearic Islands

Cabrera (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈβɾeɾa], Catalan pronunciation: [kəˈβɾeɾə], Latin: Capraia) is an island in the Balearic Islands, Spain, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of Majorca. It is a National Park.[1] The highest point is Na Picamosques (172 m).

Cabrera Island harbor
Cabrera Island harbor
Cabrera is located in Balearic Islands
Location in Spain
Cabrera is located in Spain
Cabrera (Spain)
Coordinates: 39°08′30″N 2°56′45″E / 39.14167°N 2.94583°E / 39.14167; 2.94583Coordinates: 39°08′30″N 2°56′45″E / 39.14167°N 2.94583°E / 39.14167; 2.94583
Country Spain
Autonomous community Balearic Islands
CouncilConsell Insular de Mallorca
 • Total15.69 km2 (6.06 sq mi)
Highest elevation
172 m (564 ft)
 • Totalno permanent population
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Cabrera is the largest island of the small archipelago that includes (from south to north) the islands of Estells de Fora, L'Imperial, Illa de ses Bledes, Na Redona, Conillera, L'Esponja, Na Plana, Illot Pla, Na Pobra, and Na Foradada.


In December 1530, Hayreddin Barbarossa, an Ottoman admiral of the fleet, captured the Castle of Cabrera, and started to use the island as a logistic base for his operations in the area. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, from 1530 until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Cabrera was used to house French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars. Of 9,000 sent to Cabrera, only 3,600 survived.

Late in 1916 a malfunctioning Austro-Hungarian Navy submarine remained at Cabrera for several hours, and the Spanish government subsequently decided to expropriate the island for defense. It is alleged that Juan March Ordinas, avoiding the blockade, had been selling supplies, including fuel, to submarine personnel, from the area of Cala Ganduf and S'Olla. There was strong international protest, particularly by the British Admiralty, as Spain was officially neutral during the First World War.

Cabrera remained a military zone until the 1980s, although from the 1920s some Mallorcan civilians rented out their Cabrera land for agriculture.

In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, a Republican Air Force Dornier Wal D-1 airplane fell near the island. The crew were captured by military nationalist forces, but two Republican submarines (a B2 and B3) sent by order of Pedro Marqués Barber (an old NCO and former military Menorca self-proclaimed governor) came immediately and the small Cabreran force surrendered. Facundo Flores Horrach (the chief military officer), Mariano Ferrer Bravo (a retired Spanish officer) and three civilians (males of the Suñer Mas family) were taken to Menorca and executed in harbour place named S'Hort d'en Morillo (Mahón). After the failure of Captain Alberto Bayo Column landing in Mallorca, from 15 August to 4 September, the Republican troops left Cabrera. Bayo's plan was for the CNT column, stationed in Cabrera, to appear at Dragonera Island just southwest of Mallorca and simulate a false landing. But the anarchist CNT command refused this tactic and later went to Mallorca. A bloody battle destroyed them in Porto Cristo. The rest of this column failed before it arrived and was killed on Sa Cabana, just outside their point of entry at Manacor.

In 1944, during World War II, a German airplane crashed into the sea close to Cabrera. One of the crew, Johanes Blocher, died.

Cabrera, which had been a former Santa Catalina, Palma de Mallorca district, was declared a National Park in April 1991. The Cabrera National Park is now administratively grouped with the municipality of Palma de Mallorca.

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