Situated at the beginning of the 800-metre-long parade of shops we call Main Street or Calle Real (Royal Street).
‘Casemates,’ located at the northern end of Main Street, has café bars and restaurants of all descriptions from where you can sit and relax and watch the world go by. All of Gibraltar’s life will walk past you and you may even spot the odd famous face from film or television in Gibraltar for a break. It was originally a barracks but more than that, as its name suggests, it was a store for ammunition hence the shape of all the buildings at one side of the square. The name comes from the Italian word ‘Casa Matta’ meaning ‘Armed House’. It also was the site of Gibraltar’s public executions the last one taking place in the 1860’s in full view of the Garrison.
Looking to the south of the square you will find Main Street and it is along this thoroughfare you will find everything a shopper would wish for! From perfume, alcohol, tobacco, clothing, linen to electrical goods like camera’s, games consoles, DVD’s and everything in between. As you reach halfway up Main Street, take a moment to look at the Piazza found in front of our Parliament and the John Macintosh Square, located behind the same Parliament Building which is also home to City Hall, home to the Gibraltar National Art Gallery. Further south, where the pedestrian area ends, you find the Courts of Justice inside of which John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in March 1969. Just beyond that and to the right, is located the King’s Chapel also next to that is the Governor’s Residence, called the Convent where you can see the traditional changing of the Guard. The Convent was built in the late 1490’s and was originally home to a community of Franciscan Friars. This building sits resplendent across from the office of our Chief Minister known as No 6 Convent Place. Continue your walk through the arches of Referendum Gates and you will be at Trafalgar Cemetery and the Cable Car base station and Alameda Garden a further 5min walk beyond that.