The Moorish Castle
The Moorish Castle is situated at the northern end of the upper rock nature reserve. The construction of this Castle commenced in the 8th century AD but no known date of completion is recorded. The Castle was rebuilt in the 14th century after its near destruction during a re-conquest of Gibraltar by the Moors.
The remains of the Moorish Castle are one of the iconic structures of Gibraltar and a poignant reminder of the many battles that this little land has witnessed throughout time. The Tower of Homage dominates what was once a vast castle complex, which stretched all the way down to Casemates Square and was visible from sea as a warning to would-be attackers. Explore the crumbling remains and learn about the long history of the fortification and its role in defending the Rock.
The long-standing war between Christians and Muslims over the Iberian Peninsula had meant that fortifications were located on this important strategic point for centuries. However, the Tower of Homage that we see today dates to just after 1333 when the Moors reconquered the land and underwent a massive phase of building. It was during this time, which coincides with the construction of the great Alhambra Palace in Granada, that they constructed the gatehouse, walls and bastions. Stand and look at the remains of this formidable fortification and imagine the sieges and attacks that it and its predecessors have withstood through the years.
Explore the various buildings, gates and fortified walls, which stretch all the way down to the sea and the remains of the Moorish pier. In addition to the Tower of Homage, the site also contains the impressive Gate House, which remains standing despite all the turbulent times.
Look for the British flag that flies above the castle’s tower. The flag was first raised by Admiral Rooke when he led the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and has flown here ever since. Notice, too, the battle scars on the walls of the sturdy tower. It bears the marks of later sieges, which all failed to destroy the fortification.
The Moorish Castle is located on Willis’s Road at the northern end of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and is easily accessible from town. The castle is open daily year-round and entry is included with the Upper Rock Nature Reserve admission ticket.