Gibraltar Charles V Wall

The Charles V Wall extends in four stages from The Apes Den at Queens Gate to the top ridge of the Rock where another large pack of Apes live. The wall is a spectacular feature on the west side of the Rock, from a military point of view, its zigzag design is a highly effective way of defending a steep incline in an effective and efficient manor.

The Charles V Wall is effectively the quickest way of getting to the top of the Rock if you are walking, particularly if you are trying to get to the top from town using the old Public footpath

The Bonita Trust, in collaboration with the Gibraltar Government restored the Charles V Wall at the beginning of 2008 for the enjoyment of walkers.
WARNING

If you encounter Rock Apes on the wall, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT just walk quietly past and make sure you are not holding any food or sweets or have any bags open. The apes will approach you with extreme vigour if they see an open bag containing food or confectionery. Make sure all bags are closed.

Various sources give different dates and accounts of the building of the wall, one account suggests 1552, another 1540 and the plaque on the wall at Queens Gate (shown in the photograph below) suggests the wall was built in 1575 under the instruction of Philip ll of Spain (son of Charles V).

Most historians believe the wall was built in 1540. It was also in 1540 that the town was sacked by pirates led by the Turkish corsair Hali Hamat, the direction of attack was from the southern approaches to the town. The inhabitants subsequently requested the strengthening of the towns defences. In 1552 Charles V sent engineer Giovanni Battista Calvi to strengthen the defences of Gibraltar and it is believed that the wall in its present form originates from this period of renovation.

When viewed from Queens Gate adjacent to the Apes Den you can see the wall extending down hill to South Port Gates meeting with the city walls at the sea front. This lower section of the wall can no longer be walked on. The upper section of the wall discussed here continues up hill to St Michael’s Gate at the highest point.

In the past the various stages of the wall had gun batteries containing various pieces of artillery. Two of these areas were turned into picnic areas during the 2008 refurbishment. This may turn out be bit fool hardy since the Rock Apes can become extremely troublesome when they detect food or see open bags with food in them. It can result in a traumatic experience for some people especially young children.

BE CAREFUL

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