Salutation from Benjamin Oriola Oriola, President of the Permanent Commission,
Since the year 1713, when the Treaty of Utrecht incorporated the island of Menorca into the British sovereignty until 1802 when the Treaty of Amiens finally incorporates it into the Spanish sovereignty, there have been three English occupations of Menorca, and one French.
Broadening on this historic period we observe that since the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th, the interest in its geostrategic situation was materialised by means of the construction of several defence buildings (watch towers, fortifications, barracks and artillery bases) which with the passing of time have fallen into disuse on the part of the army.
In intuitive anticipation of what eventually could happen with the military installations, in 1982 the enthusiasm of members of the army contributed to the organisation of the Menorca Military Museum which together with the buildings sited at the port of Mahón constituted a rich and varied historical heritage (comprised of the Menorca Military Museum, the Mola Fortress, Saint Philip’s Castle, the San Felipet fort and the Penjat Tower).
The Ministry of Defence exercises its right to intervene, particularly referring to the rulings of the Spanish Historical Heritage. Likewise, the provincial and local administrations have legal power to participate in conservation and maintenance due to the fact that the issue is of cultural interest.
Looking towards the future, the Ministry of Defence encouraged the management of this historical legacy by means of a non-profit making Consortium whose end was to be in public interest.
Thus, on 22nd June 1998, jointly between the Ministry of Defence, the Balearic Government, the Menorca Island Council, Mahón and Es Castell Town Councils, the entity called the Consortium of the Menorca Military Museum, the Port of Mahon and Saint Esteban Cove was constituted with the objective of possessing, administrating, managing and promoting the development and diffusion of activities relative to the knowledge and promotion of the related history and culture, particularly those which are military linked.
Following this brief introduction, it is our wish that this Web page should serve to stimulate curiosity about this historical period in Spain, and its repercussions on the island of Menorca.
As one of our objectives is precisely diffusion, we welcome all those of you who visit our Web site and we encourage you to share with others the impressions and sensations which this brief historical journey has caused you.
Benjamin Oriola Oriola