Main Street, Gibraltar
View from Main Street looking north.
|Former name(s)||Calle Real|
|Owner||Government of Gibraltar|
|Length||1 km (1 mi)|
Main Street's route was established in the 14th century which was confirmed when the Puerta de África (now called the Southport Gates) were built in 1575, during the Spanish period.
Nearly every building in the main street was damaged during the Great Siege of Gibraltar when from 1779 to 1783 the town was attacked by a combined French and Spanish fleet. Because main street was near the harbour it was easily bombarded by the ships in the harbour. Col John Drinkwater wrote "that some few, near South-port, continued to be inhabited by soldiers families, but in general the floors and roofs were destroyed and the bare shell only was left standing."
The street's route has only had minor adjustment when the front of the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned was re-modeled and downsized in 1801 in order to straighten the street on the orders of the British Governor, Charles O'Hara. A branch of Marks & Spencer was established in Gibraltar on the street in 1968.
Main Street is Gibraltar's main commercial and shopping district. It runs north–south through the old town which is pedestrianised and lined with buildings displaying a blend of Genoese, Portuguese, Andalusian, Moorish and British Regency styles, most of which have shops on the ground floor. Upper floors provide residential accommodation or offices. Tourists and visitors will find a wide variety of shops, many of which will be familiar from British high streets.
Grand Casemates Square
Notable buildings on Main Street
- Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned
- Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
- Gibraltar Governor's Residence, The Convent
- Gibraltar Law Courts
- Gibraltar Parliament
- Ince's Hall Theatre
- John Mackintosh Hall
- King's Chapel
- Royal Gibraltar Post Office at No. 104
- Bethune, John Drinkwater (1786). A history of the late siege of Gibraltar, by John Drinkwater. p. 156.
- Benady, Tito (1996). The streets of Gibraltar : a short history. Grendon: Gibraltar Books. p. 11-17. ISBN 0948466375.
- "What to do". Gibraltar London. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
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