Melilla's antique core offers many reasons to visit as a site of national "heritage of cultural interest."
An evocative trip back in time.
The city's oldest area is a fortified precinct with its origins in the 16th and 17th centuries. For a real sense of that era, wander its narrow lanes, and for example, pass through the Hornabeque Tunnel into the Plaza de Armas. This spot was an old presidio which still preserves a number of cannons as well as a monument dedicated to onetime governor Carlos Ramírez de Arellano. From the plaza, steps lead to a terrace from which you can get a spectacular view of the Ensenada de los Galápagos (Terrapin Cove). Within this walled quarter you'll also find the Baroque-style Church of the Most Pure Conception, the Santiago Gate, and behind it, the Santiago Chapel, the only Gothic religious building in North Africa. For these reasons and more, Old Melilla is officially classified as Spanish national "heritage of cultural interest."
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