Europa Point


Europa Point is the headland of Gibraltar at its Southern most extremity. Sticking out into the straits of Gibraltar it is the best place to look across to the continent of Africa. On a clear day the ports of Ceuta and Morocco can be seen and at night the lights shimmer across the straits.

The Trinity lighthouse dominates the coastal view with the Ibrahim al-Ibrahim Mosque to the north and the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe to the west.

At the mouth of the Mediterranean Europa Point will have been passed by every mariner entering or exiting the Atlantic Ocean from the sea that cradled civilisation as we know it.

Phoenician anchors have been found off the coast at this spot and most likely many other civilisations intending to exit the Mediterranean will have stopped at this point to wait for a favourable westerly 'Levant' wind, that would carry them safely out into the Atlantic.

Today, the oldest site that can be seen is the Nun's Well. Widely thought to be from the Moorish era, this 'Moorish Bath/Cistern' water source may pre-date even 711AD. This man-made reservoir may have augmented a natural process to provide fresh water to those venturing beyond the legendary Pillar's of Hercules.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe was converted in Spanish times from a mosque. It was here and possibly in Beefsteak Cave that in 1704 the women and children came to flee the Anglo-Dutch attack. When the attackers took Jumper's Bastion and the New Mole the Spanish were cut off from their loved ones and were forced to surrender.

The southernmost and only Trinity lighthouse outside of Great Britain has been helping sailors navigate the Straits since 1841. Commissioned by Governor Sir Alexander Woodford it can be seen from a distance of 17 miles and is synonymous with Gibraltar and Europa Point.

The fortifications that have developed here over time have strengthened Gibraltar's natural defensive ability ensuring that besiegers could not land to the south of the City as was the case in Spanish times. Increasing the ring of defence to effectively make Gibraltar a fortress within a fortress.