In Algeciras various cultures have left their traces. From Roman times you can still find the ruins of a factory for brining fish and remains of Roman kilns (hornos romanos) for the production of amphorae and other ceramic objects.
The remains of Arab baths in María Cristina Park, the ruins of the old city wall and the Aljama de Algeciras mosque bear witness to the Moorish era. Like many other places in al-Andalus, Algeciras has been conquered and reconquered several times. Muhammad V of Granada put an end to this in 1379. In order not to let the city fall into the hands of the Spaniards again, the then ruler had Algeciras destroyed without further ado.
Algeciras was uninhabited for 300 years.
The village remained uninhabited for more than 300 years. It was not until 1704, when the nearby town of Gibraltar (whose rock can be seen from Algeciras) was occupied by Anglo-Dutch troops that some inhabitants fled to the ruins of the Arabic old town. They settled around the chapel of San Bernardo. The chapel, now known as Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Europa, is located in today's old town on the Plaza Alta.
The name of the town originates from Arabic: Al-Yazirat Al Hadra means "green island"; whereby the Arabs originally meant all of Spain when they started conquering the Iberian peninsula in 711. The colour green, however, is rare in today's industrial city. The port is the most important source of income for Algeciras and will be further developed. The regional oil refinery, which supplies the tankers in the Bay of Algeciras, is important - in the waters of Gibraltar better prices can be achieved due to the lower taxes.
In spite of the busy activity and pollution in and around the harbour, dolphins live here: Especially Common Dolphins need the bay to protect their young from sharks. With the expansion of the harbour and the destruction of the seagrass beds, however, the animals are increasingly deprived of their livelihood.