Cape Spartel - Hercules Cave - Tangier

 Cape Spartel - Hercules Cave - Tangier

Cape Spartel (usually refered to as Cap Spartel without the "e") is a headland on the Atlantic coast in Tangiers. Mistakenly referd to as the northmost point of the African continent but it's actually not. It is on the other hand the meeting point between the mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean. Sometimes refered to as the corner of Africa by locals. Cape Spartel is about 300 m (1,000 feet) above sea level at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, about 12 km (7miles) West of Tangier.

You may see Cape Spartel and Hercules cave in this youtube video below:

Cap Spartel is the most North Western point of mainland Africa. The cape rises to a height of 326 m. at the top of the mountain called "Jebel Kebir" where there is a tower. There is another tower nearer to the end of the cape which serves as a lighthouse.
 The Caves of Hercules (Grottes d'hercule) is an archaeological site located aopproximately at 14 kilometres (9 mi) west of Tangier. It is one of the famous tourist attractions of the City. The main cave has 2 openings, one from the seaside and the other from the dryland. the one from the seaside is known as the map of Africa. It is said that the opening in the shape of Africa was made by the Phoenicians. There are also some markings on the wall in the shape of eyes, that are said to be made by the Phoenicians, which make up a map of the local area. The cave of Hercules itself is part natural and part man-made. The man-made part was used by Berber people to cut stone wheels from the walls, to make millstones, which expanded the cave considerably through time. Up to the making of this video The entrance to the cave of Hercules is free, but there is a part where you will need to pay 5 Dirhams.
The cave was long thought to be bottomless. It was believed that the cave is one end of a subterranean ley tunnel over 24 kilometres (15 mi) long which passes under the Strait of Gibraltar and emerges at St. Michael's Cave in Gibraltar. Legend has it that the Barbary macaques entered the Rock of Gibraltar from Morocco this way.
Mythological tradition also holds that the Roman god Hercules stayed and slept in this cave before doing his 11th labour, (one of the 12 labours which King Eurystheus of Tiryns had given to him) which was to get golden apples from the Hesperides Garden, which some ancient Greek writers said was located nearby at Lixus (one of the cities of Larache) .
According to some Roman sources, while on his way to the garden of the Hesperides, Hercules had to cross the mountain that was once Atlas. Instead of climbing the great mountain, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and formed the Strait of Gibraltar. One part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho in Ceuta or Jebel Musa (known as the Mons Abyla in classical times) in Morocco. These two mountains taken together have since then been known as the Pillars of Hercules, though other natural features have been associated with the name. Diodorus Siculus, however, held that instead of smashing through an isthmus to create the Straits of Gibraltar, Hercules narrowed an already existing strait to prevent monsters from the Atlantic Ocean from entering the Mediterranean Sea.

The Greek mythology version is that Heracles went to Atlas and offered to hold up the heavens while Atlas got the apples from the garden of his daughters, the Hesperides which was also guarded by the dragon Ladon. Upon his return with the apples, however, Atlas attempted to trick Heracles into carrying the sky permanently by offering to deliver the apples himself, as anyone who purposely took the burden must carry it forever, or until someone else took it away. Heracles, suspecting Atlas did not intend to return, pretended to agree to Atlas' offer, asking only that Atlas take the sky again for a few minutes so Heracles could rearrange his cloak as padding on his shoulders. When Atlas set down the apples and took the heavens upon his shoulders again, Heracles took the apples and ran away.  

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