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A Medieval Fortification in Gibraltar which is made up of a number of buildings, the Moorish Castle stands proudly on the Eastern elevation of the Rock, a proud symbol of the long and colourful history of the Rock of Gibraltar. The Moorish occupation of Gibraltar between 711 AD and 1309 and again between 1350 and 1462, makes the occupation of Gibraltar by the Moors the longest in its history. Beyond architectural and social clues, nowhere is the Moorish influence on Gibraltar more tangible than within the castle walls.
Its most distinct feature is the Tower of Homage, a tower which somewhat disguises the full expanse of the castle grounds, grounds which included, until recently, Gibraltar's prison and which, historically, had reached all the way down to Grand Casemates Square. With the relocation of the prison in late 2010, there are now new and exciting plans for the site which should see it remain as a firm tourist favourite for many years to come.
Certainly one of the more poignant features of the castle's structure are the pock-marked exterior walls, scars of successive attacks on it during the many sieges and skirmishes the small British peninsula has experienced over its sovereignty.
Standing proud over the City of Gibraltar, the views from the Moorish Castle are spectacular. Spain to the North, delineated almost by one of the world's only remaining runways across which pedestrians and vehicular traffic are allowed (yes, seriously) and, to the South and on a clear day, the Atlas Mountains across the Straits of Gibraltar.
A visit to Gibraltar is incomplete without a visit to the Moorish Castle.
The gatehouse, way below the Tower of Homage, has a wonderful sign that basically says:
'These walls, probably the oldest structures in Gibraltar, were built about 1160 and were refurbished in the 14th Century' - well up to date then, refurbished in the 1300s.