Perhaps it’s the rolling “rr” in Herrrrrera that puts foreigners – especially English ones – off remembering that Molly’s Square is actually called Plaza Cruz Herrera.
But get used to it, because you will see the name Cruz Herrera all over La Línea!
That’s because José Cruz Herrera was a proud part of linense history. Read on to find out more…
Stab Ally / Chicken Run
The first thing you see after crossing from Gibraltar to La Linea. Not very pretty to look at, and known as a place where you can buy drugs… or get mugged.
I first came across the name Avenida Veinte de Abril when checking my Revolut ATM transactions, six years after moving here, and thinking “where the hell is that?”.
Yep, that was back in 2018, shortly after they installed the first ATM in Stab Alley!
Fun facts about Avda 20 de Abril:
- There are three whole shops there which all open on Sundays.
- The municipal market is relocating there temporarily at some point in Spring 2021, to allow for restoration works to take place in the traditional municipal market building.
- The date refers to a proposal to open the (then-closed) Gibraltar frontier in 1982. That proposal was delayed for eight months, meaning the original date, 20/4, is actually pretty meaningless. For that reason, the local council is considering changing the name from Avenida 20 de Abril to Avenida del 150 Aniversario.
Post Office Square / Correos Square / The Big Square
When you finally reach the end of Stab Ally, and you want to get to Molly’s Square, you’ll have to pass La Plaza de la Constitución. This big, open square, is the well-known home of The Pointless Bridge and the Post Office (or Correos).
A sadly less-frequented institution, tucked away in the corner of the square, is the Biblioteca Municipal (public library). It’s actually really easy to get yourself a library card – all you need to attach to your application is some proof of identity, such as your passport, and proof of residence -which can even be a utility bill or rent receipt!
The Church Square
I guess Plaza de la Iglesia is a little bit too much for foreign mouths to chew – at least when they first arrive here! This one is straightforward. Plaza = square, and Iglesia = church.
Square of the Church.
One of the two main features of the square is the central monument, “Las tres gracias”, created by linense sculptor Nacho Falgueras, inspired by José Cruz Herrera’s paintings and the beauty of linense women.
The other, is of course the church itself – snappily named La Iglesia Parroquial de la Inmaculada Concepción.
The Big Park
Just over the border, Parque Municipal Reina Sofía, also known by locals as Parque Princesa Sofía.
This park is a shining example of what can be accomplished by community spirit. At certain times in its history, this park was a barren wasteland – and it could be pretty terrifying at night.
Now, due to a number of volunteer initiatives, it’s one of the more pleasant spots you could spend time in! Credit to Los Locos del Parque for performing daily maintenance, tree-planting, summer party-planning and putting pressure on local government for both funding and keeping building developments off park land. Credit to Patina on Linea for making a safe, well-lit, clean and maintained skatepark for everyone to come and enjoy. Credit to the Asociación Canina PPS La Línea for building a fantastic dog park – with secure perimeters (including additional special secure zones for naughty boys and girls who can’t be trusted to ‘play nice’ yet), running water, toys and games, and somewhere nice for the humans to sit and socialise. Also, shout out to amazing local artist Jorge D. Caballero who led a team of volunteers to paint “el Mural del Parque” on the outdoor theatre, as well as donating the snail sculpture that now appears beside it.
Pigeon Square / The square with the palm trees
Lined with some pretty decent tapas bars, Plaza Fariñas earns its foreigner-bestowed title: “nice square” due to it’s large size, palm trees, subtle water features and mosaic details. The square is named after Juan Bautista Fariñas Martínez, the mayor who constructed it.
Other than being an excellent place to meet friends, this square is now home to the newly opened contemporary art gallery, Galería Manolo Alés.
This pretty outdoor area comprises the Jardines de Saccone. Jerónimo Saccone and his wife bought the space in 1874 for 10,000 pesetas, filling it with ornaments they brought from Italy such as statues and flowerpots, and building the features we still enjoy today such as the fountain and pond, the gazebo and the castillo.
These gardens house the Museo Cruz Herrera. José Cruz Herrera was a reasonably well-known painter from La Línea, forming a proud part of the town’s history. They have regular guest exhibitions – so check out their Facebook page to keep yourself informed of those. This museum is a completely inexpensive way to learn more about your adopted hometown, so give them a visit, OK?
Moderately fun fact about the Museo Cruz Herrera: it used to be located in Plaza Fariñas (and never in Plaza Cruz Herrera).
The Main Street in La Linea
If you simply say “Main Street”, you probably mean the famous Main Street in neighbouring Gibraltar. However, add a little context (by either specifying that you mean the one in La Linea, or gesturing in its general direction), and you are now talking about Calle Real.
Calle = street, Real = Royal.
Calle Real is a popular choice for main street names in towns and cities all around Spain, and so, it could be seen as an interpretation of the English name “main street”. However, the actual translation would be “calle principal”, so ask for that if you’re in an unfamiliar town and looking for the high street.