Christian Santos G.M.D. Mayor of Gibraltar

As Mayor I shall represent all the people and community of Gibraltar and I promise you that I will do my best to listen to and be a part of what our community is doing and feeling at the moment. A community that has always been praised for its diversity and uniqueness and how we all live together in peace.

City Hall will become a place where every Gibraltarian will be celebrated no matter their age, religion, social or economic background, disability, gender or sexual identity. This is a place where everyone is welcome and will be celebrated. The Mayor of Gibraltar is the ceremonial official of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The mayor is appointed by the elected Members of Parliament and the office is situated at City Hall John Mackintosh Square. Since 1 June 2021, Christian Santos has held the position of Mayor of Gibraltar, succeeding John Goncalves.

Gibraltar City Hall

The Gibraltar City Hall is the former city hall for Gibraltar, centrally located within the city at the west end of John Mackintosh Square. It is the office of the Mayor of Gibraltar.

City Hall History 

It was 1813 when Aaron Cardozo, a wealthy and influential Gibraltarian merchant, was finally granted the site to build a house in the present John Mackintosh Square. He had been fighting officialdom for 20 years, always receiving evasive answers, but in the end he won the day.

This favour was long due to him, because for many years, he had been a friend of Nelson, sailing to obtain supplies for the admiral’s fleet. It is reputed that Nelson was so grateful for his help that his parting words were “if I survive, Cardozo, you shall no longer remain in this dark corner of the world”.

Cardozo had to leave Gibraltar due to ill health, and when he died, his heirs, after renting the property to the Club House Hotel, sold it to Pablo Antonio Larios, a wealthy Gibraltarian merchant of Spanish descent. Larios spent a fortune improving and re-decorating the property, to the extent of installing bathrooms with hot and cold running water in 1875! The fireplaces were made of marble and alabaster, the drawing room was richly decorated and the ceiling painted with medallions of Roman Emperors and classical scenes. No expense was spared in fitting the mansion with exquisite furniture and fittings.

When everything was ready and as the Larios family prepared to move in, and official announcement was made to the effect that the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s son, was arriving at Gibraltar on a staff appointment. Pablo Antonio lost no time in offering the Duke his newly refurbished property, to use as his residence during his stay in Gibraltar, an offer that was readily accepted. After the Duke’s departure, the Larios family enjoyed their property and the house was known for a long time as “Connaught House”.

Pablo Antonio was so identified with Gibraltar, that he christened his five sons – Carlos, Augusto, Leopoldo, Pablo and Ernesto, their initials forming the name CALPE.

His son Pablo inherited the house. In 1920, financial difficulties forced Pablo to sell the property to the Colonial Government. In 1924, the property became home to the newly formed City Council. The Council was dissolved in 1969, since when, the Council Chamber has been used for the Mayor’s civic receptions.

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