A new viewing platform with interpretation panels was officially opened on Wednesday 13th December, by the Minister with responsibility for Heritage, the Hon Prof John Cortes, MBE, MP.
The Viewing Platform is the latest in a series of stages that are aimed at promoting and providing access to the World Heritage Site. The caves themselves are subject to an annual quota of visitors because of their archaeological sensitivity and the new facility will provide spectacular views and interpretation of the site without risk of causing damage to the fragile archaeology within the caves. In addition, the viewing platform offers unique views of the entire World Heritage Site all the way to the highest point of the Rock at O’Hara’s Battery (426 metres above sea level), including the popular Mediterranean Steps.
The viewing platform will be managed by the Gibraltar Museum, who also run the UNESCO World Heritage Office on behalf of HM Government of Gibraltar through the Ministry for Heritage. It will initially be open Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm. Access will be free of charge to holders of Gibraltar Identity Cards, on production at the ticket office. Special arrangements to open additional hours will be made for organised groups by prior appointment.
As from today, free access to the Gibraltar Museum will also be available to Gibraltar Identity card holders, in line with the policy of opening out our Heritage to the community.
In addition to the interpretation panels, the Gibraltar Museum will have specialist staff on site who will attend to visitors and explain directly the values that they are observing from this unique location. Further improvements are currently being prepared and will be announced in the New Year. Work at Gorham’s and Vanguard Caves will also continue in 2018 with two months of excavations planned for the summer months.