Frank Sant and H. González - Larios Hermanos and A Beanland
Benoliel and Mailin - R. Povedano and James Speed
Saccone and Speed and R.L. Sprague - A. D. Hayden and Smith Imossi
Th. Mosley and H. Bland & Co - W.J.S. Smith and J. Onetti
John Carrara and Mateos and Sons - Sir Archibald Hunter and Admiral Rooke
General Don and General Eliott - Sergeant Ince and General O'Hara - General Ballesteros
The North Front of the Rock ( Early 20th century )
From the 18th century Grand Tour toff to the modern Ryan Air traveller just about everybody likes the idea of having a decent tourist guide with them on their travels. In the late 19th and early 20th century the best available to most were the pocket-sized, red, leather-bound Baedekers.
Founded in 1832 by German publisher Karl Baedeker this indispensable traveller's guide to the world became famous for its detailed information on museum opening times, ferry timetables, the best and worst hotels, the cost and frequency of train and ship travel . . and - by today's standards - its thoroughly politically incorrect opinions on the people who inhabited the places that traveller was visiting. In this it took its cue perhaps from Richard Ford, (see LINK) perhaps the rudest travelogue writer ever to grace the genre. As the journalist, Laura Freeman writing for the Daily Mail gleefully put it:
The Spanish were indolent, the Greeks filthy, the Italians dishonest and the "Orientals" as stupid as children. The guides reflect an imperial attitude that would be unthinkable today.
So what did the Baedeker have to say about Gibraltar? The following are quotes from the 1913 fourth edition of Karl Baedeker's Spain and Portugal Handbook for Travellers. It was - as regards its comments on the Rock - an almost an exact copy of the 1908 third edition which was published in 1908. Interesting bits included in the 1908 but not on the 1913 edition are shown in red. Finally, most of the illustrations used below are taken from a set of postcards that were in circulation in 1913.
Map of Gibraltar as shown on both Baedeker editions
Getting there by Train - From Bobadilla to Gibraltar via Ronda and Algeciras . . Railway to (110 M) Algeciras (Puerto) in 5-6 hrs. An express . . . connects at Bobadilla with the 'expreso de lujo' from Madrid . . . The railway belongs to an English company. (See LINK) From the pier at Algeciras-Puerto Steamboats, connecting with the trains, cross to Gibraltar in ½ hr . .
Arrival - The Algeciras steamers lie alongside the Old Mole (Commercial Pier). The ocean-steamers convey their passengers thither in tenders . . . For landing in other cases there is a fixed tariff . . . In bad weather the tariff is increased by one-third, doubled, or trebled, according to the signals hoisted at the landing-place (red, blue, or blue and white).
The porters are notorious for their exorbitant demands; the charge for conveying luggage to a hotel should be clearly agreed upon beforehand.
A view of the town from the viaduct - which would not have been too different to that seen by a tourist arriving either by ferry or tender on to the Commercial Mole which lay on the lower left of the photo
The Custom House Examination - Takes place at the Harbour Gate; it is usually limited to tobacco, spirits, and firearms.
Permits of Residence - for aliens must be obtained at the Police Office opposite; these are valid until evening only and must be extended (apply to the hotel-landlord) if the night be spent on shore). After the evening gun (between 5.40 and 8.20) the Land Port is closed, but the other gates remain open until 11 p.m. Visitors should not leave the main paths without permission, and they are forbidden to take photographs or to make either drawings or notes when near the fortifications. Foreigners are never allowed to see over the fortifications.
Hotels - (previous arrangement convenient).
Hotel Bristol, Cathedral Square, quietly and pleasantly situated
Hotel Cecil, part of it with central heating, these two in Waterport Street - the accommodation at these three hotels is not always in accordance with the high prices charged
Hotel Paris opposite the post office
Hotel Continental (less pretentious)
Hotel Victoria with restaurant, both in Waterport Street
Nuevo Hotel Español, Irish Town, tolerable
London, City Mill Lane
Fonda de España, Waterport Street
Boarding Houses - Carlton House, Scud Hill
La Esmeralda, Church Street. The drinking-water is not good
Cafes -Restaurants - Cafe Universal, Church Street (ground floor frequented by soldiers and sailors) (cafe downstairs, restaurant upstairs - more select )
Assembly Rooms (see below).
Cabs - (Stands at Waterport Gate, (see LINK) Commercial Square, (see LINK) and Cathedral Square . . . . The cabmen generally refuse to take a fare at these legal prices; it is necessary to make a bargain in advance. Night fares are subject to agreement. Complaints should be addressed to the police.
Saddle Horses - may be hired from Frank Sant, College Lane, or H. González, Horse Barracks Lane.
Omnibus every ½ hr from Commercial Square to New Mole Parade
Post Office - Waterport Street, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (on Sun. 8-10 a.m.). The overland English mail closes at 6.30 a.m.
Post Office - Waterport Street
Telegraph Office - in the adjoining building, open from 6 a.m. till midnight.
Theatre - Theatre Royal, Governor's Parade for Opera (See LINK) - Assembly Rooms in the Alameda with cafe (built in 1884-85 for dramas). A Military Band plays on the Alameda on Sun., 3-5 p.m. (in summer in the evening).
Banks - Anglo -Egyptian Bank (10-1), Market Street;
Larios Hermanos, (see LINK) Irish Town;
Cook & Son (tourist agents), Waterport Street;
Mosley & Co.
Money - British currency is legal tender and is alone accepted at the post office and other government departments, but Spanish money is freely accepted at shops, etc. The 5-peseta piece is usually called 'dollar'.
Bookseller - A. Beanland, 103 Church Street
Garrison Library - (See LINK) Governor's Parade, (see LINK) founded in 1793, with about 50,000 vols, and large reading and club rooms;
Gibraltar Commercial Library - (See LINK)
Photographs - Benoliel & Co, Gunner's Lane, A. Freyone, 96 Waterport Street
Photographic Requisites - Beanland, Malin. & Co, (see LINK) Waterport Street.
Tobacco - (cheap). R. Povedano, near the Grand Hotel;
James Speed and Co - Waterport Street
Saccone & Speed, Waterport Street, etc.
American Consul - R. L. Sprague, (see LINK) Prince Edward's Road; vice-consul, A. D. Hayden.
Lloyd's Agents - Smith, Imossi & Co, Irish Town.Steamboats - Gibraltar has steamship communications with all the important harbours of the world - see the Gibraltar Chronicle) (See LINK)
To Algeciras, to Cadiz via Tangier, Spanish Coasting Steamers
P & O. Steamship Co. (weekly in each direction) and Orient Line (fortnightly in each direction) between
London, Plymouth, and the East (agents for both Smith, Imossi &Co, Irish Town)
White Star Line (agents, Th. Mosley d Co 11 Irish Town) from New York or Boston to Genoa, two or three times monthly
Cunard Line (agents. H. Bland & Co. Cloister Building), occasionally
Royal Mail (agents, Bland d Co.), fortnightly to Tangier, etc
Halls Line - from Gibraltar to Malaga and via Cadiz to Lisbon (agent, W. J. S. Smith, Bomb House Lane)
Union Castle Line (agent, Th. Mosley " Co.), monthly to Southampton and London
North German Lloyd six times a month between New York, Gibraltar, and Genoa (agents, J. Onetti & Sons Engineer Lane)
Hamburg-American Line pleasure-cruises only: agents, John Carrara & Sons.,Waterport Street
Oldenburg-Portuguese Steamship Co twice a month to the Moroccan coast (agents, Mateos & Son, Pitman's Alley)
Navigation Mixte (agents, Mateos & Sons), every other Wed. to Tangier, Oran, and Marseilles
Rotterdamsche Lloyd, twice monthly to Southampton and Marseilles (agent, W.J. S. Smith, Bomb House Lane)
North German Lloyd, six times a month between New York, Gibraltar and Genoa, agents J Onetti & sons, Engineer Lane
Orient Royal Steamship Co, (fortnightly in each direction) (between London Plymouth and the east) agents Smith Imossi and Co Irish town
Adria Steamship Co (Hungarian) for Trieste, Messina, Algiers, Malaga, and Tangier (Agents Bland & Co, Irish Town
Golf Links at Campamento - green-money
Golf Links, Campamento (1913)
Visitors with introductions have opportunities of joining the Calpe Hunt, (see LINK) the Lawn Tennis Club, the Cricket Club etc
( Early 20th century - Graphic Magazine )
Cricket Club House in North Front ( 1937 )
Principal Sights (one day). Morning: Visit the Alameda and the Galleries; walk up to the Signal Station. Afternoon: excursion to Europa Point and Governor's Cottage or to Catalan Bay. Guides ( . . superfluous) at the hotels . . .
Governor's Cottage and Lighthouse at Europa Point ( 1880S - G.W. Wilson ) (See LINK)
Gibraltar Bay is but an indifferent harbour owing to its want of shelter on the S.W. and E. The bay, which is 7 M. long and 4-5 M. wide, is in the form of a horseshoe . . .Gibraltar Bay is often referred to by Spaniards as la Bahia de Algeciras - the Bay of Algeciras - much to the annoyance of many Gibraltarians. The Baedeker surmounts the problem by giving travellers a choice of names. In both editions, the section on the town of Algeciras which lies just opposite Gibraltar refers to the Bay as follows:
The Bay of Algeciras, an expansion of the Straits of Gibraltar, open only on the S., is almost circular in shape. It is about 5 M. across and 65-1650 ft. in depth. . . . . .
North Town or the town proper of Gibraltar, covers the N. third of the W. slope of the rock, while the other two-thirds are occupied by the grounds of the Alameda, the attractive villas and the barracks of the suburb of South Town, and the Lighthouse at Europa Point. The houses of the town, of the same neutral gray tint as the rock itself, ascend in terraces to a height of about 260 ft. above the sea.
The streets are dark and narrow, and seldom expand into a square of any size. Though the resident population (apart from the military) are mainly of Spanish descent and a heterogeneous swarm of Jews and immigrants of all nationalities from the shores of the Mediterranean, the town still contrives to present a somewhat English appearance.
The most conspicuous figures in its streets are the British 'red coat', the kilted Highlander, the British Jack Tar, and the numerous Moors, mostly dealers from Tangier. The traveller coming from Spain is pleasantly struck with the clean streets and the absence of beggars.
The Trade of Gibraltar consists mainly in the importation of live-stock and other provisions from Galicia and Morocco, especially from Tangier. There is also a good deal of smuggling over the Spanish frontier. In 1911 the harbour was entered by 3732 vessels of 5,800,634 tons burden. The huge stock of coal (see LINK) in hulks moored in the bay provides fuel for ca. 1200 steamers annually (mainly for the Suez Canal). . . . The harbour is of great importance as a coaling station . . .
Gibraltar depends for its drinking water on rain collected in tanks, but a good supply for sanitary purposes is obtained from brackish springs discovered in 1868 on the North Front
From the old Mole, the harbour-mole constructed in 1309, we proceed to the S.E. through the Old Mole Gate, past the Market (see LINK) and though the inner Waterport Gate, on the site of the wharf of the Moors to (5 min) Casemates Square
É otrosi mandó labrar una atarazana desde la villa fasta la mar, porque esloviesen las galeas en salvo é tornóse el rey D. Fernando para su hueste de Algesira que tenia cercada.
In other words the construction of a shipyard close to the beach where the mole would eventually be built.
Waterport Street, running hence to the S., contains most of the hotels, the post and telegraph office and other public buildings. Along with the street named Irish Town running parallel on the W. it forms the focus of business. Waterport Street ends at Commercial Square containing the Exchange, beyond which it is continued by Church Street
In this street, to the left, stands the Roman Catholic Cathedral St. Mary the Crowned, originally a Moorish mosque and rebuilt by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1502. It was robbed of its treasures of art in 1704 and now offers little of interest except the Moorish Court of Oranges.
The Cathedral St. Mary of the Crowned, still with its old facade and filigree iron copula - The west front would be redesigned and the iron work replaced by a copper dome in 1931. The Moorish Court of Oranges had long since disappeared. It was sacrificed when Main Street was straightened in the very early 19th century. (See LINK)
To the right, in Cathedral Square, stands the Anglican Cathedral (Church of the Holy Trinity), erected in the Moorish style in 1821. A little farther on, on the left, is the Supreme Court with a pretty garden.
Church of the Holy Trinity
Church Street, in turn, is prolonged by Southport Street, in which, to the right, is the Convent, or residence of the Governor (Sir Archibald Hunter, G.C.B.), (Sir Frederick Forestier-Walker) erected in 1531 as a Franciscan convent. In the garden is a dragon-tree (Dracaena draco), believed to be at least 1000 years old. The street ends at Southport Gate, erected under Charles V. and rebuilt in 1883. (See LINK) Outside the gate, to the left, lies the small Trafalgar Cemetery, containing the graves of many of the British who fell at the battle of Trafalgar.
To the right are the Ragged Staff Stairs, (see LINK) where the British under Adm. Rooke landed in 1704. The Alameda, beyond the gate, laid out by Governor George Don (ca.1814), (see LINK) is noted for its luxuriant sub-tropical vegetation, including gigantic geraniums and heliotropes, castor -oil plants, daturas, and daphnes.
In the midst of it lie the Assembly Rooms and a Cafe. Two indifferent busts commemorate the Duke of Wellington and General Eliott, the defender of Gibraltar in the 'Great Siege'
Kingsway in the Alameda Gardens with the Assembly Rooms in the background - the four Russian cannon behind the policeman were donated to Gibraltar in 1858 for its assistance during the Crimean War
To the S.W. of the Alameda lies the Naval Harbour, with the Dock yard, founded in the 17th cent, and recently much enlarged. The harbour is protected by the long New Mole, begun in 1620 (see LINK) and much lengthened in 1851 and again in 1895-1905 when three large dry-docks were constructed.
The three Dry Docks
Steep streets ascend from the New Mole through the suburb of Rosia (see LINK) to the Europa Main Road. The Europa Main Road, beginning at Prince Edward's Gate at the N.E. corner of the Alameda, ascends gently along the W. slope of the rock, between villas and gardens, to the residence of the Admiral Superintendent (The Mount).
It then runs above the Naval Hospital and the Buena Vista Barracks descends between the cleft rocks of Europa Pass, passes a Signal Station and reaches Europa Point, the S. extremity of the peninsula, undermined by the waves. A large lighthouse was erected here in 1841 on the site of the once much frequented sanctuary of the Virgen de Europa.
Buena Vista Barracks
The road now turns to the N.E., affording a fine view of the Mediterranean coast of Spain, dominated by the Sierra de Estepona and passes the Governor's Cottage or summer-villa. Farther on, amid the cliffs, is the Monkeys Cave.
South Eastern cliffs and the old Europa Advance Battery
Only British subjects are allowed to visit the so-called Galleries, a series of passages tunnelled through the living rock on the N. face of the peninsula during the 'Great Siege. They are said to have been suggested by a Sergeant Ince . . (See LINK)
We leave Waterport St. by Bell Lane (opposite the post office) and then ascend steep flights of steps to the Artillery Barracks, where we inscribe our names in a book and have a soldier assigned as guide. Visitors are shown the Union and Queens Galleries, commanding views of the bay and the Mediterranean coast.
The Moorish Castle above the Artillery Barracks, begun by Tarik in 713 and finished in 742, is not shown. Further to the S is the Castle Tank a large reservoir for water from the North Front
Moorish Castle and northern defences
The Moorish Castle more or less from the south west - modern research suggests that the present building was built in the 14th century (see LINK)
Access to the Signal Station, O'Hara's Tower, and St. Michael's Cave is limited to British subjects armed with permission from the Governor's Office (comp. From the Signal Station all vessels entering the straits are announced to Gibraltar. The View embraces the entire Bay of Gibraltar, with the green Campo de Gibraltar on the N. and the Sierra de los Gazules on the W the coast of Morocco from the Sierra Bullones and Ceuta to the Bay of Tangiers and Cape Spartel and the coast of the Mediterranean to the N.E., with the Sierra Nevada and the valleys of the Alpujarras.
A similar view is obtained from O'Hara's Tower, to the S., named after a tower, said to have been built during the Great Siege by Gen. O'Hara to observe the Spanish fleet in the harbour of Cadiz. Its site is now occupied by a battery.
General O'Hara was indeed responsible for the well-known tower. Howeve, if he ordered it built during the Great Siege he must have done so as a ghost as he died in 1802. His supposition that it could be used to observe enemy activity in Cadiz failed to take into account the intervening mountains. It was demolished in 1888.
St. Michael's Cave is one of the numerous stalactite caverns in the heart of the rock, anciently used either as dwellings or as graves, and often containing the bones of prehistoric animals.
To the N.E. of Casemates Square is the Land Port or Spanish Gate, (see LINK) which is adjoined by strong fortifications and is closed at sunset, after gunfire. Outside it is the so-called Inundation, an area that can be put under water if desirable for purposes of defence. Beyond this lies the North Front, or British part of the isthmus lying at the foot of the vertical N. face of the rock.
The Devil's Tower Road runs hence to the S.E., passing the Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Cemeteries, Devil's Tower, an old watch-tower, probably built by the Genoese. The road then turns to the right and leads to Catalan Bay, (see LINK) where the steep sandy side of the rock barely leaves room for the fishing-hamlet of Caleta, which is often exposed to danger from stones falling from above. In the neighbourhood are several interesting caves, including the Maiden Hair Cavern, named after its ferns.
With the visit to this bay may be combined an excursion to La Línea de la Concepción (Brit, vice-consul, Major O. B. Pedley), a town (33,300 inhab) on the Spanish frontier, 1 ½ M from Gibraltar, beyond the neutral zone (During the siege of 1727 the Spaniards took advantage of an armistice to construct an entrenchment between the Bay and the Mediterranean, defended at the W. end by the Castillo de San Felipe and at the E. by the Castillo de Santa Barbara.
In 1810, however, these works were razed by the British at the request of the Spaniards themselves, as the Spanish army under Ballesteros, (see LINK) which had taken refuge under the guns of Gibraltar, feared that they might be taken advantage of by the French, La Linea is thus now an undefended town, inhabited mainly by labourers, among whom are many returned convicts.
The market of Gibraltar is supplied from the Vegetable Gardens of La Linea, which extend on the N. to the Sierra Carbonera. About 1 ½ M to the N.E. of La Linea is Campamento a village of labourers and smugglers (see LINK) and also a sea-bathing resort containing several handsome villas. . It has a small eucalyptus-grove. Horse-races (see LINK) take place here in spring. About ½ M. farther on is Puente Mayorga or Orange Grove, the port of San Roque .