World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cape Spartel

Article Id: WHEBN0001134295
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cape Spartel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mediterranean Sea, Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier, Rif, Max Kennedy Horton, Cape Trafalgar, USS Parrott (DD-218), Spartel, List of Morocco-related topics, HMS Legion (G74)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cape Spartel

Cape Spartel (Arabic: رأس سبارطيل‎) is a promontory in Morocco about 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, 12 km West of Tangier. Below the cape are the Caves of Hercules.


Cape Spartel is frequently but incorrectly referred to as the northernmost point of Africa, which is instead Ras ben Sakka, Tunisia. It is the most North Western point of mainland Africa. The cape rises to a height of 326 m. at the top of Jebel Quebir where there is a tower. There is another tower nearer to the end of the cape which serves as a lighthouse.[1]

Below the cape are the Caves of Hercules. These are open to the public and they are accessible from Robinson Plage. The caves have shown evidence of neolithic occupation. Before they were a tourist attraction they were brothels. Historically the rock was mined and this is one important cause of the caves creation.[2]

Near Cape Spartel is Spartel Bank, a sunken island hypothesized by some as the location of the legendary island of Atlantis.[3][4]

Cape Spartel is accessible from the National Road S701.

Historical events

During the American War of Independence on 20 October 1782 there was an inconclusive battle between British and French/Spanish fleets about 18 miles off the coast. The Battle of Cape Spartel between ships under Admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova and a British fleet under Admiral Richard Howe. The battle was required to maintain British supplies to the besieged Rock of Gibraltar.

In December 1911, the British P&O liner, SS Delhi, ran aground near to Cape Spartel. All passengers were rescued by British and French warships, but three French rescuers were lost.[5]

The Battle of Cape Spartel was a naval battle of the Spanish Civil War that broke the Republican blockade of the Strait of Gibraltar, securing the naval supply route to Spanish Morocco for the Nationalists early in the war. The action occurred on September 29, 1936 between two Nationalist cruisers and two Republican destroyers.

Literary References

In Chapter 1 of the book Morocco (A. and C. Black, 1904) by Samuel Levy Bensusan, the author references the Cape when talking about the most northern part of Morocco (Page 3).

See also


Coordinates: 35°48′02″N 5°54′22″W / 35.80056°N 5.90611°W / 35.80056; -5.90611


  • F. Tamburini, Il faro di Capo Spartel (1865–1958), un esempio di cooperazione internazionale in Africa attraverso i secoli XIX e XX, in “Africana, Rivista di studi extraeuropei”, n. IX, 2003
  • S.L. Bensusan, Morocco, A. and C. Black, 1904
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.