Sightseeing and Attractions of Gibraltar
Gibraltar is an amazing co-mingling of past, present and future, and the list of things that a visit to Gibraltar should take in is as long as your arm in reality, but there are some things that you just can’t miss.
Those things that literally speak to you, or beckon you in to view their stories are things that every visitor to Gibraltar wants to be certain to take a peek at. What do you want to do first? Well of course that depends on what you like most. If nature is your thing, the whales or dolphins, or the rare plants, or the monkeys are going to appeal to you.
Gibraltar isn’t just history or shopping or outdoor sports, or even beaches. In reality, it’s all of the above and the best of nearly every world
If you’re into shopping, well Gibraltar has some of the best goods and some amazing prices. What’s your pleasure? Hiking, boating or just wandering around the town in search of something interesting?
The tax status of Gibraltar makes it a place that is well worth shopping with the smaller stores and local shops as interesting and intriguing as the larger ones.
The top things that you just can’t miss when you hit the shores of Gibraltar are listed below, with a brief explanation of each attraction of Gibraltar, so you know what to expect once you arrive there.
Cradle of History – A welcome monument that is shaped like the rock, showing the first skull of Neanderthal man from Gibraltar as well as other photos that show you the civilisations throughout the history of Gibraltar
The Changing of the Guard – Several times daily on Gibraltar, undertaken by Gibraltars own Guard company.
Whale Watching in the Strait – If you’re interested in nature, then Gibraltar is one of those places that has some diverse nature to show you. Whales in the area include Humpbacks, Killer Whales, False Killer Whales and several others.
Dolphin Watching – Dolphins seem to love the Gibraltar and use the area waterways as a nursery. Its not at all uncommon to see them playing with their mothers in the waters around Gibraltar.
Barbary Macaques – The Gibraltar Monkeys in other words, the last free ranging primate in Europe.
Bird Migrations – Among other birds, Gibraltar is home to the Barbary Partridge as well as several other unique species and the migrations are amazing to view. In any given week you can see several thousand birds of a highly diverse nature–seabirds, song birds, storks, falcons and vultures will all be part of the group here.
Springtime in Gibraltar is a butterfly lovers paradise, emerging by the thousands across the area.
The Casinos – “The” place to be when it comes to elegant night life in Gibraltar.
Alameda Botanical Gardens – Combining incredible beauty with exhibits of interest to the botanist as well as the ecologist, as well as multiple fountains, ponds and small waterfalls.
Southport Gates – One of the more well known parts of the fortifications of Gibraltar, built by the Moors.
Fortifications of Gibraltar – Including walls, gates, inner fortifications, built by multiple rulers, and for multiple reasons, each siege or battle saw these walls, gates and other fortifications made stronger. Some of them that you should see are the Kings Bastion, Jumpers Bastion, Prince Edwards Gate.
Rosia Bay – One of the most lovely little beaches in the area, with adequate parking and great amenities
Catalan Bay – A small village that is on the eastern side of Gibraltar, used by Genoese men who had come in to repair the ships of the British Fleet. Descendants of those men still live on Gibraltar, and some even fish from traditional boats. Excellent Beach and some wonderful small pubs are also here.
The Convent – Convent of the Franciscans who took up residence on Gibraltar in about 1530, it is not the home of the Governor of Gibraltar, beginning in 1728. The convent is said to be haunted by the spirit of the Gray Lady, a nun who attempted to elope from the convent and was caught.
The Kings Chapel – Church of the garrison since the British took over Gibraltar, bears the remains of two of Gibraltars British Governors.
The Glass Factory – One of the very few glass factors to make hand blown glass in Southern Europe. They will still hand make the glass to your specifications, while you are watching. The shop sells hand blown glass at factory cost, so its a great gift to take home with you.
The Frontier – The Spanish Government closed the frontier in 1969 and in 1985 it was reopened, with no restrictions. More than four million people cross the Frontier each year.
Old Guard Room – Bears a model of the Port Sergeant who is holding the Keys of Gibraltar. This is representative of a tradition that began when General Sir George Elliott, who was Governor of Gibraltar during the Great Siege, always carried the keys on his person. It was said that they never left his body and that he slept with them under his pillow.
Gibraltar Flag – Done in Lego’s. The John Mackintosh Hall has a lego flag of Gibraltar. It is about four metres high and 8 metres long. When it was built, the flag was the largest flag ever made from LEGO blocks with a total of 393,857 LEGO’s being used.
The Lighthouse – Like all lighthouses now it is in fact controlled remotely but it was manned until just very recently. It is currently the only Trinity Lighthouse that is maintained outside the UK.
The Mosque Ibrahim al Ibrahim – A gift that is reported to have cost several million dollars, the mosque is unique in design and in its multiple uses.
The Public Market – Still used today by many small businesses, the foundation stone for the market was laid back in 1928.
The Gibraltar Museum – Located in the Bomb House Lane, there are many very unique exhibits that tell a great deal about the history of Gibraltar.
Nelsons Anchorage – Nelson’s body was brought aboard H.M.S. Victory after the Battle of Trafalgar. There are also some other interesting sites here.
100 ton gun – The Victorian built super gun which does in actuality weigh in at a bit over the 100 tons it is named for.
Shrine of Our Lady of Europe – Located in a mosque, converted into a Catholic chapel in 1462 after the capture of Gibraltar by the Spanish. Since that time, a light was kept burning in a tower above the chapel – the precursor to the lighthouse in fact, and the oil for the light in the tower was often gifted to the church by the ships who relied on the light.
Parsons Lodge – Built on the reinforced Spanish walls that are still visible, the Parsons Lodge Battery dates to 1875.
Trafalgar Cemetery – Located by the Southport Gates, it was Gibraltar’s Military Cemetery. It was named The Trafalgar Cemetery to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar though only a few from that battle are buried here.
Upper Rock Nature Reserve – The plants and animals of the Upper Rock Nature reserve are amazing in their diversity, and you will see rare and unique plants as well as animals here.
A City Under Siege, the exhibition – The buildings in this exhibition are some of the first that were built by the British here, and among the unique aspects of them are the graffiti, some of which is said to date back to the early 1700’s.
Great Siege Tunnels – The famous set of tunnels inside the Rock, running for about thirty miles. An amazing feat.
The Moorish Castle – Dating to 1333, the Moorish castle was one of the largest in the vicinity, some say in Europe, and still seems to dominate the area.
St Michael’s Cave – This Gibraltar attraction has been unique and visited since Roman times and during World War II the cave was prepared as an emergency hospital.
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