A British overseas territory captured in 1704, near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, sharing a border with Spain to the north, but it is more recognised for it famous feature “The Rock of Gibraltar”.

Historically it has 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 Târiq, meaning “rock of Tariq”. It refers to the geological formation, the Rock of Gibraltar.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major issue of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Spain requests the return of sovereignty, it was ceded by Spain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. The majority of Gibraltarians oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty.

Being limestone, the Rock is riddled with caves. Over 140 have been discovered so far (which were also used during the 2nd World War as hospitals). Those who had openings to the outside world made perfect shelters. Limestone is made up of millions of small shelled animals which have died and settled in the sea bed, slowly these shells harden and become rock.

A narrow peninsula stuck to the end of the Iberian Peninsula, linked to it by a narrow piece of land, covered by buildings and a runway which you need to cross to enter the city after going through passport control if you entering from Spain.

The Government of Gibraltar has the right to issue its own currency notes, at parity with the pound sterling. The monetary unit of Gibraltar is described both as “pound sterling” and also referred to as the “Gibraltar pound”. Government of Gibraltar notes in circulation bear the words “Pounds sterling” and are legal tender in Gibraltar, but not in the United Kingdom or the other territories of the Sterling Area. Sterling currency notes issued by the Bank of England are legal tender and are in circulation in Gibraltar alongside the local note issues. The euro is unofficially accepted in Gibraltar, though not by post offices or all payphones.

Gibraltar boasts the only living apes in Europe, stranded after the continent separated from Africa, Winston Churchill claimed that the day Gibraltar would lose its apes is when Britain would also lose the claim to Gibraltar.

Being one of the smallest nations on earth it deserves a visit if you near it, a day is all you need as there is little to do but explore the top of the rock and visit the only apes in Europe.


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