"Gibraltar - A British Colony" Top 5 Page for this destination Gibraltar by GibJoe

Gibraltar Travel Guide: 1,135 reviews and 2,284 photos

Gibraltar - An Introduction

The rock itself is a mass of Jurassic limestone which runs from north to south for a length of six kilometres and a width of 1.2 kilometres. The total area of Gibraltar is six square kilometres. The climate varies from a warm dry summer to a mild wet winter with average temperatures ranging from 12 decrees Celsius in January to 30 decrees Celsius in August. Annual rainfall is about 900 millimetres. Gibraltar is a colony of Great Britain and their inhabitants are British citizens. Gibraltar has a Governor who is the Queens representative on the rock, who is appointed by the British Government. The parliament in Gibraltar is the House of Assembly which has 18 members, 15 elected by popular vote, 1 appointed for the Speaker, and 2 ex officio members and serve four-year terms. The Government of Gibraltar has a Chief Minister and seven other ministers for the different Ministries whereas the opposition has seven members. The laws of Gibraltar are based on the English law system. The official language is English although Spanish is widely spoken and most inhabitants are actually bilingual. The official currency is the Pound sterling although Euros are widely accepted. Gibraltar issues its own notes which are in Pound Sterling.

The name 'Gibraltar' comes from morrocan origins being a coruption of Jibel Tarik which means the mountain of Tarik. Tarik was the governor of Tangiers in 711 AD. Gibraltar was captured by Anglo-Dutch forces in 1704. A treaty was signed in 1713 yielding the town, castle, fortifications to the British crown. Gibraltar has had sieges in 1721,1727 and 1779 by Spain in an attemt to recover 'The Rock'. More recently the Gibraltarian people have expressed their opinion to remain under British rule. In 2002 a referendum took place for joint sovereignty with an 88% turnout, and a majority of 98% voted to remain British. Gibraltarians have nothing against the Spanish but wish to remain British.

Gibraltar belongs to the People of Gibraltar!

It is neither Spain's to claim nor Britain's to give away!


Phrase by the late, Sir William Jackson, Governor of Gibraltar from 1978 to 1982 .

The History of the People

The Gibraltarian ancestors mostly came from Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.
During the second world war the civilian population was evacuated from Gibraltar to London, Madeira, Morocco, Jamaica and Northern Ireland. This was done in order to be able to house more troops in Gibraltar to be able to prepare against a German attack. The population was not to return until 1946. My father and grandmother were evacuated to Jamaica. The measures in Gibraltar during World War Two was to create a city inside the rock with its own barracks, hospital, kitchens etc.. A 'Stay behide Cave' was discovered which was made in case that the rock was inevitably captured a group of six men would be able to stay for up to a year inside this cave, and transmit messages to London.

When in 1969 Spain under the dictatorship of General Franco closed the land frontier, and Gibraltar became like an island the only way out of Gibraltar was via sea or air. I do remember that to go on holiday to Marbella which is now under an hour drive, used to take nearly 10 hours to get there. Firstly you would get a ferry to Morocco, then a ferry back to Algeciras, then a bus to La Linea and finally another bus to Marbella. There was no direct ferry service with Spain. It was until 1985 that the frontier reopened completely but the time of the closure brought the Gibraltarians closer and the creation of a pro-British Gibraltar identity. During this period labour was brought from Morocco to fill the labour necessities, which was left vacant by the Spanish workers.

The Famous Apes

These apes (Barbary Macaques) are the only tailless living in the wild in Europe. They can also be found in Morocco, and no one really knows how they came to Gibraltar. There is a legend that when the monkeys leave Gibraltar, so will the British. During the Second World War their number fell, and it was under the direct instruction of Sir Winston Churchill that certain numbers had to be maintained.

The monkeys are used to interacting with people but beware as they are semi-wild animals and have a keen eye for sunglasses, cameras etc.. We dont want you running after our monkeys to get your camara back !!!

Finally if you have any questions about Gibraltar, just post them in the Gibraltar forum or email me. I will be happy to help!

  • Intro Updated Jun 27, 2009
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Reviews (46)

Comments (8)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    ~ Hello, Joe! So much to see in Gibraltar! See you there (some great day....)!

  • Mar 24, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Thanks for your recent advice re the border opening times. As for flights, Easyjet are starting thrice weekly flights from Lioverpool any time now.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2009 at 9:25 AM

    Nice tips about your interesting and unusual home town. That's a funny article about the Barbary apes swiping that guy's toupee.

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Great pages with a lot of info. Makes the Rock a lot more interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Wow.. excellent page written. So much to see and do in little mighty Gibraltar. Cheers from little Penang island, SL :)

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2008 at 6:58 AM

    Joseph : your tips are very good and interestig .They are helping me to hve a nice time in Gib Thankyou!!! Gracias !!!!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2008 at 1:20 AM

    Hi Joe, Thanks for adding us to your friends list. ~ho & pang

  • iaint's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    fascinating pages; well done

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