Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

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Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
La Alameda
1a4.jpg
The Dell in the heart of La Alameda Gardens
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens is located in Gibraltar
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Type Botanical garden
Location Gibraltar
Coordinates 36°07′53″N 5°21′04″W / 36.1313°N 5.3511°W / 36.1313; -5.3511Coordinates: 36°07′53″N 5°21′04″W / 36.1313°N 5.3511°W / 36.1313; -5.3511
Area 6 hectares (15 acres)
Opened 1816
Owned by Government of Gibraltar
Operated by Wildlife (Gibraltar) Limited
Status Open all year
Plants Aloes, palms, dragon trees, sunken garden[disambiguation needed]
Species 1,900
Director Dr. Keith Bensusan
Website GibraltarGardens.gi

The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens or La Alameda Gardens are a botanical garden in Gibraltar, spanning around 6 hectares (15 acres). The Rock Hotel lies above the park.

History[edit]

In 1816 the gardens were commissioned by the British Governor of Gibraltar General George Don. It was his intention that the soldiers stationed in the fortress would have a pleasant recreational area to enjoy when off duty.[1]

In the Second World War the gardens were a popular meeting place for the thousands of homosexual soldiers and sailors that passed through Gibraltar on their way to the various fronts. In the later years of the war the Military Police regularly raided the gardens to enforce the ban on homosexuality in the British and American armed forces and Merchant Navy.[2]

The gardens were resurrected in 1991 by an external company when it was realised that since the 1970s they had fallen into a poor state. Three years later the gardens had the addition of a zoo: the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park.[1]

In 2001 a bronze sculpture of James Joyce's Molly Bloom was installed in the gardens. This running figure was commissioned from Jon Searle to celebrate the bicentenary of the Gibraltar Chronicle in 2001.[3]

The Eliott Memorial[edit]

General Don had commissioned a memorial of George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield in 1815, which did not materialise in the form initially requested. A colossal statue of General Eliot, carved from the bowsprit of the Spanish ship San Juan Nepomuceno, taken at the Battle of Trafalgar was first created.[4] That statue was taken to the Governor's residence, The Convent, where it stands today, being replaced by the present bronze bust in 1858. This statue is guarded for four 18th century howitzers.[4]

Plants of the gardens[edit]

The Elliott Memorial dates from 1858[4]

The plants of the Alameda Gardens are a combination of native species and others brought in from abroad:

Events[edit]

The Alameda Open Air Theatre was inaugurated once again on 12th April, 1996 at four o'clock with three bands of music playing - the same number of bands as had attended 180 years before to the hour at the opening of the Alameda Gardens in 1816. In order to extend its use from just theatre to general use, a number of new features were introduced, like the waterfall and lake - the largest area of open fresh water on the Rock, with Koi Carp and a collection of exotic lilies. Since its opening, this venue has been used for a variety of purposes, from beauty contests to band concerts, also weddings, dinner dances, conferences and variety shows.[6] It also is the main venue for the GIB Fringe.

The theater is available for hire and all proceeds will go directly into continued improvements in the theatre and in the rest of Gibraltar's historic and rapidly improving Alameda Gardens.

Useful information about the theater and its facilities: Seating Capacity: 435 Stage Area: 120 sq. mtrs. Lighting Equipment: 34 Wide and Beams with colored filters if required. 3 stage and 3 public entrances. Bar, changing rooms and toilet facilities. Seating with table maximum capacity: 300

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Welcome to the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens". The Alameda Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  2. ^ Conduct unbecoming, BBC dcumentary.
  3. ^ "Special Events". Gibraltar Chronicle. 2001. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Alameda Gardens, Strolling Guides, accessed August 2012
  5. ^ a b "Alameda Gardens". Government of Gibraltar. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  6. ^ https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/flora-and-fauna/alameda-gardens.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]