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Great Siege Tunnels

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The Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are a system of tunnels that were carved out of the limestone rock in the late 18th century during the Great Siege of Gibraltar to provide a strategic advantage against the attacking Spanish and French forces, and played a crucial role in the eventual outcome of the siege. The tunnels were dug out by the British military relying only on their own arm strength and sledgehammers and crowbars, with the help of gunpowder explosions.

The Great Siege of Gibraltar took place in the late 18th Century between 1779 and 1783, during which time Spanish and French forces laid siege to the British-held territory of Gibraltar during the American Revolutionary War.

When you book your Gibraltar Tour to visit this Gibraltar attraction, you will see that the tunnels were carved out of the rock by a team of military engineers and labourers, working under extremely difficult conditions. The rock was incredibly hard and difficult to work with, and the tunnels had to be dug by hand using pickaxes and other primitive tools. Visitors can see original weapons and equipment from the period, as well as replicas of the tools and equipment used.

If you wish to explore this piece of History among the many Gibraltar Attractions, you may book any of our Silver Tour of Gibraltar, Diamond Tour of Gibraltar or Platinum Tour of Gibraltar Tour packages.

Initially they hadn’t planned to mount guns in these galleries, but as they work evolved the fumes created by the constant blasting of gunpowder explosions begun to suffocate the troops, they decided to open air vents along the side of the tunnel to allow air to circulate only to realise that these openings would be perfect to mount heavy duty guns and cannons as extra protection to the Rock of Gibraltar.

When the siege ended the excavation works did not end with it. They continued the tunnel until they reached the blind angle they needed to cover on the north-east side of the Rock of Gibraltar, known as “The Notch”; the most precipitous point on the northern face of the Rock.
On the way they excavated a tunnel going down where eventually they also opened a large chamber known as St. Georges Hall, where a Battery of seven guns were mounted.

Today, the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Gibraltar. Visitors can take a guided tour of the tunnels, with our Gibraltar Tours experts which covers the major galleries such as “Windsor Gallery”, the “Kings and Queens” gallery, the ‘Cornwallis Chamber” and others, providing insight into the history and significance of the tunnels. This has become one of the most popular shore excursions for cruise passengers in Gibraltar.

In addition to their historical significance, the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are also an engineering marvel. The tunnels were constructed using innovative techniques and engineering, and they remain a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the British military engineers who built them.

If you are looking for things to do in Gibraltar in one day, the Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are a fascinating and important part of Gibraltar’s history and Gibraltar rock tours. They are a testament to the bravery and resourcefulness of the British military, and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Great Siege of Gibraltar. Gibraltar Tours will provide private or semi-private tours as well as the Gibraltar Tour Packages so you do not miss the opportunity to explore this incredible system of tunnels and learn more about their fascinating history.


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