Gibraltar - December 2017

Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby SuffolkBlue on Sun 21 Jan 2018, 9:19 pm

Back in December I enjoyed a nice long weekend in Gibraltar for some winter sunshine. This was my second visit to the overseas territory and i'll definitely be paying it another visit soon. Here are a few pictures and info from the trip. First up was a visit to the Trafalgar Cemetery which occupies a small area of land just to the south of the city walls, in what had been a defensive ditch during the period of Spanish rule of Gibraltar. Although it is named for the Battle of Trafalgar, only two victims of the battle are buried there. The remainder of the interments are mostly of those killed in other sea battles or casualties of the yellow fever epidemics that swept Gibraltar between 1804 and 1814

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Trafalgar Cemetery - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Then it was a trip up the cable car to see the pesky monkeys......and take in the stunning views
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The Rock - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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The Rock - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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The Rock - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The view across the Strait of Gibraltar with the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in the background
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Strait of Gibraltar - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Gibraltar is covered with fortresses and batterys, along with the city wall. It's easy to imagine just how much of a fortress the territory was...more on that later...
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Prince Ferdinands Battery - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Charles V Wall is a 16th-century defensive curtain wall that forms part of the fortifications and constructed when Barbary pirates posed the main threat to the city. Today though......this was my main threat to dodge!
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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Charles V Wall - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaques - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Healys Mortar - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Barbary macaque - The Rock, Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Devils Gap Battery stands above the city looking out across the bay. During the 1779-1783 Great Siege of Gibraltar it mounted at least one mortar. In 1878 two RML 9 inch 12 ton guns were proposed and installed at the battery in June 1881, but later dismounted in 1900. In July 1896 work started on a new platform to the north of the battery for two QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval Mark I guns which were ready on 31 August 1896.
In June 1900, it was proposed to mount two BL 6 inch Mk VII naval guns on central pivot Mark II mountings with a range of 5,500 metres capable of bearing on land batteries and on the bay. These were installed in 1902, with magazines and shelters added in October 1903.

In August 1917 one of the guns fired upon and sunk a German submarine travelling on the surface close to Algeciras, which was the only action seen by Gibraltar's coastal defences during World War I. The guns were manned in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War and during World War II. In 1954 the battery ceased its role of close defense.

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Devil's Gap Battery - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Devil's Gap Battery - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Devil's Gap Battery - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Devil's Gap Battery - Gibraltar, Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gibraltar - Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gibraltar - Saturday 2nd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Day 2 started at the Napier of Magdala Battery, which is a former coastal artillery battery on the south-western cliffs. In 1883 the British Government installed a single 100-ton gun at the battery by Rosia Bay.
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100 Ton Gun Napier of Magdala Battery - Gibraltar, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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100 Ton Gun Napier of Magdala Battery - Gibraltar, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Rosia Bay is the only natural harbour in Gibraltar and it was here that HMS Victory was towed to after Nelson's death in the Battle of Trafalgar.
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Rosia Bay by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Rosia Harbour - Gibraltar, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

I managed to take in a Gibralatr Premier League match before the winter break kicked in. Every team play their home matches at the Victoria Stadium on Winston Churchill Avenue. The standard was probably on par with Vanarama North / South level but still very enjoyable. Probably the most scenic football ground I have ever been to, wedged in between the Rock and the airport.
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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Europa taking the lead after 20 minutes, who held on to win 1-0
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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Europa FC v Gibraltar United - Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Premier League, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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British Airways Airbus A320-23 - Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Day three started with a tour around the Second World War tunnels. Gibraltar has around 34 miles of tunnels, nearly twice the length of its entire road network. The first tunnels, excavated in the late 18th century, served as communication passages between artillery positions and housed guns within embrasures cut into the North Face of the Rock. More tunnels were constructed in the 19th century to allow easier access to remote areas of Gibraltar and accommodate stores and reservoirs to deliver the water supply of Gibraltar.

The 20th century saw by far the greatest extent of tunnelling when the Rock was turned into a huge underground fortress capable of accommodating 16,000 men along with all the supplies, ammunition and equipment needed to withstand a prolonged siege. The tunnelling finally ceased in 1968 when the British Army's last specialist tunnelling unit was disbanded. Since then, the tunnels have progressively been turned over to the civilian Government of Gibraltar, although a number are still owned by the Ministry of Defence and some have been sealed off entirely as they are now too dangerous to enter.

The most intensive phase of tunnelling in Gibraltar's history came during the Second World War, when the territory played a vital role in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters. At the start of the war, the civilian population was evacuated and the garrison was greatly increased in size. Numerous new tunnels were excavated to create accommodation for the expanded garrison and to store huge quantities of food, equipment and ammunition. The tunnelling was carried out by four specialised tunnelling companies from the Royal Engineers and the Canadian Army. A new Main Base Area was established in the south-eastern part of Gibraltar on the peninsula's Mediterranean coast, shielded from the potentially hostile Spanish mainland, and new connecting tunnels were created to link this with the established military bases on the west side. A pair of tunnels, the Great North Road and the Fosse Way, were excavated running nearly the full length of the Rock to interconnect the bulk of the wartime tunnels. The tunnels accommodated what amounted to an underground city. The entire 16,000-strong garrison could be housed there along with enough food to last them for 16 months. Within the tunnels there were also an underground telephone exchange, a power generating station, a water distillation plant, a hospital, a bakery, ammunition magazines and a vehicle maintenance workshop.

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World War II Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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World War II Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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World War II Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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World War II Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

One of the tunnels leads out to a platform with an incredible vantage point out to the airport and Spain. Timed it just right to see one flight leave, which was lucky as only 3-5 flights arrive and depart daily.
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Gibraltar International Airport - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Estadio Municipal de La Línea de la Concepción - Spain, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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easyJet Airbus A319-111 - Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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easyJet Airbus A319-111 - Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The shaft leading to the exit of the tunnels brings you out at Princess Anne's Battery, built in 1732, with the guns mounted at that time consisting of five 12 pounders. In 1771, it was reported that Princess Anne's Battery had five cannons and it was in use at the time of the Great Siege of Gibraltar. Later, in the nineteenth century, the battery was updated with four 3 inch guns and three 13 inch mortars. While the decision was made in 1942 to arm it with new guns, it wasn't until 1956 that four new QF 5.25 inch guns serving a dual role had been installed on the battery. They performed both anti-aircraft and coastal defense functions.

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Princess Anne's Battery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Princess Anne's Battery & Victoria Stadium - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Princess Anne's Battery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

A short walk back up the Rocks brings you to the Great Siege Tunnels, which was worth alone the trip to Gibraltar. The Great Siege was an attempt by France and Spain to capture Gibraltar from Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. It was the fourteenth and final siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from July 1779 to February 1783. During the siege, British and Spanish forces faced each other across an approx 1 kilometre stretch of the marshy open ground that forms the disputed isthmus immediately to the north of the Rock of Gibraltar. The British lines blocked access to the City and the western side of the island, while eastern side of the island was inaccessible because of its steep terrain. Guns were placed in a series of batteries on the north face of The Rock, providing overlapping fields of fire so that infantry attacks would come under heavy fire throughout their advance.

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Great Siege Tunnels were extended in two directions during the war, with a long straight extension called the Holyland Tunnel continuing through to the east side of The Rock, so named because it points in the direction of Jerusalem. The 5 minute walk along this tunnel leads to this tiny ledge overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr
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Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Military Heritage Center - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Military Heritage Center - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Military Heritage Center - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

After walking back down the Rock, I went to the CWGC cemetery. This is the first time time I have seen headstones laying horizontally. If anyone know's the reason why, I'll gladly hear it!
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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

An aircraft with 4 French pilots from Casablanca landed at El Polo in Campamento on the Spanish side of the frontier and the crew asked if they were in Gibraltar. After learning that they were not, they took off and headed south. Shortly after 17.00hrs whilst it was manoeuvring to land, it was shot down by machine-gun fire, which came from the Spanish Barracks of San Felipe in La Linea. The plane crashed into the sea at Western Beach, the crew were all killed. They were Captain Leforestier Jacques de Vendeuvre, Lieutenant Jean-Pierre Berger, Sous-Lieutenant Duplessis and Sous-Lieutenant Robert Weil. These were the first deaths of the Free French.
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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

In July 1943, a plane carrying the Polish Prime Minister in exile Władysław Sikorski crashed into the sea immediately after takeoff from Gibraltar, killing all on board (including his daughter) except the pilot. 3 of the victims are buried at the cemetery.
Jan Gralewski, a Home Army courier
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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Brigadier John Percival Whiteley OBE, Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Buckingham.
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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Colonel Victor Cazalet MC, Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Chippenham, British liaison officer to the Polish forces
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Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

I managed to grab a few snaps from the airport viewing gallery before heading home. Thanks for looking and hope this post was of some interest.
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Cessna 560XL Citation XLS - Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, Tuesday 5th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gibraltar International Airport by Chris Day, on Flickr

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British Airways Airbus A320-232 - Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar, Tuesday 5th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr
Last edited by SuffolkBlue on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SuffolkBlue

Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby timuss on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 2:32 pm

Fantastic we did a day trip over when we were in Span when i was a kid and loved it, would love to pay a return visit someday thanks for sharing :clap: :clap:
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Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby Dr Cake on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 7:47 pm

Very comprehensive. :clap: Is there anything left to see!

Rich
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Dr Cake

Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby Jetnoise on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:03 pm

Excellent set - many thanks! My wife and I were married in Gib in 1999 and go back as often as we can - you have certainly captured the history of the place perfectly. Can't wait for our next visit in 2019 for our 20th anniversary :-)

Cheers,
Ralph
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Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby reheat module on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 3:54 pm

What a fantastic set of images.
Beautiful place, full of memories.
I visited many, many times on the Nimrod fleet.
When you revisit, take time to visit the auditorium in St Michael's Cave, also the Mediterranean Steps.
Down to 3-5 flights per day, oh dear.
Do they still have the main road crossing the runway about half way down?
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reheat module

Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby SuffolkBlue on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 8:58 pm

reheat module wrote:What a fantastic set of images.
Beautiful place, full of memories.
I visited many, many times on the Nimrod fleet.
When you revisit, take time to visit the auditorium in St Michael's Cave, also the Mediterranean Steps.
Down to 3-5 flights per day, oh dear.
Do they still have the main road crossing the runway about half way down?


Thanks guys

I was lucky enough to have visited St Michael's Cave on my first but the Mediterranean Steps are still on the to do list. Yeah the main road still crossing the runway. I believe it's the only international airport in the world to have such a layout, but i could be wrong. It was interesting to see how the road closure process works while i was watching the football.


Image
Great Siege Tunnels - Gibraltar, Monday 4th December 2017 by Chris Day, on Flickr
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SuffolkBlue

Re: Gibraltar - December 2017

Postby reheat module on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 6:15 pm

'Interesting' indeed.
Interesting listening to ATC on finals whilst a horse and cart cross the closed road.
Interesting departure profile on heavy fuel load to 'clear' Spanish airspace...
Nice tax haven in the 70/80s for some camera gear though.
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reheat module


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