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st-michaels-cave

St. Michael’s Cave

Written by Gibtour on . Posted in Attractions in Gibraltar

st-michaels-cave

The spectacular natural caverns of St Michael’s Cave begin about 350m above sea level and descend into the Rock of Gibraltar.

St Michael’s Cave (Spanish: Cueva de San Miguel) is the name given to a network of limestone caves located in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve of Gibraltar, at a height of over 300 metres above sea level.

According to Alonso Hernández del Portillo, the first historian of Gibraltar, its name is derived from a similar grotto in Monte Gargano near the Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo in Apulia, Italy, where the archangel Michael is said to have appeared.

St Michael’s Cave forms a huge auditorium, which makes an unforgettable setting for concerts and live shows. Walking the chambers beyond, reveals giant stalactites and stalagmites.

The cave was created by rainwater slowly seeping through the limestone rock, turning into a weak carbonic acid which gradually dissolved the rock. Through this process, tiny cracks in The Rock’s geological fault grew into long passages and large caverns over thousands of years. The numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are formed by an accumulation of traces of dissolved rock deposited by water dripping from the ground above.

St. Michael’s Cave is the most visited of the more than 150 caves found inside the Rock of Gibraltar, receiving almost 1,000,000 visitors a year.

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