Do the Ercole caves really connect Morocco and Spain?
Along the most north-western point of Africa there are ancient caves surrounded by legends.
Along the north-western tip of the African continent there is a fascinating cave complex steeped in myths and legends. According to tradition, it was even visited by one of the most famous heroes of Roman mythology.
According to the myth, Hercules slept here while he was going to steal three golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides. Stealing apples, believed to confer immortality, was the eleventh of “12 labors of Hercules”. According to ancient writers, the garden was located in nearby Lixus (the current city of Larache on the Atlantic coast).
Another story tells that the caves are the end of a 24 km long tunnel that connects Morocco and Spain. A popular tale tells that the famous Gibraltar macaque monkeys came from Africa using this passage.
You won’t find Hercules or monkeys in the caves, but it’s still worth exploring. The complex has two openings. The one overlooking the sea recalls the shape of Africa and is said to have been created by the Phoenicians. The opening overlooking the earth was created by local Berbers, who cut the stones from the rock.
The caves are close to the Cap Spartel lighthouse, built between 1861 and 1864 by an international coalition (including the United States, France, Spain and Morocco) which marks the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Caves of Hercules are located in Cape Spartel, the most northwestern point of mainland Africa, less than 14 miles west of Tangier. The caves are open to the public and can be easily reached along the S701 national road.
by www.travelworld.it source: quotidiano.net