Gibraltar about 1892

Gibraltar about 1892

GIBRALTAR — The ancients believed this cliff to have been planted by the Gods at the western limit of the civilized world, beyond which even the boldest never dared to sail. No single illustration of it can reveal its many characteristics. It rises on one side almost perpendicularly from the waves to the height of 1300 feet. It is three miles long and about half a mile wide. From some positions it resembles a gigantic lion crouching by the sea and guarding thus the entrance to the Mediterranean. Just opposite this on the African coast is a mountain very similar in situation and appearance to Gibraltar. In climbing over this extraordinary fortress the traveler sees a great number of half-natural, half-artificial caverns or galleries, designed to serve as places of protection during a bombardment. Some vegetation covers this apparently barren rock, and frequently the mouth of a cannon grimly protrudes from a bed of flowers. Gibraltar is probably impregnable. It has for many years been in the possession of the English, and has resisted every effort made to capture it or silence its tremendous batteries. The fortress is continually provisioned, and so perfect are the arrangements for a water supply, that at a few hour’s notice it can be put into a condition to withstand a year’s siege. Although this cliff is almost paved with British cannon and surmounted by the English flag, it is still an eloquent memorial of the Moors. The name “Gibraltar” is a corruption of Arabic words meaning “The Mountain of Tarek,” leader of the Moors when they landed in Spain. For more than 700 years it was held by them, till on the fall of Granada in 1492, they were expelled to Africa. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *