Algeciras - Arabic: الجزيرة الخضراء is a port city in the south of Spain, and is the largest urban area on the Bay of Gibraltar (in Spanish, the Bahía de Algeciras). It is the busiest port in Spain . It is situated on the Río de la Miel 20 km north of Tarifa, which is the southernmost town of the Iberian peninsula. It has a population in 2007 of 112,937 people.
The city was founded in 713 by the Moors
, probably on the site of an earlier Roman town known as Portus Albus
("White Port"). It enjoyed a brief period of independence as a taifa
state from 1035-1058. It was named al-Jazirah al-Khadra
' ("Green Island") after the offshore Isla Verde; the modern name is derived from this original Arabic
name (compare also Algiers
and Al Jazeera
). In 1344 the city was taken by Alfonso XI of Castile. It was retaken by the Moors in 1368, but was destroyed on the orders of Muhammed V of Granada
. The site was subsequently abandoned.
Algeciras was refounded in 1704 by refugees from Gibraltar following the territory's capture by Anglo-Dutch forces in the War of the Spanish Succession. It was rebuilt on its present rectangular plan by Charles III of Spain in 1760. In July 1801, the French and Spanish navies fought the British Royal Navy offshore in the Battle of Algeciras, which ended in a British victory.
The city hosted the Algeciras Conference in 1906, an international forum to discuss the future of Morocco which was held in the Casa Consistorial (town hall). During the Franco era, Algeciras underwent substantial industrial development, creating many new jobs for the local workers made unemployed when the border between Gibraltar and Spain was sealed between 1969 and 1982.
As a curiosity, in 1982 Algeciras was the scene of Operation Algeciras, a failed plan conceived by the Argentinian military to sabotage the British military facilities in Gibraltar during the Falklands War.
Source: INE (Spain)
Algeciras is principally a transport hub and industrial city. Its principal activities are connected with the port, which serves as the main embarkation point between Spain and Tangier and other ports in Morocco as well as the Canary Islands and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. It is ranked as the 16th busiest port in the world. The city also has a substantial fishing industry and exports a range of agricultural products from the surrounding area, including cereals, tobacco and farm animals.
In recent years it has become a significant tourist destination, with popular day trips to Tarifa to see bird migrations; to Gibraltar, to see the territory's unusual sights and culture; and to the Bay of Gibraltar on whale watching excursions.
Algeciras is the southern terminus of two principal north-south Euroroutes, the E05 and E15. Both routes, moreover, run to Scotland (the E05 terminates at Greenock and the E15 at Inverness) via France and England.
The bus urban transport in managed by C.T.M. (Cooperativa de transporte Municipal
- Bus lines:
- Line 1: Bajadilla-Pajarete
- Line 2: Colinas-San Bernabé-Reconquista
- Line 3: Rinconcillo
- Line 4: La Granja
- Line 5: Bahía de Algeciras
- Line 6: Juliana
- Line 7: Saladillo
- Line 8: San García-Saladillo
- Line 9: San García Directo
- Line 10: El Cobre
- Line 11: La Piñera
- Line 12: San García playa
- Line 16: Cementerio-Centro Penitenciario
- Line 18: Cortijo Vides-Piñera
- Line 19: Puerto-S.J.Artesano-Rinconcillo
- Line 21: San García - Residencia - Puerto - Parque
- The rail line to Ronda, Cordoba and elsewhere terminates near the port.
- The road that crosses Algeciras are:
- European route E15
- European route E5
- Autopista AP-7
- Autovía A-48
- GR 7
- The nearest airports are:
- Gibraltar Airport - to 20 km.
- Jerez Airport - to 100 km.
- Málaga Airport - to 120 km.
- Hornos Romanos del Rinconcillo (century I a.C.). (furnaces)
- Factoría de salazones de la calle San Nicolás (century I). (salt meat factory)
- La Villa Vieja, torres de la Huerta del Carmen (century X). (Towers)
- Parque Arqueológico de las Murallas Meriníes (century XIII). (Archeological Park)
- Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Europa (1690). (Chapel)
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Palma (1736). (Church)
- Hospital de La Caridad, (1748).
- Capilla de la Caridad (1752). (Chapel)
- Casa Consistorial (1756). (City Council)
- Capilla de San Servando (1774). (Chapel)
- Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Alameda (1776). (Chapel)
- Plaza Alta (1807).
- Mercado de Abastos de Algeciras of engineer Eduardo Torroja Miret (1935). (Supplies Market)
- Art School Building. (1971) architect: Fernando Garrido Gutiérrez.
- Faro de Isla Verde. Project of Jaime Font, constructed in 1864). (Light)
- Hotel Reina Cristina (1901).
- District de San Isidro, typical district designed to half to century XX.
- Hotel Howard Chiu (1823)
- Arrastre de latas (5, January).
- Feria Real de Algeciras (June).
- Fiestas patronales en honor de Ntra. Sra. la Virgen de la Palma (August).
- Fiesta de los Tosantos (1, November).
- Carnival of Algeciras.
Universidad de Cádiz - Campus Bahia de Algeciras
The following education centres are property of the University of Cádiz
- Escuela Politécnica Superior de Algeciras
- Escuela Universitaria de Enfermería de Algeciras
- Escuela Universitaria de Estudios Jurídicos y Económicos del Campo de Gibraltar "Francisco Tomás y Valiente"
- Escuela Universitaria de Magisterio "Virgen de Europa"
- Centro Universitario de Derecho de Algeciras (CUDA)
- Campus Bahia de Algeciras
- Algeciras. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2006.
- Algeciras. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004
- Lonely Planet Andalucia, Lonely Planet, 2005