The World War II tunnels in Gibraltar stand as a remarkable testament to the strategic significance of this small British Overseas Territory during one of the most tumultuous periods in modern history. Carved deep into the limestone rock, these tunnels served as a crucial defence system and played a vital role in safeguarding Gibraltar during the second world war.
The WWII tunnels of Gibraltar form an extensive network that stretches over 34 miles (55km) in total, housing barracks, ammunition stores for weapons and military vehicles with its own maintenance repair workshop. It also had space for a hospital, a telephone communication centre, a power generating station, a water distillation plant and even a Bakery. Constructed primarily during the late 1930s and early 1940s, these tunnels were ingeniously designed to provide protection against enemy bombardment while serving as an underground fortress accommodating 16.000 men and food supplies to last for more than a year.
Today visitors can explore the various sections within the network of passages, with unique features and attractions where visitors will encounter original wartime artefacts, including weapons, uniforms, and equipment, as well as specific characteristics of the tunnels and the soldiers at the time, as they would have looked during the war.
The Upper Galleries, located higher up within the rock, offered panoramic views of the surrounding area and allowed for the placement of anti-aircraft guns. These tunnels provided crucial vantage points for spotting and intercepting enemy aircraft, contributing to the defence of Gibraltar’s airspace.
The Rock Gun Galleries, situated in the northern part of the rock, were equipped with massive coastal artillery guns. These powerful guns could strike enemy ships approaching the Gibraltar Strait, making the territory a formidable obstacle for any hostile naval force.
Visiting the World War II tunnels in Gibraltar offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the challenges and sacrifices of those who lived and worked within these underground corridors. The tunnels provide a tangible link to the past, allowing visitors to visualise the conditions faced by military personnel and civilians during the war.
The preservation and accessibility of these tunnels have been a testament to Gibraltar’s commitment to honouring its historical legacy. Today, with GTA guided Tours, you will have the chance to explore sections of the tunnels, learn about the history of Gibraltar during World War II, and witness the remarkable engineering achievements of that time.
A guided Tour with GTA will take around 30 – 45 minutes and is accessible to all visitors, weather you are crossing the fortier for the day, or arriving at Gibraltar port as a cruise passenger or simply flying in, this tour will be available for all when booking one of our tour packages such as the Standard Tour of Gibraltar package, the Extended Tour of Gibraltar package, or the Open Tour of Gibraltar package.
The accessibility is suitable for everyone, with the exception of the access to any of the lower and upper galleries that may only be accessible by a set of spiral stairs. Other than that the tunnels are quite easy and straightforward to walk by into their rich history.