Cape Trafalgar

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Cape Trafalgar
Cabo de Trafalgar
Spain Cabo Trafalgar.jpg
Cape Trafalgar lighthouse
Map showing the location of Cape Trafalgar
Map showing the location of Cape Trafalgar
Location in Andalusia
Coordinates36°11′N 6°2′W / 36.183°N 6.033°W / 36.183; -6.033Coordinates: 36°11′N 6°2′W / 36.183°N 6.033°W / 36.183; -6.033

Cape Trafalgar (/trəˈfælɡər/;[1] Spanish: Cabo Trafalgar [ˈkaβo tɾafalˈɣaɾ]) is a headland in the Province of Cádiz in the south-west of Spain. The 1805 naval Battle of Trafalgar, in which the Royal Navy commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson decisively defeated Napoleon's combined Spanish and French fleet, took place off the cape.

It lies on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Western limit of the strait and the Mediterranean Sea as a line that joins Cape Trafalgar to the North to Cape Spartel to the south.

Aerial view of Cape Trafalgar and the surrounding area.

The most prominent structure on the cape is a 34-metre-high lighthouse (51 metres above sea level), the faro de Cabo Trafalgar, built in 1860.


The name is of Arabic origin, deriving either from Taraf al-Ghar (طرف الغار 'cape of the cave/laurel'),[2][3][4] or from Taraf al-Gharb (طرف الغرب 'cape of the west').[5][4] In both cases, taraf (طرف) means 'edge' or 'extremity' and refers to a promontory.[citation needed] In modern Arabic, however, the place is sometimes re-transcribed as al-Taraf al-Aghar (الطرف الأغر).[6]

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