Experience Algeciras, Spain In These 9 Fantastic Photos – Bahia de Algeciras

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Port of Algeciras Bay, Algeciras, Spain

The busiest port in Spain and the 16th in the world, the Port of Algeciras Bay is located in Algeciras, Spain. This is the northernmost town of the Iberian Peninsula. An industrial center, transportation hub and focal point for ships traveling to Tangier, Morocco and the Canary Islands. Port of Algeciras Bay is just about 5 nautical miles away from the Port of Gibraltar and it is at the eastern end of the Strait. A leading port to both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, it is not only famous as a crossing point of the Strait but handles bunker fuel, cruise shipping and roll-on, roll-off fleets.

Just across the Strait from Gibraltar is the port city of Algeciras in the province of Cadiz, Spain. It belongs to the autonomous community of Andalucia in extreme Southern Spain. When General Franco shut the border with Gibraltar during his reign in the 1930s, he developed Algeciras for the Spanish workers who were once employed in the dockyard at Gibdocks. Aside from being populated once by the Phoenicians and the Romans, the Moors arrived in 713 A.D. who conquered and re-conquered Algeciras several times. In 1344, Alfonso XI of Castille captured the city in the name of the Christians. Muhammad V of Granada destroyed the town in 1357. For 300 years, Algeciras was uninhabited. In 1704, when Anglo-Dutch troops occupied Gibraltar, its inhabitants fled to Algeciras and settled there.

I was in Algeciras in 2000 via the oil tanker M/T Knock Stocks. It’s one of Fred Olsen’s numerous crude freighters that ply along Spain’s coastal cities. Aside from having a large deep-water port, Algeciras has also an oil refinery. The city is a transit point of Moroccans returning home to Tangier from their work in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Because of this migration, Algeciras has a strong Arab influence into their culture. In fact its name Algeciras was taken from the Arabic words Al-Jazirah Al-Khadrah which means “green islands.” It may not have the best of charms like magnificent Malaga or romantic Sevilla but then Algeciras is not just a one-day affair to look up to. There are reasons to stop and linger for a while in this southern Spanish “belle” as portrayed here in: experience Algeciras, Spain in these 9 fantastic photos.

Mercado De Abastos Ingeniero Torroja

Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of Mercado de Abastos Ingeniero Torroja. Built as a fish market, it’s a rationalist building designed by Eduardo Torroja Miret in 1935. One of the landmarks of 20th century Spanish architecture, it enjoyed its fame as the largest dome in the world until 1965. It is today an important reference for students of architecture in Spain due to its avant-garde and functional design.

Plaza Alta

Algecira’s main square

Plaza Alta (high square) is the center of activity in Algeciras, hosting events and festivals throughout the year. Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of the city’s most important square. The fountain and benches around are made of colorful ceramic tiles. Endemic in Southern Spain during the Medieval times, beautiful pieces of artisan tiles were made for Churches, palaces and squares throughout the region, an art that put Spanish culture to another level. The tiles found at Plaza Alta depict a story of Don Quijote (17th century Spanish literary character) and the history of Algeciras. And not far from Plaza Alta are a number of tapas bars and cafes including shopping areas.

Los Alcornocales Natural Park

It’s a unique green space where the greatest concentration of cork oak trees can be found. The cork oak has a spongy layer of material lying between the outer surface of its bark and the underlying living layer called the phloem. It has many uses like bottle stoppers, insulation, sealing materials for jar lids, and others. Actually the forest of cork oak in Los Alcornocales is one of the largest in the world. Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of the natural park where it surrounds a village called Jimena de la Frontera. The location alone makes it worth stopping and enjoy the stunning landscape.

The village of Jimena de la Frontera at Los Arcornocales Natural park.

The Moroccan Quarter

Experience Algeciras, Spain in this fantastic photo of the Moroccan quarter. Along the Paseo Matimimo – the waterfront, Moroccan migrants are highly visible. Here, you can find bazaars, halal-delis as well as cafes. It gives you a taste of Tangier without crossing the Strait via ferry to Morocco.

Entremares Festival

For a week in September, los Algecirenios take to the streets in 19th century Romatic Era costumes to celebrate Entremares Festival. Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of Spanish-Moroccan street party celebrating the cultures of both sides of the Gibraltar Strait.

Mr.Henderson’s Railway

Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of Mr. Henderson’s Railway line that connects Algeciras and Gibraltar. In 1892, a steam train was built to provide Gibraltar an important overland link to the rest of Europe. In those days, the only safe passage was the sea as the roads from Gibraltar to Algeciras were used only for mules (or donkeys) and infested by bandits. A British aristocrat, Sir Alexander Henderson (whom the railway line is named after) financed for the construction of a railway to make travel easier between Algeciras and Gibraltar. At its initial journey, the train traveled so slow that people could sell contrabands through the windows as it pass via the steep tracks. Today, this awesome piece of Andalusian engineering heritage travels through spectacular views and stunning scenery of Southern Spain .

Nuestra Seniora de la Palma

Located at Plaza Alta is Iglesia de la Nuestra Seniora de la Palma constructed in the 18th century. Experience Algeciras, Spain with this fantastic photo of the Spanish Cultural Ministry’s “bien de la interes.” This Catholic Church is consecrated to Santa Maria de los Angeles Palma when Alfonso XI of Castille conquered this town on a Palm Sunday in 1344 after the Siege of Algeciras. Nuestra Seniora de la Palma is considered the patron of Algeciras.

More than a one-night stand- that is Algeciras. Not just a “refueling stop” on the way to Morocco. Algeciras is smarter than that. Once Spain’s “la belleza del baile”(the lady of the ball) she has a hidden soul. You should start discovering her “encanto y carisma” soon when traveling is open again. Buena suerte en tu viaje.

Reference: Wikipedia