Opening remarks by Minister
In 2016, after a six-year period of hard work, the Gorham’s Cave Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is of particular importance to me as it is a part of my own personal heritage. It is a site which I visited over forty years ago in search of crag martins, birds which use the caves as a winter roost and which have done so for millennia. How wonderful that the site’s natural, as well as archaeological, values are now recognized as part of humanity’s patrimony. Its key Outstanding Universal Value relates to the use of the site by Neanderthals but its history, like much of Gibraltar’s, is not limited to our ancient relatives. Neolithic people from the fertile crescent, later Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians, and even Muslims in the medieval period stopped at these caves. Later still, some of the caves within the World Heritage Site were used during the Second World War, including the governor’s secret escape route from the tunnels to sea via Boat Hoist Cave.
The Gorham’s Cave Complex has been included as part of the Gibraltar National Museum’s website until now but I was keen that the site should have a website of its own. It is with a sense of privilege, in the context of the vastness of time and the peoples who have found significance in the caves at the base of the northern Pillar of Heracles, that I write these introductory words to this new website.
The Gibraltar Caves Project was born in 1989 out of contact between the present Curator and a team from the British Museum and the Natural History Museum in London. It all started with the revisiting of the magnificent Gorham´s Cave site which had been partially excavated in the 1950s. The project continues to the present day, with annual excavations by an international, miltudisciplinary team. One result of this work has been the inscription of the Gorham´s Cave Complex as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Gorham’s Cave Complex is entirely within the Gibraltar Nature Reserve and the site extends from the caves at sea level to the summit of the Rock at 426m above sea level.
AS SEEN ON
THE LAST NEANDERTHAL
A special video series telling the real story of how our extinct relative lived and died.
LATEST NEWS & EVENTS
Gorham´s and Vanguard Caves are spectacularly sited on the eastern shore of Gibraltar, and visiting them is a very memorable experience. However, they are moderately difficult/difficult to access on foot. No visits are allowed within 48 hours of bad weather, and visits may have to be postponed at short notice if the weather is adverse.
GIBRALTAR NATURE RESERVE,
INCLUDING MEDITERRANEAN STEPS
Mondays to Sundays, from 09.00hrs to 18.15hrs.
Access is free to Gibraltar Identity Card holders, visitor access is included in the Nature Reserve fee which is available for a small charge on entry to the Reserve.
VIEWING PLATFORM AT
EUROPA ADVANCE ROAD
Mondays to Fridays: 10.00hrs to 14.00hrs.
Weekends and public holidays: Closed.
Sunday mornings from Marina Bay, weather permitting.
Please note this is privately run by a third party and all bookings and enquiries should be made via Dolphin Adventure on (+350) 200 50650 or firstname.lastname@example.org