"A brief history..." Top 5 Page for this destination Gibraltar by sugarpuff

Gibraltar Travel Guide: 1,211 reviews and 2,717 photos

A wonderful place to grow up

A link to a story about Gibraltar on the BBC website - 5th March 2009


So anyway, born and brought up in Gibraltar, a British colony at the southern tip of Spain, with a population of a mere 30,000 people,you get to know the ins and outs of just about everybody!For those of you who dont really know much or anything about Gib, it is a very friendly community and one which is fiercely proud of its culture and heritage. It has afterall been under seige a few times(!) by the Dutch, the Spanish, the British and the Arabs!

Without going into too detailed a history, Gibraltar is becoming or should I say has become over the last few years a place which is talked about a great deal! She seems to be on the news here and there mostly related to Britain and Spain however. You see, although I'm sure some may be familiar with this already Gibraltar, up until around 1713 was under Spanish rule. But the British fought back and claimed Gibraltar as theirs forever. On a further two occasions Spain laid seige to the place (1727), (1779) but they were defeated. So what you probably hear in the news are all the arguments the Gibraltar Chief Minister has with the Spanish President and the British Home Secretary. It does get very tedious as the people of Gibraltar do not wish to be Spanish, and although want to remain under British rule, would also like to be independent! Yes, a tricky one!!!!

Because of Gib's strategic place in the Med Sea, many countries send their warships here for a few days to be refuelled and checked over en route to war areas. In the 'old' days when war was rife, Gib was a very important military base. Now however, very few military people are sent out to Gib, meaning that Britain has less and less use of us.So maybe one day they WILL turn around and say, 'right let's call it a day, we're handing her over to the Spanish'. It would cause a lot less friction between those two countries afterall. But it WOULD cause some kind of uprising in Gib Im sure..I really just cant imagine it.

For a more detailed understanding

The following are excerpts taken from 'Wikipedia'. I will be posting some here and then below in my Travelogue section as a continuation of a more detailed and concise look at Gibraltar and how it came to be.

Gibraltar (IPA: /dʒɨˈbrɒltər/) is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory shares a border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has historically been an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.

The name of the territory is derived from the Arabic name Jabal Tāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Tariq". It refers to the geological formation, the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn was named for the Berber Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance of the main Moorish force in 711 under the command of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules. Today, Gibraltar is known colloquially as Gib or The Rock.

A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries and territories by Jane’s Country Risk listed Gibraltar as the top stable and prosperous British Territory, in 5th position overall. The sovereignty of Gibraltar has been a major bone of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity, under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, though Spain asserts a claim to the territory and seeks its return. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty. The British government has stated that it is committed to respecting the Gibraltarians' wishes.

Book Smart

There is evidence of human habitation in Gibraltar going as far back as Neanderthal man, an extinct species of the Homo genus. The first historical people known to have settled there were the Phoenicians around 950 BC. Semi-permanent settlements were later established by the Carthaginians and Romans. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals, and would later form part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania until its collapse due to the Muslim conquest in 711 AD. At that time, Gibraltar was named as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar.

On 30 April 711, the Umayyad general Tariq ibn Ziyad led a Berber-dominated army across the Strait from Ceuta. He first attempted to land at Algeciras but failed. Subsequently, he landed undetected at the southern point of the Rock from present-day Morocco in his quest for Spain. Little was built during the first four centuries of Moorish control.

The first permanent settlement was built by the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min, who ordered the construction of a fortification on the Rock, the remains of which are still present as the Moorish Castle. Gibraltar would later become part of the Kingdom of Granada until 1309, when it would be briefly occupied by Castilian troops. In 1333, it was conquered by the Marinids who had invaded Muslim Spain. The Marinids ceded Gibraltar to the Kingdom of Granada in 1374. Finally, it was reconquered definitively by the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1462, ending 750 years of Moorish control.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So much history, cheap things to buy, and great views.
  • Cons:Unless you're here for the tax free shopping, not a lot else to buy.
  • In a nutshell:A mini England with a dash of Spain and a twist of North Africa.
  • Last visit to Gibraltar: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2009
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Reviews (53)

Comments (119)

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Was enjoying your Gibraltar pages and then realized why some looked so familiar, because many were from southern Spain where we visited ^O^

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Cool info here :-) Like the casemates bit, and the link on chavs ;-) But I thought you'll be writing about sweet foodstuff... after your name!!

  • Freebeacher's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    Nice summary sugarpuff. I forgot most of that stuff from school.

  • Mar 1, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    You may not know this but all landline tel nos. in Gibraltar now have the prefix 200. Get ready for lots of notetaking and photos during your next visit - so many changes in Gibraltar since your last visit!

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    Great page on Gib. I really liked it. thanks for sharing. best wishes from Istanbul.Bora

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    Thanks for the visit. Yes, I have previously noted your great tips! Many thanks.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    Fabulous page with brilliant photos. I also like the bird's eye view poster. Well done. Your page brings back memories of my visit of Gibraltar.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Hi again, was sure Id visited yr Gib page before and surprised theres no comment so maybe it was yr Mums only that Ive visited. Enjoyd 3 days here a few yrs ago-Id have used yr day trip tips if Id known....!

  • Dester's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2008 at 3:48 AM

    Very neat places and photos

  • Babzz's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Nice informative introduction Victoria. I recall trying to figure out where Gibraltar was recently. I never thought it was in Europe. Shame on me!

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