Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Gibraltar

A unique place for curious travelers – this is the right definition of Gibraltar, known as “The Rock”, it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on the southern coast of Spain at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. The Muslim governor of Tangier, Tariq Ibn Ziyad, landed at Gibraltar to launch the Islamic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. The Rock(Mountain of Tariq) was named after him - Jabal Tariq and eventually became Gibraltar. It is spread over an area of 6.8 sq. km.

 Gibraltar, United Kingdom Archaeological evidence shows that Neanderthal humans may have inhabited Gibraltar between 128,000 and 24,000 BC. It was first inhabited by the Phoenicians around 950 BC. The Carthaginians and Romans also established settlements in the area and after the fall of the Roman Empire it was controlled by the Vandals.
In 711 AD the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began and Gibraltar became controlled by the Moors for seven centuries. After the conquest, King Henry IV assumed the title of King of Gibraltar. Six years later Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of Jewish conversos from Cordoba.

In 1713 Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in perpetuity. Spain unsuccessfully attempted to regain control in 1727 and during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from 1779 to 1783. During World War II, Gibraltar’s civilian population was evacuated and the Rock was strengthened as a fortress.
Gibraltar, United Kingdom

There are over 140 documented caves in Gibraltar, but the most interesting is St. Michael’s Cave. It’s height of over 300 meters above sea level. The cave was created by rainwater slowly seeping through the limestone rock. The numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are formed by an accumulation of traces of dissolved rock deposited by water dripping from the ground above.

St. Michael’s Cave - Gibraltar, United Kingdom

During the Victorian era the cave was used as a venue for picnics, parties, concerts, weddings and even duels. The caves would be decorated for many of these events.

The first official archaeological excavations of the cave were carried out in 1867 by the Governor of the military prison, Captain Brome.
He discovered numerous prehistoric artifacts such as stone axes and arrow heads, shell jewelry, bone needles as well as a large collection of pottery.

It is believed that St. Michael’s Cave has also been used for military purposes.
The largest of the chambers, named the Cathedral Cave, currently serves as an auditorium.

It has been done due to the chamber’s natural acoustic properties, which according to experts, enhances and blends tones into a uniform and faithful rendition of sound. It is equipped with a concrete stage and has a seating capacity of over 100.
Presently the cave is one of Gibraltar’s top tourist attractions.

St. Michael’s Cave - Gibraltar, United Kingdom St. Michael’s Cave - Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Other attraction in Gibraltar is Moorish Castle a Medieval Fortification built by the Marinid dynasty.
The construction of the Moorish Castle was started in 8th century AD, but there is no record about the time of its completion.

Moorish Castle - Gibraltar, United Kigdom Moorish Castle - Gibraltar, United Kigdom

Its walls enclosed a considerable area reaching down from the upper part of the Rock of Gibraltar down to the sea. The most conspicuous parts of the Castle which can still be seen are the upper tower, or Tower of Homage, together with various terraces and battlements below it, and the massive Gate House, with its cupola roof.
The Tower of Homage was the highest tower of the Islamic period in the Iberian Peninsula, and the Castle’s Kasbah is the largest in the area.

Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar, United Kingdom The Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are something which must be seen.
There are over thirty miles of tunnels inside the Rock. Major sections of the tunnels date back to 18th century.  However, the majority of tunneling took place during WW2.

During the Great Siege(1779-1783) work started on a series of tunnels which are an impressive part of Gibraltar’s military heritage.

History says that the governor, General Elliot, offered a substantial reward to anyone who could find a way to get the cannons onto the northern face of the rock, which was known as the “notch”. At that time the Rock was under siege, the troops were so close to the Rock that it appeared that none of the existing batteries of Gibraltar could fire upon them due to the angle. Sergeant-Major Ince is credited with finding the answer, though it is unknown if he got his reward. Ince, who was a member of a company of Military Artificers, said that he believed this could be accomplished by tunneling and he was granted permission to begin the work.

Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar, United Kingdom Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar, United Kingdom
In the beginning, the tunnel was only 82 feet long. However, by the end of the World War II, when diamond drills and better methods of tunneling existed, the tunnels traversed a distance of more than thirty miles in length, winding and turning as they went.
Today, a visitor to the Siege Tunnels will note that they seem to go on for eternity, and that upon entering on one side of Gibraltar, you will quite literally end up nearly on the other side of the Rock.
Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Gibraltar’s strategic location that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea is unique. You can stand facing the northern coast of Africa.

Gibraltar Airport Runway, United Kigdom
Gibraltar is modern and attractive. Its airport was built during World War II, when Gibraltar was an important naval base for the British.
The runway was later extended by reclaiming some land from the Bay of Gibraltar using rock blasted from the Rock of Gibraltar while carrying out works on military tunnels. This last major extension of the runway allowed larger aircraft to land at Gibraltar.
Most of the Rock’s upper area is a part of a nature reserve, which is home to around 230 Barbary Macaques, the only wild monkeys found in Europe.
Other mammals found in Gibraltar include rabbits, foxes and bats. Dolphins and whales are frequently seen in the Bay of Gibraltar.
A Monkey in Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Gibraltar, United Kingdom A wide range of activities from rock climbing to sailing, diving, fishing and bird watching bring visitors back again and again to Gibraltar.
Do not miss it, you will love it…

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Map of Gibraltar, UK

Gibraltar, UK

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