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Gibraltar Travel Guide

Gibraltar — Attractions

Tiny Gibraltar is not only packed with historic attractions at nearly every corner, but also boasts countless tunnels and caves beneath its surface. Visitors can begin the challenging Mediterranean Steps to the top of the Rock at Jew’s Gate bird observatory or make the slightly easier trek downhill from their highest point, O’Hara’s Battery. Many Gibraltar attractions are situated within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, including the tailless macaque monkeys in the Apes’ Den and the ancient St Michael’s Cave, now a popular venue for ballet and musical performances.

Apes’ Den

Roughly 160 primates who live in Gibraltar’s famous Apes’ Den are actually tailless macaque monkeys originating from North Africa. It remains a mystery whether the Moors brought the Barbary macaques with them or the cinnamon-colored monkeys found their own way to Gibraltar through an unknown tunnel between St Michael’s Cave and Africa. Today, they remain Europe’s only free-living monkeys and although they’re usually friendly and accustomed to interacting with people, visitors should approach the semi-wild animals with caution.
Address: Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

St Michael’s Cave

The most famous of Gibraltar’s countless caves was discovered in the Roman era. Historic tableaux and old cannons are on display in the Upper Galleries, which were created from the Rock itself in 1782 during the heart of the Great Siege. St Michael’s is the most popular starting point for exploring Leonora’s Cave and Lower St Michael’s Cave and lake, only accessible by guided tour. Several dancers and musicians have performed among the stalactites and stalagmites at the unique underground auditorium.
Address: Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Great Siege Tunnels

The British Army originally created this intricate tunnel network during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, a four-year struggle to keep the territory out of the hands of invading Spanish and French soldiers. Although visitors can only see one section of the 37-mile long tunnel, they can nonetheless appreciate what may be the world’s most impressive defense system. Several years after the battle ended in 1783, the Allies planned their WWII invasion of North Africa in the same hideout.
Address: Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Moorish Castle

The Moorish Castle was once a proud symbol of centuries of rule over Gibraltar, which lasted between 711 and 1462, aside from a brief period of Castilian power between 1309 and 1350. Today, the most impressive part of the castle ruins is the Tower of Homage, which has dominated Gibraltar’s only land border since 1333. Evening cruise passengers get spectacular views as the tower and its walls are illuminated after dark.
Address: Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Gibraltar Museum

A former 14th century Muslim bathhouse is home to Gibraltar’s official museum, near the Roman Catholic cathedral. One of the most fascinating exhibits is a reproduction of the ancient woman’s skull unearthed in Forbes Quarry in 1848. The museum’s large-scale model of Gibraltar contains every building on the Rock in 1865, as well as all the land reclaimed in subsequent years. Uniforms, cannonballs and weapons are among the museum’s military artifacts.
Address: Gibraltar Museum, 18-20 Bomb House Lane, P. O. Box 939
Phone: +350 200 74289
Website: http://www.gibmuseum.gi

Convent and King’s Chapel

Gibraltar’s governor lives in this former 1531 convent where visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard each Monday morning. Although the convent itself isn’t open to the public, visitors can tour the adjacent King’s Chapel, first completed in 1535. The bells at the top were finally restored in 1995, over two centuries after they were destroyed in anticipation of the Great Siege so as not to become an easy target. The same dragon tree has grown on the convent grounds for over 1,000 years.
Address: Main Street, Gibraltar
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

Europa Point

Gibraltar’s southernmost point may not be the southernmost point in all of Europe, but it is nonetheless worth the quick bus or taxi trip from Main Street. The Dudley Ward Tunnel connecting Europa Point with Catalan and Sandy bays was recently reopened in 2010 and on a clear day, visitors can see as far as Ceuta and Morocco’s Rif Mountains. Although the lighthouse was constructed in the mid-19th century, it was not completely automated until 1994. The modern Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque and the Roman Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, originally built as a small mosque during Moorish rule are two other significant buildings in the area.
Address: Southern Gibraltar
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

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