Elba Island has been a big part of historical significance in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. Because of it's strategic position in the sea and its wonderful source of raw materials that were so important to empires, it has constantly been getting conquered and reconquered. The Etruscans used the island for it's wealth of iron ore, which was extremely valuable to the empire. After the Romans took over, however, they started to use the islands medicinal muds as well. Even today you can see Roman ruins under what are now day spas, using the same muds. During the Middle Ages, Pisa had control over the island. Archaeologists have found many interesting structures that indicate that it was a very important island that was heavily fortified. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the control of the island continually changed power. Almost every European power has roots of influence on the island. The Spanish ended up building Port Azzurro, as well as Ft. Giacomo to protect their territory. The English, Germans, and French also had their mark put on the island. When Napoleon was banished from France the first time, he was sent to Elba. However, he was named the sovereign of the island. After 10 months, however, he escaped to make his 100 day return to power in France.