Port de maó

Mahon: city and harbour

Mahon Harbour has seen many a conflict since the 3rd century A.D. It was known as an excellent natural shelter for ships, and thus became a base for a successive series of battle ships. There are traces of Phoenicians, Greeks, Punics, Romans and Vandals in Mahon. The city was also occupied by the Byzantines and Muslims, with the corsair Barbarossa leaving his bloody trail on the island.

The British played a significant role in Menorca, as they occupied the island over three different periods up until 1802, while the French also dominated at one point. The subsequent military conflicts explain the forts and military enclaves in Mahon Harbour that can still be visited today.

There are reports of harbour facilities being installed from the end of the 17th century, with references made to the quay at the Saint Philip’s Castle and two smaller ones the in the La Caleta anchorage.

Significant port improvements were carried out over the 19th century, while the infrastructures used now were developed in the last twenty years. There are currently several proposals being studied with regard to Mahon Harbour’s more foreseeable future.