The Rock of Gibraltar seen from the mediterranean shore of the isthmus.

Gibraltar, Panorama, rock, travel, Robert Batty,
Gibraltar. View from the mediterranean shore.



The most characteristic feature of the rock, or rather mountain of Gibraltar, may be seen to the greatest advantage from the eastern shore of the isthmus, which connects it with the mainland of Spain. From this point we have a perfect view of the northern face of the rock, with a portion of the eastern side; the distance being bounded by the Barbary coast, on the opposite side of the Strait.

The general form of the mountain is oblong, extending from north to south about two miles and three quarters, and the average width may be stated at about 1600 yards, or nearly a mile. The mountain may be said to be divided into two distinct portions, by the narrow serrated ridge of rock which marks its greatest elevation. The western face, towards the Bay of Gibraltar, is the broadest, and it is at the foot of this, near its northern extremity, that the town is situated.

The eastern face, fronting the Mediterranean, is narrower, and, like the northern front, is characterized by rugged, inaccessible, and in places, perpendicular cliffs of bare limestone. The western being the broader side, has a more gradual slope, and is accessible in many places. The view exhibits almost a perfect section of the mountain, appearing as if having been cut off from some other chain or range. It now stands alone, rising like a huge spectre above the azure waves, which nearly encircle it.

Towards its southern extremity it is much less elevated, terminating, as if by steps, in two great tables of rock, called Upper and Lower Europa, the latter finishing in a rounded promontory known by the name of Europa Point this is, however, not the most southern promontory of this portion of Europe, for, westward of the Bay, Cabrita Point is two miles, and Tarifa five miles, farther south. Around the whole of this extraordinary rocky fortress, not a single point is left undefended.

Nature has done much to make an approach difficult any where, but art has rendered it one of the wonders of the world. It bristles with cannon; even the solid rock has been burrowed, and long subterranean galleries hewn out, from whence, at a height of several hundred feet above the level of the isthmus, cannon are pointed against all directions of approach.

Source: Select views of some of the principal cities of Europe by Robert Batty. London: Moon, Boys, and Graves, 1832.