The Caves of Hercules are a fascinating natural wonder located in Tangier, Morocco, at the foot of the Jebel Musa mountain. These caves are believed to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco, and are named after the legendary Greek hero, Hercules, who is believed to have rested in the caves after completing his famous twelve labors. In this article, we will explore the history and travel information of the Caves of Hercules.
History of the Caves of Hercules
The history of the Caves of Hercules dates back to ancient times, and it is believed that the caves were used as a place of worship by the Phoenicians. According to ancient legends, Hercules is said to have rested in the caves after completing his tenth labor, which involved stealing the cattle of Geryon, a three-headed giant who lived in a far-off land.
The legend says that Hercules rested in the caves while on his way to completing his eleventh labor, which involved stealing the Golden Apples of Hesperides.
The caves were also used by the Romans, who believed that the caves had healing properties. They used the water from the underground spring located in the caves to treat various ailments. The caves were also used by pirates, who would use the caves as a hideout and a place to store their loot.
The Caves of Hercules are located in Tangier, which is a city in northern Morocco. The caves are about 14 kilometers from the city center, and can be reached by taxi or by bus. The journey takes approximately 20-30 minutes by car, depending on the traffic.
When you arrive at the caves, you will see two openings. The first opening is the natural entrance to the caves, and the second opening was created by the French during the colonial period. The second opening is much larger than the first, and it was created to allow tourists to access the caves more easily.
When you enter the caves, you will see a large underground chamber that is about 60 meters long and 35 meters wide. The chamber is illuminated by natural light that filters in through the two openings. The walls of the cave are smooth and there is a small underground lake located at the far end of the chamber.
One of the most interesting features of the Caves of Hercules is the opening in the roof of the chamber, which is shaped like the map of Africa. This opening is believed to have been created by an earthquake, and it is an amazing sight to see.
Another interesting feature of the caves is the stone table that is located in the chamber. The table is believed to have been used by Hercules during his stay in the caves. Visitors can climb onto the table and take photos, although it is important to be careful as the table is quite high.
In conclusion, the Caves of Hercules are a fascinating natural wonder that is steeped in history and legend. The caves are a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tangier, and they offer a unique glimpse into the ancient world. Whether you are interested in history, geology, or just want to see a beautiful natural wonder, the Caves of Hercules are definitely worth a visit.