See the wonderful St. Michael's cave in Gibraltar.
Located more than 300 metres above sea level, this is one of Europe's most dramatic natural grottoes.
St Michael's Cave has interested visitors to Gibraltar ever since the days of the Romans.
The Cave was long believed to be bottomless. This probably gave birth to the story that the Rock of Gibraltar was linked to the Continent of Africa by a subterranean passage over 15 miles (24km) long under the Straits of Gibraltar.
The famous Rock Apes were said to have come to Gibraltar through this under-sea passage.
The story also said that the passage emerges at Leonora's Cave which begins inside St. Michael's Cave itself.
The Main Gallery The Cathedral Cave is now open to visitors and makes a unique auditorium for concerts, ballet and drama.
At some period during the history of this cave, part of a stalagmite became to heavy on one side and fell, possibly thousands of years ago.
It now lies on its side at the far end of the main chamber, cemented through the years by nature to the floor of the cave.
In 1792 a slice 18” thick (45cm) was cut off from the top end. What remained was a cross-section which revealed the interior structure of the stalagmite in a most dramatic way. Within a diameter of approximately 4’6” (1.35m) can be seen the history of its growth.
During periods of excessive rain its growth is clearly indicated by light-brown rings and patches. the darker areas were formed during periods of less rain.
But perhaps the two thin lines of crumbly white substance are the most interesting part of its structure.
It is believed that these represent glacial periods. Besides the cross-section the stalagmite is also translucent in certain parts.
This stalagmite which is centuries old enables visitors to see the unique beauty of crystallised nature.
The Auditorium Over one hundred persons can sit in the auditorium of St Michael's Cave.
According to experts in the field, the acoustics of St Michael's Cave are perfect and it enhances and blends all the tones into a uniform and faithful rendition of sound.
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