Operation Flavius was a military operation in which three members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army were shot dead by the British Special Air Service in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988. The three—Seán Savage, Daniel McCann, Mairéad Farrell —were believed to be mounting a car bomb attack on British military personnel in Gibraltar. Plain-clothed SAS soldiers approached them in the forecourt of a petrol station opened fire, killing them. All three were found to be unarmed, no bomb was discovered in Savage's car, leading to accusations that the British government had conspired to murder them. An inquest in Gibraltar ruled that the SAS had acted lawfully, while the European Court of Human Rights held that, although there had been no conspiracy, the planning and control of the operation was so flawed as to make the use of lethal force inevitable; the deaths were the first in a chain of violent events in a fourteen-day period. On 16 March, the funeral of the three IRA members was attacked by a loyalist wielding pistols and grenades, leaving three mourners dead.
At the funeral of one of the mourners, the IRA shot two undercover British soldiers who had driven into the procession. From late 1987, the British authorities were aware that the IRA was planning to detonate a bomb at the changing of the guard ceremony outside the governor's residence in the British Dependent Territory of Gibraltar; when Savage, McCann and Farrell travelled to Spain in preparation for the attack, they were tracked at the request of the British government. On the day of the shootings, Savage was seen parking a white Renault in the car park used as the assembly area for the parade. After a military bomb disposal officer reported that Savage's car should be treated as a suspected bomb, the police handed over control of the operation to the SAS; as soldiers were moving into position to intercept the trio, Savage split from McCann and Farrell and began running south. Two soldiers pursued Savage while two approached Farrell; as soldiers caught up with Savage, he was alleged to have turned around to face them while reaching into his jacket.
All three were subsequently found to be unarmed, Savage's car was found to contain no explosives. Two months after the shootings, the documentary "Death on the Rock" was broadcast on British television. Using reconstructions and eyewitness accounts, it presented the possibility that the three IRA members had been unlawfully killed; the documentary proved controversial. The inquest into the deaths began in September 1988, it heard from British and Gibraltar authorities that the IRA team had been tracked to Málaga Airport, where they were lost by the Spanish police, that the three did not re-emerge until Savage was sighted parking his car in Gibraltar. The soldiers each testified that they had opened fire in the belief that the suspected bombers were reaching for weapons or a remote detonator. Among the civilians who gave evidence were the eyewitnesses discovered by "Death on the Rock", who gave accounts of seeing the three shot without warning, with their hands up, or while they were on the ground.
Kenneth Asquez, who told the documentary that he had seen a soldier fire at Savage while the latter was on the ground, retracted his statement at the inquest, claiming that he had been pressured into giving it. On 30 September, the inquest jury returned a verdict of "lawful killing". Dissatisfied, the families took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Delivering its judgement in 1995, the court found that the operation had been in violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights as the authorities' failure to arrest the suspects at the border, combined with the information given to the soldiers, rendered the use of lethal force inevitable; the decision is cited as a landmark case in the use of force by the state. The Provisional Irish Republican Army aimed to establish a united Ireland and end the British administration of Northern Ireland through the use of force; the organisation was the result of a 1969 split in the Irish Republican Army. The IRA killed civilians, members of the armed forces, police and prison service, including off-duty and retired members, bombed businesses and military targets in both Northern Ireland and England, with the aim of making Northern Ireland ungovernable.
Daniel McCann, Seán Savage, Mairéad Farrell were, according to journalist Brendan O'Brien, "three of the IRA's most senior activists". Savage was an explosives expert and McCann was "a high-ranking intelligence operative"; the Special Air Service is a regiment of the British Army and part of the United Kingdom's special forces. The SAS was first assigned to operations in Northern Ireland in the early stages of the British Army's deployment there, but were confined to South Armagh; the first large-scale deployment of SAS soldiers there was in 1976, when the regiment's D Squadron was committed. The SAS specialised in covert, intelligence-based operations against the IRA, using more aggressive tactics than regular army and police units operating in Northern Ireland. From late 1987, the British authorities we
Explosion of the RFA Bedenham
The Naval Armament vessel RFA Bedenham was a naval armament carrier that exploded while docked in Gibraltar on 27 April 1951, killing 13 people and causing a great deal of damage to the town. The Bedenham had arrived in Gibraltar on 24 April 1951. On the morning of 27 April, depth charges were being unloaded into a lighter when one of them ignited. Several men were organised to fight the fire to no avail. All the other fighters had withdrawn but George Campbell Henderson, a sub-officer with the dockyard fire service who doggedly held a firehose into the fire. There was an explosion in the lighter, the fire spread to the Bedenham, causing a violent explosion in which the bow was blown out of the water and onto Gun Wharf, while the rest of the ship sank. 13 people were killed in the explosion, including Henderson, posthumously awarded the George Cross for his bravery in attempting to extinguish the fire. The King's Police and Fire Services Medal was posthumously awarded to Albert Alexander Indoe, Chief Fire Officer HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.
Two dock workers among them Jose Moss and two traders on nearby Ragged Staff Road were killed by flying debris. One fire fighter was injured. Dock overseer Salvador Bula was injured by the explosion but managed to get others who were injured by the blast to safety. Hundreds were injured and had to be taken to the Royal Naval Hospital Gibraltar known as the British Military Hospital Gibraltar; the crew of the Bedenham had abandoned the ship by the time of the explosion, with the exception of the Captain and the Naval Armament Supply Officer, both of whom were blown into the water but subsequently rescued. In addition to the human casualties, many of Gibraltar's buildings suffered substantial damage in the explosion, including the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the Convent, it was locally recognized that the damage to the town would have been much worse but for the City of Gibraltar's 16th-19th century fortress defensive walls which deflected/took part of the explosion's blast.
Another effect of the explosion was to delay the programme of housing necessary for the Gibraltarians, repatriated following their evacuation during World War II. The Admiralty accepted full responsibility for the damage, £250,000 in Gibraltar pounds was paid out in indemnity; the remains of the Bedenham were towed to the Tyne. This event should not be confused with the explosion at the Bedenham Pier on Portsmouth Harbour which occurred on 14 July 1950. List of accidents and incidents involving transport or storage of ammunition Benady, Tito The Royal Navy at Gibraltar, pp. 221–222. ISBN 0-907771-49-1 Hebblethwaite, Marion One Step Further: Those Whose Gallantry Was Rewarded with the George Cross, ISBN 0-9546917-6-8 Jackson, William Rock of the Gibraltarians: A History of Gibraltar, p. 297. ISBN 0-8386-3237-8 Sigwart, E. E.. Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service: its ancestry and affiliations, 1600-1968. London: Adlard Coles. Pp. 143–144. ISBN 0-229-98581-5. Hissey, Terry. G. C. on The Rock: The Story of George Henderson.
First Siege of Gibraltar
The First Siege of Gibraltar was a battle of the Spanish Reconquista that took place in 1309. The battle pitted the forces of the Kingdom of Castile under the command of Juan Núñez II de Lara and Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, against the forces of the Emirate of Granada who were under the command of Sultan Muhammed III and his brother, Abu'l-Juyush Nasr; the battle resulted in a victory for the Kingdom of Castile, one of the few victories in what turned out to be a disastrous campaign. The taking of Gibraltar increased the relative power of Castile on the Iberian Peninsula though the actual city was recaptured by Muslim forces during the Third Siege of Gibraltar in 1333. On 19 December 1308, at Alcalá de Henares, King Ferdinand IV of Castile and the ambassadors from the Crown of Aragon, Bernat de Sarrià and Gonzalo García agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Alcalá de Henares. Ferdinand IV, supported by his brother, Pedro de Castilla y Molina, the archbishop of Toledo, the bishop of Zamora, Diego López V de Haro agreed to wage war against the Emirate of Granada by 24 June 1309, when a previous peace treaty between Granada and Castile was set to expire.
It was further agreed that the Aragonese monarch, James II, could not sign a separate peace accord with the Emir of Granada. A combined Aragonese-Castilian navy was formed to support the siege in a blockade of the coastal Granadian towns, it was stipulated that the Kingdom of Castile would attack the towns of Algeciras and Gibraltar and that the Aragonese forces would attempt to conquer the city of Almería. Ferdinand IV promised to cede one sixth of the conquered Granadan territory to the Aragonese crown and therefore chose the entirety of the Kingdom of Almeria as its limits for the agreement with the exception of the towns of Bedmar, Quesada and Locubin which would stay as part of Castile, having all been part of the Kingdom of Castile and León prior to their Muslim takeovers. Ferdinand IV further stipulated that if the lands taken from the Kingdom of Almería did not amount to one sixth of Granadan territory, that the Archbishop of Toledo would step in to resolve any differences related to the matter.
These concessions to the Crown of Aragon led a few of Ferdinand IV's vassals to protest the ratification of the treaty, amongst them were John of Castile and Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena. The concessions to Aragon, which had begun a period of relative irrelevancy compared to Castile, would once again restore the kingdom's power within the Iberian Peninsula. Aragon had reached its height under the Treaty of Cazola and the Treaty of Almizra which saw its territory and influence expand considerably. Ferdinand insisted on the Aragonese alliance to cement an alliance between Aragon and the King of Morocco so that they would not intervene in the coming war with Granada. After the signing of the treaty at Alcalá de Henares and Aragon both sent emissaries to the court at Avignon to gain the support of Pope Clement V and to obtain the clerical backing of an official Crusade to further support military operations, they asked for the papal blessing of a marriage between the Infanta Eleanor of Castile, the firstborn daughter of Ferdinand IV and Jaime de Aragón y Anjou and heir of James II of Aragon.
The Pope agreed to both ventures and on 24 April 1309, Clement V issued the papal bull Indesinentis cure which authorised a general crusade against Granada to conquer the Iberian Peninsula together with mandates to conquer Corsica and Sardinia. At the Courts of Madrid of 1309, the first courts to occur in the actual Spanish capital, Ferdinand IV publicly announced his desire to wage war against the Emirate of Granada and demanded subsidies to begin battle manoeuvres; the main vassals contributing to operations against Gibraltar were Juan Núñez II de Lara, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, Fernando Gutiérrez Tello, the Archbishop of Seville and Garci López de Padilla, the grand master of the Order of Calatrava. The majority of this army consisted of the militia councils of Seville and the noblemen of that city. On 29 April 1309, Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Prioribus decanis which conceded to Ferdinand IV one 10th of all clergy taxes collected in his kingdoms for three years to aid in financing the campaign against Granada.
From Toledo, Ferdinand IV and his army marched to Córdoba where the emissaries of James II announced that the Aragonese king was prepared to besiege the city of Almeria. Final preparations for the siege were carried out in Seville, where Ferdinand IV arrived in July 1309; the supply line for the invasion army passed through Seville and crossed the Guadalquivir River and travelled by sea to the territories of the Kingdom of Granada. After the start of the siege of Algeciras, Ferdinand IV sent part of his army from the military councils of Seville to complete their remaining objective of capturing Gibraltar, whilst keeping the larger portion of his forces encamped around Algeciras; the force sent to besiege and capture Gibraltar was put under the command of Juan Núñez II de Lara, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, Fernando Gutiérrez Tello, the Archbishop of Seville and the council of nobles associated with that city. The group was further bolstered by Garci López de Padilla, the contemporary grand master of the Order of Calatrava and a contingent of his knights.
The forces from the Crown of Aragon, under the command of James II had begun their own war against the Kingdom of Granada and were in place besieging the city of Almería by 15 August 1309. That ill-fated venture lasted until 26 January 1310 when the forces of Aragon were obliged to withdraw from the campaign due to stalemate; the chronicles of Ferdinand IV mention that the Castilian forces surrounded the city of Gib
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield, PC, KB was a British Army officer who served in three major wars during the eighteenth century. He rose to distinction during the Seven Years' War when he fought in Germany and participated in the British attacks on Belle Île and Cuba. Eliott is most notable for his command of the Gibraltar garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from 1779 and 1783, during the American War of Independence, he was celebrated for his successful defence of the fortress. Eliott was born at Wells House, near Stobs Castle, the 10th son of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet, of Stobs, by his distant cousin Eleanor Elliot of Brugh and Wells in Roxburghshire. Eleanor's brother was courtier William Elliot of Wells. One of his Eleanor's sisters, had married Roger Elliott, another Governor of Gibraltar. Eliott was educated at the University of Leiden in the Dutch Republic and studied artillery and other military subjects at the école militaire of La Fère in France.
He served with the Prussian Army between 1735 and 1736. In 1741 he transferred to the Engineers and joined the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, of which his maternal uncle, William Elliot of Wells, was Lieutenant-Colonel, of which Eliott was afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel, he served throughout the War of Austrian Succession between 1742 and 1748, fighting at the Battle of Dettingen, where he was wounded, again at the Battle of Fontenoy. He became an Engineer Extraordinary in 1744 and Engineer Ordinary in 1747 when he was stationed at Sheerness. Eliott resigned from the Engineers in 1757. Eliott served as ADC to King George II between 1756 and 1759 during which time he was raised to Colonel. Appointed Brigadier for the 1758 expedition to France, where he was placed in command of the Brigade of Light Cavalry, He was tasked to raise and was appointed colonel of the 1st Light Horse. Eliott distinguished himself in the German campaign during the Battle of Minden in 1759 when he was promoted to Major-General and the 1760 Battle of Emsdorf.
He took part in the Capture of Belle Île in 1761. He was 2nd-in-charge at the capture of Havana during the 1762 British expedition against Cuba for which he received a significant amount of prize money, he was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1765. On 6 March 1775 he was made a Privy Counsellor and temporarily appointed commander of Forces in Ireland. On 25 May 1777 Eliott was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, taking over from the acting Governor, Robert Boyd. Eliott was promoted to General in 1778. In July 1779, Gibraltar was besieged by the Spanish. Eliott using his engineering skills to good effect in improving the fortifications. By August, it was apparent that the Spanish intended to starve the garrison; the Great Siege of Gibraltar would last from 1779 to 1783. A notable letter from Eliott to the Misses Fuller survives, dated 21 September 1779 and delivered on 4 October, it said "Nothing new. G. A. E." Eliott was an abstemious man, his diet comprising vegetables and water. He rarely slept for more than four hours at a time.
On 13 September 1782, the French and Spanish initiated a grand attack, involving 100,000 men, 48 ships and 450 cannon. Under great duress, the Garrison held its position and, by 1783, the siege was finishing. On 8 January 1783, the British Parliament sent their official thanks to Eliott and he was nominated a Knight of the Bath. By 6 February 1783, the siege was over. Eliott was invested with his honour at Gibraltar on 23 April. A portrait from 1784, "The Siege of Gibraltar" by George Carter survives in the National Portrait Gallery. Eliott returned to England in 1787, he was created Lord Heathfield, Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar on 6 July 1787 and in addition many statues and coins were produced in his honour. A will exists dated 27 February 1788. On 19 May 1788 Eliott was formally installed as Knight of the Bath, and, in June 1788, a portrait "The Installation Supper" was painted by James Gillray and resides in the National Portrait Gallery. About this time, Eliott was making his way overland back to Gibraltar.
However, he stayed in the Aachen area to recuperate. During 1790, he stayed at: Grossen Hotel, Dubigk. In June 1790 he rented the Schloss Kalkofen, moved in his furniture but did not live long to enjoy the facilities. On 6 July 1790, Eliott died at the Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen, of palsy / stroke brought on by drinking too much of the local mineral water, was buried in the grounds of the Schloss, his personal estate was probated by 27 July and his furniture sold off by his heirs. In 1790, his body was reburied at Heathfield, East Sussex. Still, his body was again disinterred and reburied at St Andrew's Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon in the church associated with his wife's Drake ancestry. On 8 September 1748 at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, George Augustus Eliott married Anne Pollexfen Drake, a collateral descendant of Sir Francis Drake, they had two children: Francis Augustus Eliott, 2nd and last Baron Heathfield Anne Pollexfen Eliott, who married John Trayton Fuller on 21 May 1777 General Eliott has been commemorated on a Gibraltar pound banknote.
In August and September 1787, George's portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds and now resides in the National Gallery. A painting entitled The Defeat of the Floating
History of Gibraltar
The history of Gibraltar, a small peninsula on the southern Iberian coast near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, spans over 2,900 years. The peninsula has evolved from a place of reverence in ancient times into "one of the most densely fortified and fought-over places in Europe", as one historian has put it. Gibraltar's location has given it an outsized significance in the history of Europe and its fortified town, established in medieval times, has hosted garrisons that sustained numerous sieges and battles over the centuries. Gibraltar was first inhabited over 50,000 years ago by Neanderthals and may have been one of their last places of habitation before they died out around 24,000 years ago. Gibraltar's recorded history began around 950 BC with the Phoenicians; the Carthaginians and Romans worshipped Hercules in shrines said to have been built on the Rock of Gibraltar, which they called Mons Calpe, the "Hollow Mountain", which they regarded as one of the twin Pillars of Hercules. Gibraltar became part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania following the collapse of the Roman Empire and came under Muslim Moorish rule in 711 AD.
It was permanently settled for the first time by the Moors and was renamed Jebel Tariq – the Mount of Tariq corrupted into Gibraltar. The Christian Crown of Castile annexed it in 1309, lost it again to the Moors in 1333 and regained it in 1462. Gibraltar became part of the unified Kingdom of Spain and remained under Spanish rule until 1704, it was captured during the War of the Spanish Succession by an Anglo-Dutch fleet in the name of Charles VI of Austria, the Habsburg contender to the Spanish throne. At the war's end, Spain ceded the territory to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. Spain tried to regain control of Gibraltar, which Britain had declared a Crown colony, through military and economic pressure. Gibraltar was besieged and bombarded during three wars between Britain and Spain but the attacks were repulsed on each occasion. By the end of the last siege, in the late 18th century, Gibraltar had faced fourteen sieges in 500 years. In the years after Trafalgar, Gibraltar became a major base in the Peninsular War.
The colony grew during the 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming a key British possession in the Mediterranean. It was a key stopping point for vessels en route to India via the Suez Canal. A large British naval base was constructed there at great expense at the end of the 19th century and became the backbone of Gibraltar's economy. British control of Gibraltar enabled the Allies to control the entrance to the Mediterranean during the Second World War, it was attacked on several occasions by German and Vichy French forces, though without causing much damage. The Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco declined to join a Nazi plan to occupy Gibraltar but revived Spain's claim to the territory after the war; as the territorial dispute intensified, Spain closed its border with Gibraltar between 1969 and 1985 and communications links were severed. Spain's position was supported by Latin American countries but was rejected by Britain and the Gibraltarians themselves, who vigorously asserted their right to self-determination.
Discussions of Gibraltar's status have continued between Britain and Spain but have not reached any conclusion. Since 1985, Gibraltar has undergone major changes as a result of reductions in Britain's overseas defence commitments. Most British forces have left the territory, no longer seen as a place of major military importance, its economy is now based on tourism, financial services and Internet gambling. Gibraltar is self-governed, with its own parliament and government, though the UK maintains responsibility for defence and foreign policy, its economic success has made it one of the wealthiest areas of the European Union. The history of Gibraltar has been driven by its strategic position near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a narrow peninsula at the eastern side of the Bay of Gibraltar, 6 kilometres from the city of Algeciras. Gibraltar is on the far south coast of Spain at one of the narrowest points in the Mediterranean, only 24 kilometres from the coast of Morocco in North Africa.
Its position on the bay makes it an advantageous natural anchorage for ships. As one writer has put it, "whoever controls Gibraltar controls the movement of ships into and out of the Mediterranean. In terms of military and naval power, few places have a more strategic location than Gibraltar."The territory's area measures only 6.7 square kilometres. Most of the land area is occupied by the steeply sloping Rock of Gibraltar which reaches a height of 426 metres; the town of Gibraltar lies at the base of the Rock on the west side of the peninsula. A narrow, low-lying isthmus connects the peninsula to the Spanish mainland; the North Face of the Rock is a nearly vertical cliff 396 metres high overlooking the isthmus. Gibraltar's geography has thus given it considerable natural defensive advantages, it is impossible to scale the eastern or northern sides of the Rock, which are either vertical or nearly so. To the south, the flat area around Europa Point is surrounded by cliffs which are up to 30 metres high.
The western side is the only practicable area for a landing, but here the steep slopes on which the town is built work to the advantage of a defender. These factors have given it an enormous military significance over the centuries. Gibraltar's appearance in prehistory was different. Whereas today it is surrounded by sea, th
Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park
The Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park is a small wildlife park situated in the Botanic Gardens in Gibraltar. The Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park began in 1994 as a collection of parrots and monkeys all confiscated from illegal traders who were passing through Gibraltar; the local Customs authorities handed these animals to the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society. In 1996 the Alameda Miniature Golf Course was cleared after many years of neglect and modified into a small conservation park, again through volunteer help. Although the main purpose of the park was to house confiscated animals, it became apparent that, if finished properly, it could be open to the public to make people aware not only about illegal animal trade but about local wildlife conservation; the park has become important for the care of native species that are considered for future re-introduction to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, such as the red fox, the raven and the Barbary partridge. The park has become an important educational resource for local schools, helping to raise awareness of not only the rich local biodiversity but of wider conservation issues.
The park is open all year except National Day and Christmas Day. Entrance fees are used to cover general food bills and veterinarian expenses. ReptilesGreen iguana Spur-thighed tortoise Terrapin Hermann's tortoise Snapping turtle Chinese water dragonMammalsPrairie dog Barbary macaque Pig-tailed macaque Long tailed macaque Cotton-topped tamarin Prevost's squirrel Egyptian fruit bat Vietnamese potbelly pig Asian small-clawed otter Rabbit Masked dormiceBirdsGrey parrot Patagonian conure Yellow fronted amazon Orange-winged amazon Red lory Black lory Monk parakeet Mitred conure Sulphur-crested cockatoo Raven Senegal parrot Free Indian peafowl The park organizes two open days each year, in May and in October. Others events are offered by the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park. Gibraltar Botanic Gardens List of mammals of Gibraltar List of birds of Gibraltar List of reptiles and amphibians in Gibraltar Official website
Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase, applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar, Calpe Mons, is the Rock of Gibraltar. A corresponding North African peak not being predominant, the identity of the southern Pillar, Abila Mons, has been disputed throughout history, with the two most candidates being Monte Hacho in Ceuta and Jebel Musa in Morocco. According to Greek mythology adopted by the Etruscans and Romans, when Hercules had to perform twelve labours, one of them was to fetch the Cattle of Geryon of the far West and bring them to Eurystheus. A lost passage of Pindar quoted by Strabo was the earliest traceable reference in this context: "the pillars which Pindar calls the'gates of Gades' when he asserts that they are the farthermost limits reached by Heracles." Since there has been a one-to-one association between Heracles and Melqart since Herodotus, the "Pillars of Melqart" in the temple near Gades/Gádeira have sometimes been considered to be the true Pillars of Hercules.
According to Plato's account, the lost realm of Atlantis was situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in effect placing it in the realm of the Unknown. Renaissance tradition says the pillars bore the warning Ne plus ultra, serving as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further. According to some Roman sources, while on his way to the garden of the Hesperides on the island of Erytheia, Hercules had to cross the mountain, once Atlas. Instead of climbing the great mountain, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and formed the Strait of Gibraltar. One part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho or Jebel Musa; these two mountains taken together have since been known as the Pillars of Hercules, though other natural features have been associated with the name. Diodorus Siculus, held that instead of smashing through an isthmus to create the Straits of Gibraltar, Hercules narrowed an existing strait to prevent monsters from the Atlantic Ocean from entering the Mediterranean Sea.
In some versions, Heracles instead built the two to hold the sky away from the earth, liberating Atlas from his damnation. Beyond Gades, several important Mauretanian colonies were founded by the Phoenicians as the Phoenician merchant navy pushed through the Pillars of Hercules and began constructing a series of bases along the Atlantic coast starting with Lixus in the north Chellah and Mogador. Near the eastern shore of the island of Gades/Gadeira Strabo describes the westernmost temple of Tyrian Heracles, the god with whom Greeks associated the Phoenician and Punic Melqart, by interpretatio graeca. Strabo notes that the two bronze pillars within the temple, each eight cubits high, were proclaimed to be the true Pillars of Hercules by many who had visited the place and had sacrificed to Heracles there, but Strabo believes the account to be fraudulent, in part noting that the inscriptions on those pillars mentioned nothing about Heracles, speaking only of the expenses incurred by the Phoenicians in their making.
The columns of the Melqart temple at Tyre were of religious significance. Syriac scholars were aware of the Pillars through their efforts to translate Greek scientific works into their language as well as into Arabic; the Syriac compendium of knowledge known as Ktaba d'ellat koll'ellan. "The Cause of all Causes", is unusual in asserting that there were three, not two, columns In Inferno XXVI Dante Alighieri mentions Ulysses in the pit of the Fraudulent Counsellors and his voyage past the Pillars of Hercules. Ulysses justifies endangering his sailors by the fact that his goal is to gain knowledge of the unknown. After five months of navigation in the ocean, Ulysses sights the mountain of Purgatory but encounters a whirlwind from it that sinks his ship and all on it for their daring to approach Purgatory while alive, by their strength and wits alone; the Pillars appear as supporters of the coat of arms of Spain, originating in the impresa of Spain's sixteenth century king Charles I, the Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.
It was an idea of the Italian humanist Luigi Marliano. It bears the motto Plus Ultra, Latin for further beyond, implying; this was modified from the phrase Nec plus ultra, Nothing more beyond after the discovery of the Americas, which laid to rest the idea of the Pillars of Hercules as the westernmost extremity of the inhabitable world which had prevailed since Antiquity. The Pillars appear prominently on the engraved title page of Sir Francis Bacon's Instauratio Magna, 1620, an unfinished work of which the second part was his influential Novum Organum; the motto along the base says augebitur scientia. The image was based on the use of the pillars in Habsburg propaganda. On the Spanish coast at Los Barrios are Torres de Hercules which are twin towers that were inspired by the Pillars of Hercules; these towers were the tallest in Andalusia until Cajasol Tower was completed in Seville in 2015. Caves of Hercules Dollar sign