Initially a mosque, and later a Portuguese church, the several wars destroyed the building, that was reconstructed in the 17th century with Spanish architecture. Inside, the most significant are a Baroque chapel, some frescoes, and a Portuguese image of the Holy Virgin.
Once a popular destination for the Portuguese (and other) to take advantage of tax free, with the integration in the European Union, Ceuta has lost much of its charm. But it is still interesting the mix of an European people and organization with their neighbours from Morocco.
The historic signs of colonization provide an interesting tour and, if you search for strong sensations, just cross the border to Morocco.
If you are as "lucky" as I was, you will have something to remember.
The highest point in Ceuta was occupied by an old castle, formerly byzantine, reconstructed by the Portuguese.
The actual building is spanish, built in the 18th and 19th century, and it is mainly a sightseeing point.
Walk around the bay of Ceuta.its clean and very different to any other bay i have walked around.One word of advice be careful where you walk.In five minutes i went from being around a lot of other people to being followed by five black african men, which i can safely say was not a incredible experience.However the best place i walked was just past the bus station where i took this photo of the atlas mountains.Alas it was quite a cloudy day and i was using a disposable camera so the view didnt come out as well as i would have liked.
The Cristo de los Afligidos bridge gives access to the old Royal Walls and the San Felipe Ditch, the largest military construction in Ceuta which was an impregnable fortress for centuries.
This is a walled enclosure made up of several defensive lines, ditches and galleries built up in the Middle Ages.
It is one of Ceuta's most characteristic monuments built over the centuries by the various inhabitants of this land.
The nerve centre of the city is the Plaza de Nuestra Señora de África, situated right in the old town, where there is a monument to those who died in the African War (1859-60). Around the square stand the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de África, in which the image of the patron saint and permanent mayor of the city is venerated; the Cathedral, that was built on the ruins of the Main Mosque in the 18th century and was reconstructed between 1948 and 1961.
Inside there are images and canvas from the 17th century mixed with current day ones. The image of the Virgen Capitana of the 15th century of Portuguese origin is worthy a mention.
It has a Neoclassic entrance made out of black marble.
Here you can find too the City Hall and the Comandancia General military headquarters. Other interesting religious monuments are the church of San Ildefonso, inside which you will find the image of Cristo de Medinaceli, and the hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Valle. This is the oldest Christian church in the city, where Juan I of Portugal knighted his sons.
The Fortress of Hacho is a walled enclosure situated on the top of Monte Hacho.
You cannot visit it nor been very close to the place (altough it depends on the soldiers), because it is occupied by Spanish Army.
Ceuta has various viewpoints, like those of Isabel II and Monte Hacho, where you can get an excellent panoramic view of the harbour and Ceuta Bay. On this hill you can visit the Desnarigado Castle-Museum, containing a valuable collection of military objects. Here, too, is the Hermitage of San Antonio, a 16th-century building which at one time was the residence of the bishop, and the Fortress of Hacho.
The Parque Marítimo del Mediterráneo (Maritime Park) was built in 1994 with an area of 46.000 square mtrs. Here you can find salt lakes, water jets, solariums, gardens and much more. In the middle there is a Castle with the Ceuta Walls style. Here there is too a casino, a restaurant and a disco.
The Cathedral was originally built in the 15th century, but in 1.665 it was in ruins. So, they began rebuilding it and works lasted for several years, adding some parts from time to time.
Lateroman basilica: Built between the 4th and the 5th centuries, the remains are the few housing testimonies of the Christianity.
walk around the peninsula (it lasts more then half a day).
unforgettable views of the coast, beatiful flora.