Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Villa Smith in Algeciras, a historical link with Britain and Gibraltar

Algeciras has a strong historical link with Britain and Gibraltar. The Algeciras-Bobadilla railway line is an example, as is the Reina Cristina Hotel. Another is Villa Smith (photo). Used until recently to headquarter the Mancomunidad de Municipios, it also houses the Casa de los Guardeses (Keeper’s Cottage) that is the municipal museum today. The original grounds were used by several families for agricultural purposes until the 1880s, when they were purchased in 1890 by William James Smith, a shipping agent of Gibraltar and British Vice-Consul in Algeciras, who sold part of them to the Algeciras-Bobadilla Railway Company to build the Reina Cristina Hotel, which was designed by architect William Thompson, who later became the hotel’s director. The hotel was established to accommodate the growing number of people associated with the railway (another similar hotel, the Reina Victoria, can be found at the other end of the line in Ronda, close to the bullring). See more on CampoPulse.

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