Algeciras (/ˌældʒɪˈsɪrəs/; Spanish: [alxeˈθiɾas]; Arabic: الجزيرة الخضراء, translit. Al Jazīra Al-Khadrā) is a port city in the south of Spain, and is the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar (in Spanish, the Bahía de Algeciras). The Port of Algeciras is one of the largest ports in Europe and the world in three categories: container, cargo and transhipment. It is located 20 km north-east of Tarifa on the Río de la Miel, which is the southernmost river of the Iberian peninsula and continental Europe. In 2015, it had a population of 118,920.
It is the biggest city among those of its metropolitan area that also includes the municipalities of Los Barrios, La Línea de la Concepción, Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, San Roque and Tarifa, with a population of 263,739.
Municipal location in the Province of Cádiz
Location in Andalusia
|Comarca||Campo de Gibraltar|
|• Mayor||José Ignacio Landaluce Calleja (2011) (PP)|
|• City||86 km2 (33 sq mi)|
|Elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Dialing code||(+34) 956/856|
The site of Roman cities called Portus Albus, Caetaria (current Getares) and Iuliua Tracta, the current name of Algeciras comes from the Arab period of the Iberian Peninsula: Al-Jazīra Al-Khadrā' Arabic الجزيرة الخضراء or Green Island. However, in modern dialectical Arabic it is referred to as Al Khuzurat in neighboring Morocco.
Due to its strategic position it was an important port under the Phoenicians, and was the site of the relevant Roman port of Portus Albus ("White Port"), with two nearby cities called Caetaria (most likely Iberians) and Iulia Transducta, founded by the Romans. Recently it has been proposed that the site of Iulia Transducta was the Villa Vieja of Algeciras.
After being destroyed by the Goths and their Vandal allies, the city was founded again in April 711 by the invading Moors, as the first city created by the Amazigh (Berbers) on the occupied Spanish soil.
In the year 859 AD Viking troops on board 62 drekars and commanded by the leaders Hastein and Björn Ironside besieged the city for three days and subsequently laid waste to much of it. After looting the houses of the rich, they burnt the Aljama mosque and the Banderas mosque. Reorganized near the medina, the inhabitants managed to recover the city and make the invaders run away, capturing two boats.
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 1055 Emir Al-Mutadid of Seville drove the Berbers from Algeciras, claiming it for Arabs.
In 1278, Algeciras was besieged by the forces of the Kingdom of Castile under the command of Alfonso X of Castile and his son, Sancho IV. This siege was the first of a series of attempts to take the city and ended in failure for the Castilian forces. An armada sent by Castile was also annihilated whilst trying to blockade the city's harbor.
After many centuries of Muslim rule, the tide of the reconquista arrived at Algeciras. In July 1309 Ferdinand IV of Castile laid siege to Algeciras as well as Gibraltar. The latter fell into Christian hands, but Muslim Algeciras held on for the following three decades, until Alfonso XI of Castile resumed its siege. Juan Nunez de Lara, Juan Manuel, Pedro Fernández de Castro, Juan Alfonso de la Cerda, lord of Gibraleón all participated in the siege, as did knights from France, England and Germany, and even King Philip III of Navarre, king consort of Navarra, who came accompanied by 100 horsemen and 300 infantry. In March 1344, after several years of siege, Algeciras surrendered.
On winning the city, Alfonso XI made it the seat of a new diocese, established by Pope Clement VI's bull Gaudemus et exultamus of 30 April 1344, and entrusted to the governance of the bishop of Cadiz. The bishops of Cadiz continued to hold the title of Aliezira, as it called, until 1851, when in accordance with a concordat between Spain and the Holy See its territory was incorporated into the diocese of Cadiz. No longer a residential bishopric, Aliezira is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
The city was retaken by the Moors in 1368. It was destroyed on the orders of Muhammed V of Granada. The site was subsequently abandoned, but 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 fortified to guard against British raids with installations such as the Fuerte de Isla Verde built to guard key points. the city 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 became the scene for settling a major international crisis as it hosted the Algeciras Conference in 1906. The international forum to discuss the future of Morocco which was held in the Casa Consistorial (town hall). It confirmed the independence of Morocco against threats from Germany, and gave France control of banking and police interests. In July 1942 Italian frogmen set up in a secret base in the Italian tanker Olterra, which was interned in Algeciras, in order to attack shipping in Gibraltar. 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 by Franco between 1969 and 1982.
In 1982 there was a failed plan codenamed Operation Algeciras conceived by the Argentinian military to sabotage the British military facilities in Gibraltar during the Falklands War. The Spanish authorities intervened just before the attack, and deported the two Argentine Montoneros and military liaison officer involved.
Algeciras is principally a transport hub and industrial city. Its main 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 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.
Algeciras has a subtropical climate with very mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers with occasional heat waves, and temperature fluctuations are small because of the strong Oceanic influence. There aren't snow registers in the city since the 19th century.
|Climate data for Algeciras|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||13.6
|Average low °C (°F)||11.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||121.9
|Source: The Weather Channel|
|16 °C (61 °F)||15 °C (59 °F)||16 °C (61 °F)||16 °C (61 °F)||17 °C (63 °F)||19 °C (66 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||22 °C (72 °F)||20 °C (68 °F)||18 °C (64 °F)||17 °C (63 °F)||18.4 °C (65.1 °F)|
Places of interest include:
The bus urban transport in managed by C.T.M. (Cooperativa de transporte de Marruecos).
The Algeciras Gibraltar Railway Company built the Algeciras-Bobadilla railway line, which connects to Bobadilla, Antequera and continues to the rest of Spain, the train line terminates near the port of Algeciras.
The main routes serving Algeciras include:
The nearest airports are:
Algeciras CF, founded in 1912, played in the third-tier Segunda División B in 2013-14 season and relegated to Tercera Division, fourth level of Spanish league after losing play-out, holding home games at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador.
The following education centres are property of the University of Cádiz:
Algeciras Balonmano was a team of handball based in Algeciras, Andalusia. The last season, (2007–08) the team played in Liga ASOBAL.Algeciras CF
Algeciras Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football team based in Algeciras, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded in 1912 it plays in Tercera División – Group 10, holding home matches at Estadio Nuevo Mirador.Algeciras Campaign
The Algeciras campaign (sometimes known as the Battle or Battles of Algeciras) was an attempt by a French naval squadron from Toulon under Contre-Admiral Charles Linois to join a French and Spanish fleet at Cadiz during June and July 1801 during the French Revolutionary War prior to a planned operation against either Egypt or Portugal. To reach Cadiz, the French squadron had to pass the British naval base at Gibraltar, which housed the squadron tasked with blockading the Spanish port. The British squadron was commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez. After a successful voyage between Toulon and Gibraltar, in which a number of British vessels were captured, the squadron anchored at Algeciras, a fortified port city within sight of Gibraltar across Gibraltar Bay. On 6 July 1801, Saumarez attacked the anchored squadron, in the First Battle of Algeciras. Although severe damage was inflicted on all three French ships of the line, none could be successfully captured and the British were forced to withdraw without HMS Hannibal, which had grounded and was subsequently seized by the French.
In the aftermath of the first battle, both sides set about making urgent repairs and calling up reinforcements. On 9 July a fleet of five Spanish and one French ship of the line and several frigates arrived from Cadiz to safely escort Linois's squadron to the Spanish port, and the British at Gibraltar redoubled their efforts to restore their squadron to fighting service. In the evening of 12 July the French and Spanish fleet sailed from Algeciras, and the British force followed them, catching the trailing ships in the Second Battle of Algeciras and opening fire at 11:20. A confused night action followed, in which the British ship HMS Superb cut through the disorganised allied rearguard, followed by the rest of Saumarez's force. In the confusion one French ship was captured, a Spanish frigate sank and two huge 112-gun Spanish first rates collided and exploded, killing as many as 1,700 men. The following morning the French ship Formidable came under attack at the rear of the combined squadron, but successfully drove off pursuit and reached Cadiz safely.
Ultimately the French and Spanish fleets were successful in their aim of uniting at Cadiz, albeit after heavy losses, but they were still under blockade and in no position to realise either the Egyptian or Portuguese plans. The two battles, "generally regarded as a single linked battle", proved decisive in cementing British control of the Mediterranean Sea and condemning the French army in Egypt to defeat, totally unsupported by reinforcements from the French Navy.Algeciras Conference
The Algeciras Conference of 1906 took place in Algeciras, Spain, and lasted from 16 January to 7 April. The purpose of the conference was to find a solution to the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905 between France and Germany, which arose as Germany responded to France's effort to establish a protectorate over the independent state of Morocco. Germany was not trying to stop French expansion – its goal was to enhance its own international prestige, and it failed badly. The result was a much closer relationship between France and Britain, thus strengthening the Entente Cordiale, with both London and Paris increasingly suspicious and distrustful of Berlin. An even more momentous consequence was the heightened sense of frustration and readiness for war in Germany. It spread beyond the political elite to much of the press and most of the political parties except for the Liberals and Social Democrats on the left. The Pan-German element grew in strength and denounced their government's retreat as treason, stepping up chauvinistic support for war.Algeciras Gate
Algeciras Gate was a city gate in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It was located on the site of what later became King's BastionAlgeciras Heliport
The Algeciras Heliport (Spanish: Helipuerto de Algeciras) is a public heliport in Algeciras (Cádiz, Spain). It was inaugurated on July 1, 2010 by the Minister of Development, José Blanco. It was the second helipad of the network AENA after Ceuta Heliport. Construction had started in February 2009. It provides transport to Ceuta and other areas in the Campo de Gibraltar. The only airport existing in the area is the one in the neighbouring British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.It was expected to begin operation in July 2010. The heliport is located on the current parking building of the Port of Algeciras. The set up of the heliport has involved the extension of an existing building and the ground keeping an area of 32 x 24 meters to take off the vehicle and a safe area of 8 x 5 meters. It is supplemented by the service units for rescue and firefighting and various units of maintenance. The helicopter used in the city will be a model Bell 412 EP that will allow communication with the city of Ceuta in just 10 minutes.The heliport platform is 2,400 m² and a height of 30 meters above sea level. The passenger terminal is located in the Passenger Terminal Building.Battle of Algeciras (1278)
The Battle of Algeciras was a naval battle which occurred on July 25, 1278. The battle pitted the fleets of the Kingdom of Castile, commanded by the Admiral of Castile, Pedro Martínez de Fe, and the combined fleets of the Sultanate of Morocco and that of the Emirate of Granada, commanded by Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr. The battle was fought in the context of the Moorish naval expeditions to the Iberian Peninsula. The battle, which took place in the Strait of Gibraltar, resulted in a Muslim victory.
This battle coincided with a simultaneous siege of the city of Algeciras which lasted from 1278–79 and was commanded by the Infante Sancho. The Castilian prince would abandon the siege later in 1279, marking the end of the first action of the long battle for the Strait of Gibraltar.Bay of Gibraltar
The Bay of Gibraltar (also known as Gibraltar Bay) is a bay at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It is around 10 km (6.2 mi) long by 8 km (5.0 mi) wide, covering an area of some 75 km2 (29 sq mi), with a depth of up to 400 m (1,300 ft) in the centre of the bay. It opens to the south into the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea.
The shoreline is densely settled. From west to east, the shore is divided between the Spanish municipalities of Algeciras, Los Barrios, San Roque, La Línea de la Concepción and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The larger part of the shoreline is Spanish territory, with part of the eastern half of the bay belonging to Gibraltar.The east and west entrances to the bay are marked respectively by the Europa Point Lighthouse at Europa Point, Gibraltar and the Punta Carnero lighthouse to the west of Algeciras.CB Ciudad de Algeciras
Club Baloncesto Ciudad de Algeciras, officially named as Agrupación Deportiva Carteia, is a basketball club in the city of Algeciras in southern Spain.Church of Nuestra Señora de la Palma, Algeciras
The Church of Our Lady of the Palm (Spanish: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Palma; alternates Virgen de la Palma and Virgen María, Mistica Palma) is a Roman Catholic church on the southwestern corner of the Plaza Alta in Algeciras, Spain. Listed as Bien de Interes Cultural by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1992, like the Spanish: Plaza Alta itself, it is an important city landmark.First Battle of Algeciras
The First Battle of Algeciras was a naval battle fought on 6 July 1801 (17 messidor an IX of the French Republican Calendar) between a squadron of British Royal Navy ships of the line and a smaller French Navy squadron at anchor in the fortified Spanish port of Algeciras in the Strait of Gibraltar. The British outnumbered their opponents, but the French position was protected by Spanish gun batteries and the complicated shoals that obscured the entrance to Algeciras Bay. The French squadron, under Contre-Amiral Charles Linois, had stopped at Algeciras en route to the major Spanish naval base at Cadiz, where they were to form a combined French and Spanish fleet for operations against Britain and its allies in the French Revolutionary Wars. The British, under Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, sought to eliminate the French squadron before it could reach Cadiz and form a force powerful enough to overwhelm Saumarez and launch attacks against British forces in the Mediterranean Sea.
Sailing directly from his blockade station off Cadiz, Saumarez's squadron consisted of six ships of the line, twice the number under Linois's command. Discovering the French at anchor in Algeciras on the morning of 6 July, Saumarez launched an immediate attack on the anchorage through the complicated shoals of Algeciras Bay. Although the initial attack caused severe damage to the French ships, light winds and shallow water led to the British ship HMS Hannibal grounding under heavy fire while the French vessels were driven on shore to prevent their capture. With his intentions frustrated, Saumarez ordered his squadron to withdraw, five of his ships limping out of the bay while the battered Hannibal remained trapped. Isolated and unable to manoeuvre, Captain Solomon Ferris on Hannibal endured the enemy fire for another half an hour before surrendering his ship.
Both sides had suffered severe damage and casualties, but both were also aware that the battle would inevitably be rejoined and so the aftermath of the British defeat was one of frenzied activity at Gibraltar, Algeciras and Cadiz. While the British and French squadrons conducted hasty repairs, the French and Spanish fleet at Cadiz was prepared for a rescue mission, a heavy squadron arriving at Algeciras on 12 July. As the squadron departed with Linois's squadron, it was attacked again by Saumarez's squadron at the Second Battle of Algeciras and caught at night by faster and more manoeuvrable ships, which resulted in the British inflicting heavy losses on the Spanish rearguard but failing for a second time to destroy the French squadron.Port of Algeciras
The Port of Algeciras is the port and harbour of Algeciras, a city located in the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It is a commercial, fishing and passenger port. It consists of numerous maritime infrastructures scattered throughout the Bay of Gibraltar. Although only the town of Algeciras and La Línea de la Concepción overlook the bay, there are port facilities in the rest of the bank, also belonging to the municipalities of San Roque and Los Barrios. It is managed along the port of Tarifa by the Port Authority of Algeciras Bay.
It is the second port of Spain with almost 100 million tons in 2015 and third in the Mediterranean Sea, and in 2004 was the 25th in the world in container transport. In 2010 it exceeded 70 million tons in total traffic and more than 2.8 million containers. The port totals over 10 km of quays in different basins, which manage all types of passenger and freight traffic.
It is 7th busiest container port in the continent of Europe and 28nd in the world with a trade volume of 2.81 million TEUs in 2010 (World Shipping Council) and 9th busiest port by cargo in Europe and 57th in the world with a cargo volume of 69,572,000 tons in 2008. Also, it was the 3rd largest transhipment port in Europe and 10th in the world in 2004.Despite the heavy ship track, whales and dolphins are known to swim into the port from time to time (see Bay of Gibraltar.)
In addition to containers, port operations include bunker fuel handling, cruise shipping, roll-on/roll-off and facilities for a fishing fleet.
In 2006 the Port of Algeciras handled 65 million MT in trade, an increase of 5 million MT over 2005.Royal Fair of Algeciras
The Royal Fair of Algeciras (Spanish: Feria Real de Algeciras) is the most important annual festival in the Spanish city of Algeciras, held in June each year. Since it was established in 1850 as a cattle market, the fair and the fairground in which it is held have become popular attractions for the people of Algeciras and the surrounding towns of the Campo de Gibraltar. It has moved several times since its establishment and is now held in the Las Colinas area, where Algeciras's Las Palomas bullring is also located.Second Battle of Algeciras
The Second Battle of Algeciras (also known as the Battle of the Gut of Gibraltar) was a naval battle fought on the night of 12 July 1801 (23 messidor an IX of the French Republican Calendar) between a squadron of British Royal Navy ships of the line and a larger squadron of ships from the Spanish Navy and French Navy in the Gut of Gibraltar. The battle followed closely the First Battle of Algeciras on 6 July, in which a French squadron anchored at the Spanish port of Algeciras was attacked by a larger British squadron based at nearby Gibraltar. In a heavy engagement fought in calm weather in the close confines of Algeciras Bay, the British force had been becalmed and battered, suffering heavy casualties and losing the 74-gun ship HMS Hannibal. Retiring for repairs, both sides called up reinforcements, the French receiving support first, from the Spanish fleet based at Cadiz, which sent six ships of the line to escort the French squadron to safety.
Arriving at Algeciras on 9 July, the combined squadron was ready to sail again on 12 July, departing Algeciras to the westwards during the evening. The British squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, having effected its own hasty repairs, set off in pursuit. Finding that his ships were falling behind, Saumarez instructed his captains to separate and attack the combined squadron as best they were able to. The fastest ship was HMS Superb under Captain Richard Goodwin Keats, which sailed through the Spanish rearguard as a moonless night fell. Superb fired on the rearmost ships, setting the 112-gun Real Carlos on fire and capturing the Saint Antoine. Unable to determine friend from foe in the darkness, Real Carlos inadvertently engaged the Spanish ship San Hermenegildo, spreading the fire to its compatriot. Both ships subsequently exploded with enormous loss of life. A second stage of the battle then developed, as HMS Venerable took the lead of the British line, attacking the rearmost French ship Formidable under Captain Amable Troude. In a furious and protracted engagement, Venerable suffered heavy damage and was driven ashore, allowing the remainder of the French force to return to Cadiz without further fighting.
In the aftermath of the action, Venerable was towed off the shoreline and back to Gibraltar for repairs, while the remainder of the British squadron restored the British blockade of the French and Spanish ships in Cadiz, returning the situation to that in place before the battle. This British victory, coming so soon after Saumarez's defeat in Algeciras harbour, did much to restore parity in the region and the heavy casualties inflicted on the Spanish were to contribute to a weakening of the Franco-Spanish alliance which was a contributory factor in the signing of Treaty of Amiens, which brought the war to a temporary halt early the following year. In France, despite the heavy Spanish losses, the battle was celebrated as a victory, with Troude widely praised and promoted for the defence of his ship.Siege of Algeciras (1278–79)
The Siege of Algeciras was the first of many sieges of the city by Christian forces in the lengthy period of the Spanish Reconquista. The siege, ordered by King Alfonso X of Castile also known as "el Sabio", was a fruitless military campaign initiated by the Kingdom of Castile with the objective of removing the Moroccans from Algeciras. The siege on Algeciras, then known to the Muslims as Al-Jazira Al-Khadra, was strategically important because Algeciras had been at the time the main fortress and landing place for African reinforcement troops in the Iberian Peninsula. Castile, which had a powerful armada of ships anchored in the Bay of Gibraltar to blockade such reinforcement, had a few days previously to the siege, seen that fleet obliterated by the Muslim admiral, Abu Yusuf Yaqub at the Naval Battle of Algeciras.Siege of Algeciras (1309–10)
The Siege of Algeciras was a battle of the Spanish Reconquista that occurred between July 1309 and January 1310. The battle was fought between the forces of the Kingdom of Castile, commanded by King Ferdinand IV of Castile and his vassals, and the Emirate of Granada commanded by Sultan Abu'l-Juyush Nasr. The battle resulted in a humiliating defeat for the Kingdom of Castile whose army was obliged to lift the siege due to the atrocious conditions of life in the Castilian camp and the desertion of Infante John of Castile. The battle marked one of the many battles fought at Algeciras where the Christian forces would try to take the city unsuccessfully from the Muslims.Siege of Algeciras (1342–44)
The Siege of Algeciras (1342–44) was undertaken during the Reconquest of Spain by the Castillian forces of Alfonso XI assisted by the fleets of the Kingdom of Aragon and the Republic of Genoa. The objective was to capture the Muslim city of Al-Jazeera Al-Khadra, called Algeciras by Christians. The city was the capital and the main port of the European territory of the Marinid Empire.
The siege lasted for twenty one months. The population of the city, about 30,000 people including civilians and Berber soldiers, suffered from a land and sea blockade that prevented the entry of food into the city. The Emirate of Granada sent an army to relieve the city, but it was defeated beside the Río Palmones. Following this, on 26 March 1344 the city surrendered and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile. This was one of the first military engagements in Europe where gunpowder was used.Siege of Algeciras (1369)
The Siege of Algeciras (1369) was undertaken during the period of the Reconquest of Spain by Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada to reclaim the city of Al-Hadra Al-Yazirat, called Algeciras by the Christians, in the Kingdom of Castile. The siege lasted just three days, and the sultan was victorious.
The Muslims thus regained a major city which had been in Castilian hands since Alfonso XI of Castile took it from the Moroccans after the long 1342-1344 siege. Ten years after the capture of the city, in 1379 the sultan of Granada decided to completely destroy the city to prevent it falling into Christian hands.
It was impossible to defend the place at a time when the Muslim kings of the Iberian Peninsula had lost much of military power they enjoyed in earlier centuries.Taifa of Algeciras
The Taifa of Algeciras was a medieval Muslim taifa kingdom in what is now southern Spain and Gibraltar, that existed from 1035 to 1058.