Want to increase your knowledge of Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain? Sit back and enjoy these 17 interesting facts about Gibraltar.
A limestone outcrop, Gibraltar is located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance of the Mediterranean.
It has an area of just 2.6 square miles (6.8 square kilometres).
In 2018, Gibraltar had a population of 33,718.
Flag of Gibraltar
It’s a British overseas territory and shares its northern border with the Province of Cádiz in Andalusia, Spain; Gibraltarians are British citizens.
Gibraltar is named in Arabic Jabal Tariq, after the Muslim commander Tariq Ibn-Ziyad. He turned ‘the rock’ into a fortress in 711 A.D, and it has been an important naval base for more than 1,000 years.
Most Gibraltarians are bilingual in English and Spanish, and are of mixed Genoese, British, Spanish, Jewish, Maltese and Portuguese descent.
The majority of Gibraltar’s income comes from customs duties, offshore finance, internet gaming, tourism and the provisioning of ships because it doesn’t have a large agricultural or industrial trade.
Barbary Macaques, a species of tailless monkeys, in Gibraltar are the only free-living monkeys in Europe today; there are approximately 230 that have made Gibraltar their home.
The Tower of Homage is all that remains of the Moorish Castle that dates back to the 11th Century. The castle saw a lot of action, especially during the 16th Century (1540) when hundreds of people found safety inside the castle when Turkish pirates attacked Gibraltar.
Barbary Macaques, Gibraltar
A British flag has flown at The Tower of Homage ever since Admiral Rooke erected the first British flag here when he captured the Rock in 1704.
Gibraltar is home a labyrinth of tunnels known as The Great Siege Tunnels. They are said to be the most impressive defence system devised by man, created when France and Spain made an attempt to recapture the Rock from the British in Gibraltar’s 14th siege; the siege lasted from July 1779 right through until February 1783.
Earlier, in 1704, 500 Spanish soldiers were discovered in Gibraltar’s St Michael’s Cave, preparing an attack to recapture Gibraltar from the British.
St Michael’s Cave was thought to be bottomless and people believed that the Rock of Gibraltar was linked to the Continent of Africa by a subterranean passage over 15 miles (24km) long under the Strait of Gibraltar. Imagine that…
Although never utilised, St Michael’s Cave was prepared as an emergency hospital during WW2.
This cave is linked to a second cave in Gibraltar known as Leonora’s Cave and it was rumoured that they both link Gibraltar to Morocco.
There’s a lots to see and do in Gibraltar from sightseeing and exploring the rock’s history to diving, fishing, shopping, excursions and birdwatching.
Want to call your friends or family in Gibraltar? You’ll need to use the international dialling code +350.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Gibraltar we’ve not covered? Let us know in the comments section below!