Gibraltar's Moorish Castle

Throughout Gibraltar's turbulent past and occupation by various nations, the importance of securing and protecting the ‘Rock' was vital and led to the construction of Gibraltar's Moorish Castle. Due to untraceable records it is not certain exactly when construction of the castle started, although it is thought it was around 711 AD. The castle, as it stands today is the result of it being re-built in the 14th century and its Tower of Homage, which is clearly visible from miles around, is the tallest tower on the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.

Gibraltar's Moorish Castle
Source: Flickr / Oliver Davis

After the re-construction of Gibraltar's Moorish Castle, the walls and buildings of the old town continued to expand, taking up a vast area with the walls nearly reaching to the sea. This provided safe haven for the townsfolk during times of trouble, and its most prominent features the Qasbah, Keep and huge Gate House, as well as the Tower, remain today and are some of Gibraltar's most popular attractions, receiving thousands of visitors each year.

For today's visitors to Gibraltar's Moorish Castle, a good idea to get a view of how vast the castle's buildings and fortifications must have been is to start exploring at the highest point in the Tower of Homage and work your way down through the Inner Keep, Outer Keep and then around the battlements and extensive terraces and on to the famous Gate House located in the Quasbah. Throughout the castle there are fine examples of Arab architecture and interesting monuments of its past such as the Queen Charlotte Battery. After exploring the castle visitors can continue their day out with a visit to the ingenious military accomplishment, the Great Siege Tunnels that stretch for miles through the rock, and the City Under Siege Exhibition.

Europa Point Lighthouse

Until the opening of Europa Point Lighthouse in 1841, the only light to assist sailors in their nighttime navigation came from the lights of a small chapel built on Europa Point and known as Our Lady of Europa.