Weekly photo challenge: Geometry (2) Gibraltar

By: roughseasinthemed

Nov 05 2012

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Architecture, Gibraltar, Photography


Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

The Moorish Castle, or Tower of Homage, or Calahorra, sits high on the Rock and is one of the first buildings in Gib that catches your eye as you walk across the runway.

In fact it is only 100 metres above sea level. It covers 320 square metres, and is 23 metres high, making it the highest tower of the Islamic period on the Iberian peninsula. Which also explains why I didn’t go to the top.

It is the largest tower of its type in the area previously known as Al-Andalus, when it was controlled by the Moors for more than 700 years.

Early history of the castle is unclear, but it is believed to have been started in the 8th century (AD).

The current building dates back to the second period of Moorish occupation in the 14th and 15th centuries and was built by the Marinid dynasty. The Spaniards briefly nicked Gib from the Moors from 1309 to 1333, and made a mess of the castle, so it had to be rebuilt. Can’t trust them with anything really.

It’s mainly built out of tapia, which is cement moulded in frames and then, plastered over with a finer cement. It looks more like stone to me, but that’s what the information board says outside the castle.

Until the building of a new prison a couple of years ago, it was also HM Prison in Gib. Fancy being chucked in the dungeons of a medieval castle in the 21st century!

Sources: info board and wiki

I chose these photos for the challenge (which I appear to be getting sucked into) because of the sharp angles and contrasting structures of the staircase. And then the gracefulness of the beautiful ceiling.

Looking down from the top of the stairwell – I didn’t take this one (although I did take the header image from ground level looking down to the depths)

Love this vaulted ceiling


8 comments on “Weekly photo challenge: Geometry (2) Gibraltar”

  1. That vaulted ceiling is lovely. The second one is rather vertiginous πŸ™‚


    • Isn’t it beautiful? It fits with the geometry theme too, so I couldn’t resist adding it.

      I couldn’t take a photo like that. Apart from anything else, I’d be frightened of dropping the camera, even with it strapped round my wrist!


  2. Such history in buildings, it would be amazing if they could speak.

    I did wonder who had taken the pics, after you’d mentioned about your dislike of heights.

    In the 70’s I was fascinated with Mojocar, a holiday destination I’d seen in a holiday brochure, the buildings looked amazing and I really wanted to visit, this exclusive Moorish village was far too expensive for us 😦 I expect it probably quite commercialised now.


    • What was odd was that there was no guide book or pamphlet or anything or postcards. You would have thought someone could have concocted something. I certainly could.

      Mojacar in the 70s wouldn’t have been too bad. Didn’t it become quite an artists’ colony? Before I could speak Spanish I used to think it was pronounced Mo Joe Car, not MoHacca. One of my work colleagues went and was showing off about going so it probably is still pricey. I think the beach bit is likely to be more commercial, as the pueblo is a couple of miles back on top of the hill. We’ve driven past πŸ˜€


  3. The combination of geometric & the feel of organic, courtesy of history and time passing, appeals to me πŸ™‚


    • I’m getting into these ‘timeless’ shots! That would be a good theme for a photo challenge. I love the incredibly thick walls in this building, I’ll add some more shots on a later post. I must go one day and pluck up the courage to climb the stairs.


  4. how cool is this! i didn’t realize how far behind i’ve gotten here. i really like that vaulted ceiling too.
    i remember some stairs from some travels that were quite a challenge – climbing up to the top of the Cologne Cathedral for a spectacular view of the city more years ago than i can almost imagine. πŸ™‚
    in any case, the view at the end and the sense of accomplishment were definitely worth the climb but in some places those stone steps were so worn and slanted, and so narrow, especially when there were people coming down.not sure if i would have the courage to venture up today πŸ™‚ and these are even older yet. well, if you decide to go for it one day, here’s some cheers to encourage you! πŸ™‚


    • I had a flurry of posting on here, as I was trying to leave the writing blogs alone. You probably remember a previous vaulted ceiling in an archway/passageway that I posted some time back.

      I went to Cologne (Koln?) and the cathedral was inspiring (good funny joke huh?)

      I don’t remember going up the top though. I have done the Minaret in or whatever it is called in Sevilla. Endless spiral steps.

      Maybe I will get up there. Why not? Just hope they are solid.


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