St Michael’s Cave in Gibraltar
This week we flew out to Gibraltar for a short break. We visited loads of places on ‘The Rock’ as it’s known to locals. But our favourite place was the stunning St Michael’s Cave on the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
It’s the name given to a network of limestone caves located high above sea level (300 meters in fact) it receives nearly a million visitors a year and is very popular.
We can see why! The cave has been carved out by thousands of years worth of rainwater dissolving the rock. Cracks in ‘The Rock’ grew into large passages and made large Stalactites (which are dripping mounds of limestone hanging from the ceilings) and Stalagmites (that rise from the floor due to accumulation of ceiling drippings). Urgh! Yuck!
We spot faces and eyes melting into the limestone. It must have been scary for prehistoric man who used to live there 15,000 years ago.
In 1974 a Neolithic bowl was discovered in the caves and some charcoal drawings. Two Neanderthal skulls have also been discovered in Gibraltar too! The Rock is full of history, tunnels and caves, man-made and natural. It was also long thought to be bottomless, a cavern and network of caves tunnelling under the ‘Strait of Gibraltar’ one end of the subterranean Ley Tunnel over 15 miles long. The ancient Greeks believed the cave to be The Gates of Hell and entrance to the underworld. Spooky.
Nowadays St Michael’s cave plays host to a variety of operas, orchestras and music concerts, as the acoustics are amazing. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 100 and is very large. We had a fab time visiting and it’s a trip we won’t forget for a long time.
Mummy & Daddy x