GIBRALTAR (/dʒɪˈbrɔːltər/ ji-BRAWL-tər , /dʒᵻˈbrɒltər/
jə-BROL-tər or other permutations; Spanish pronunciation: ) is a
British Overseas Territory
British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian
Peninsula . It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and shares its
northern border with Spain. The
Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar is the major
landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area,
home to over 30,000
Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured
Spain in 1704 during the
War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the
Habsburg claim to the
Spanish throne. The territory was subsequently ceded to Great Britain
"in perpetuity" under the
Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War
II it was an important base for the
Royal Navy as it controlled the
entrance and exit to the
Mediterranean Sea , which is only eight miles
(13 km) wide at this naval "choke point " and remains strategically
important to this day with half the world's seaborne trade passing
through the strait. Today Gibraltar's economy is based largely on
tourism, online gambling, financial services, and cargo ship
The sovereignty of
Gibraltar is a major point of contention in
Anglo-Spanish relations as
Spain asserts a claim to the territory .
Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish
sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002 . Under the
Gibraltar constitution of 2006 ,
Gibraltar governs its own affairs,
though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the
responsibility of the British government .
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history
* 2.2 Settlement
* 2.3 Modern history
* 3 Governance
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Climate
* 4.2 Flora and fauna
* 4.3 Environment
* 5 Economy
* 6 Demographics
* 6.2 Language
* 6.3 Religion
* 7 Education
* 8 Health care
* 9 Culture
* 10 Sport
* 11 Communications
* 12 Transport
* 12.1 Air
* 12.2 Sea
* 12.3 Rail
Water supply and sanitation
* 14 Police
* 15 Armed forces
* 16 Twin towns and sister cities
* 17 See also
* 18 Footnotes
* 19 Bibliography
* 20 External links
Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the
Arabic name Jabal
Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "Mountain of
Tariq ". It refers to
Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar , which was named after the
Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance
of the main
Umayyad force in 711 under the command of
Al-Walid I . Earlier, it was known as
Mons Calpe , a name of
Phoenician origin and one of the
Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules .
The pronunciation of the name in modern Spanish is (IPA).
History of Gibraltar View of the northern face of
Moorish Castle 's Tower of Homage. Built in the 14th century.
Neanderthal habitation in
Gibraltar has been discovered
at Gorham\'s Cave . Within recorded history, the first inhabitants
were the Phoenicians , around 950 BC. Subsequently,
known as one of the
Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules , after the Greek legend of
the creation of the
Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar by
Heracles . The
Carthaginians and Romans also established semi-permanent settlements.
After the collapse of the
Roman Empire ,
Gibraltar came briefly under
the control of the
The area later formed part of the
Visigothic Kingdom of
414 AD until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD.
In 1160, the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu\'min ordered that a permanent
settlement, including a castle, be built. It received the name of
Medinat al-Fath (City of the Victory). On completion of the works in
the town, the Sultan crossed the Strait to look at the works and
Gibraltar for two months. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish
Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought
over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada (in 1237 and 1374), the
Morocco (in 1274 and 1333) and the kings of Castile (in
1309). In 1462,
Gibraltar was finally captured by Juan Alonso de
Guzmán, 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia .
After the conquest, King
Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional
title of King of
Gibraltar , establishing it as part of the comarca of
the Campo Llano de
Gibraltar . Six years later,
restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group
of 4350 conversos (Christian converts from Judaism) from Cordova and
Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for
two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their
home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501, Gibraltar
passed back to the Spanish Crown, and
Isabella I of Castile issued a
Royal Warrant granting
Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses
In 1704, during the
War of the Spanish Succession , a combined Anglo
-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance , captured the town of
Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of
Austria in his campaign
to become King of Spain. The occupation of the town by Alliance forces
caused the exodus of the population to the surrounding area of the
Campo de Gibraltar. As the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713
Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated and ceded control of
Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful
attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain
Gibraltar were made with the
siege of 1727 and again with the
Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779 to
1783), during the
American War of Independence
American War of Independence .
Gibraltar became a key base for the
Royal Navy and played an
important role prior to the
Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) and
Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic
location. Its strategic value increased with the opening of the Suez
Canal , as it lay on the sea route between the UK and the British
Empire east of Suez. In the later 19th century, there were major
investments in improving the fortifications and the port.
Buildings of the former
HM Dockyard, Gibraltar , dating from the 1895
During World War II, a Douglas Dakota of BOAC is silhouetted at
Gibraltar by the batteries of searchlights on the Rock, as crews
prepare it for a night flight to the United Kingdom.
During World War II , Gibraltar's civilian population was evacuated
(mainly to London, but also to parts of Morocco,
Madeira and Jamaica)
and the Rock was strengthened as a fortress . The naval base and the
ships based there played a key role in the provisioning and supply of
the island of
Malta during its long siege . As well as frequent short
runs (known as 'Club Runs') towards
Malta to fly off aircraft
reinforcements (initially Hurricanes but later, notably from the USN
aircraft carrier Wasp , Spitfires ), the critical Operation Pedestal
convoy was run from
Gibraltar in August 1942. This resupplied the
island at a critical time in the face of concentrated air attacks from
German and Italian forces. Spanish dictator
Francisco Franco 's
reluctance to allow the German Army onto Spanish soil frustrated a
German plan to capture the Rock, codenamed
Operation Felix . In the
1950s, Franco renewed Spain's claim to sovereignty over
restricted movement between
Gibraltar and Spain.
overwhelmingly to remain under British sovereignty in the Gibraltar
sovereignty referendum, 1967 , which led to the passing of the
Gibraltar Constitution Order in 1969. In response,
closed the border with
Gibraltar and severed all communication links.
The border with
Spain was partially reopened in 1982 and fully
reopened in 1985 before Spain's accession to the
European Community .
In a referendum held in 2002 ,
Gibraltarians rejected by an
overwhelming majority (98%) a proposal of shared sovereignty on which
Spain and Britain were said to have reached "broad agreement". The
British government has committed itself to respecting the
Gibraltarians' wishes. A new Constitution Order was approved in
referendum in 2006. A process of tripartite negotiations started in
2006 between Spain,
Gibraltar and the UK, ending some restrictions and
dealing with disputes in some specific areas such as air movements,
customs procedures, telecommunications, pensions and cultural
In the British referendum on membership of the
European Union 96% of
Gibraltarians voted to remain on an 82% turnout.
Spain renewed calls
for joint Spanish–British control of the peninsula, which were
strongly rebuffed by Gibraltar's Chief Minister.
Politics of Gibraltar See also: Disputed status of
Political development in modern Gibraltar Main
Street entrance to the Governor's Residence, The Convent John
Mackintosh Square entrance to the
Gibraltar Parliament .
Gibraltar is a
British Overseas Territory
British Overseas Territory . The British Nationality
Act 1981 granted
Gibraltarians full British citizenship.
Under its current constitution ,
Gibraltar has almost complete
internal democratic self-government through an elected parliament ,
elected for a term of up to four years. The unicameral parliament
presently consists of 17 elected members, and the Speaker who is not
elected, but appointed by a resolution of the parliament. The
government consists of 10 elected members. The head of state is Queen
Elizabeth II , who is represented by the
Governor of Gibraltar . The
governor enacts day-to-day matters on the advice of the Gibraltar
Parliament, but is responsible to the British government in respect of
defence, foreign policy, internal security and general good
governance. Judicial and other appointments are made on behalf of the
Queen in consultation with the head of the elected government .
The 2011 election was contested by the
Gibraltar Social Democrats
Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP)-
Gibraltar Liberal Party
(GLP) Alliance and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP is
a new party, formed in 2006 and fielded candidates in the 2007
election, but none was elected. The head of government is the Chief
Minister (as of December 2011,
Fabian Picardo ). All local political
parties oppose any transfer of sovereignty to Spain, instead
supporting self-determination . The main UK opposition parties also
support this policy, and it is British government policy not to engage
in talks about the sovereignty of
Gibraltar without the consent of the
people of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is part of the
European Union , having joined through the
European Communities Act 1972 (UK) , which gave effect to the Treaty
of Accession 1972 , as a dependent territory of the United Kingdom
under what was then article 227(4) of the Treaty Establishing the
European Community covering special member state territories , with
exemption from some areas such as the
European Union Customs Union ,
Common Agricultural Policy and the
Schengen Area . It is the only
British Overseas Territory
British Overseas Territory which is part of the European Union. After
a 10-year campaign for the right to vote in European elections , since
2004 the people of
Gibraltar have participated in elections for the
European Parliament as part of the South West
England constituency .
On 23 June 2016
Gibraltar voted along with the
United Kingdom in the
EU referendum ; 96% of its population voted to remain, but the overall
United Kingdom result gave a 51.9% majority to leaving the EU.
Gibraltar was nominated to be included on the United Nations list of
Non-Self-Governing Territories by the
United Kingdom when the list was
created in 1946 and has been listed ever since. The government of
Gibraltar has actively worked to have
Gibraltar removed from the list,
and in 2008 the British government declared Gibraltar's continued
presence on the list an anachronism.
Gibraltar is not a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations but was
granted Associate Membership of the
Commonwealth Foundation in 2004.
Gibraltar has competed in the
Commonwealth Games since 1958.
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Gibraltar Conservatives ) 2
Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar ,
Bay of Gibraltar
Bay of Gibraltar , Strait of Gibraltar
Gibraltar Artificial Reef
Gibraltar from the air, looking
Gibraltar's territory covers 6.7 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi) and
shares a 1.2-kilometre (0.75 mi) land border with Spain. The town of
La Línea de la Concepción , a municipality of the province of Cádiz
, lies on the Spanish side of the border. The Spanish hinterland forms
the comarca of
Campo de Gibraltar (literally "Countryside of
Gibraltar"). The shoreline measures 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) in length.
There are two coasts ("Sides") of Gibraltar: the East Side, which
contains the settlements of Sandy Bay and
Catalan Bay ; and the
Westside , where the vast majority of the population lives. Gibraltar
has no administrative divisions but is divided into seven Major
Residential Areas .
Having negligible natural resources and few natural freshwater
resources, limited to natural wells in the north, until recently
Gibraltar used large concrete and/or natural rock water catchments to
collect rainwater. Fresh water from the boreholes is supplemented by
two desalination plants: a reverse osmosis plant, constructed in a
tunnel within the rock, and a multi-stage flash distillation plant at
Gibraltar's terrain consists of the 426-metre-high (1,398 ft) Rock of
Gibraltar made of
Jurassic limestone , and the narrow coastal
lowland surrounding it. It contains many tunnelled roads, most of
which are still operated by the military and closed to the general
public. ‹ The template below (Geographic location ) is being
considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a
La Línea de la Concepción ,
Bay of Gibraltar
Bay of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar ;
Morocco (top far left across Strait); Spain:
center across Bay of Gibraltar) and La Linea (right);
port and airport runway (right foreground); from the Rock
Main article: Climate of
Gibraltar has a subtropical
Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate
classification Csa), with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers.
As is the case for nearby
Tarifa , summers are
significantly cooler and annual temperature more constant than other
cities on the southern coast of the Iberian peninsula because of its
position on the Strait of Gibraltar. Rain occurs mainly in winter,
with summer being generally dry. Its average annual temperature is
about 22 °C (72 °F) during the day and 15 °C (59 °F) at night. In
the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 11–18 °C
(52–64 °F) during the day and 9–14 °C (48–57 °F) at night,
the average sea temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F). In the
warmest month, August, the typical temperature ranges from 25–31 °C
(77–88 °F) during the day, above 20 °C (68 °F) at night, the
average sea temperature is 22 °C (72 °F).
CLIMATE DATA FOR GIBRALTAR
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 1.0 MM)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun, 1961–1990)
FLORA AND FAUNA
See also: List of mammals of
Gibraltar , List of birds of
and List of amphibians and reptiles of
candytuft growing at the
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens A common
dolphin in the
Bay of Gibraltar
Bay of Gibraltar
Over 500 different species of flowering plants grow on the Rock.
Gibraltar is the only place in
Europe where the
Iberis gibraltarica ) is found growing in the wild; the plant is
otherwise native to North Africa. It is the symbol of the Upper Rock
nature reserve .
Olive and pine trees are among the most common of
those growing around the Rock.
Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve which is
home to around 230 Barbary macaques , the famous "apes" of Gibraltar,
which are actually monkeys . These are the only wild apes or monkeys
found in Europe. This species, known scientifically as Macaca
sylvanus , is listed as endangered by the
IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List and is
declining. Three-quarters of the world population live in the Middle
Atlas mountains of
Morocco . Recent genetic studies and historical
documents point to their presence on the Rock before its capture by
the British , having possibly been introduced during the Islamic
period. A superstition analogous to that of the ravens at the Tower of
London states that if the apes ever leave, so will the British. In
1944, British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill , was so concerned
about the dwindling population of apes that he sent a message to the
Colonial Secretary requesting that something be done about the
Other mammals found in
Gibraltar include rabbits, foxes and bats.
Dolphins and whales are frequently seen in the
Bay of Gibraltar
Bay of Gibraltar .
Migrating birds are very common and
Gibraltar is home to the only
Barbary partridges found on the European continent.
In 1991, Graham Watson, Gibraltar's MEP , highlighted
conservationists ' fears that urban development , tourism and invasive
plant species were threatening Gibraltar's own plants as well as birds
and bat species .
In May 2016 a report by the
World Health Organization showed that
Gibraltar had the worst air quality in any British territory. The
report concentrated on
PM2.5 pollutants in the air.
Main article: Economy of
Gibraltar The semi-wild Barbary
macaques are an integral feature in Gibraltar\'s tourism .
The British military traditionally dominated Gibraltar\'s economy ,
with the naval dockyard providing the bulk of economic activity. This,
however, has diminished over the last 20 years, and is estimated to
account for only 7 percent of the local economy, compared to over 60
percent in 1984. Today, Gibraltar's economy is dominated by four main
sectors: financial services , online gambling , shipping, and tourism,
which includes retail sales to visitors. The territory also has a
small manufacturing sector, with one company supplying ambulances
produced from converted
SUV vehicles to the United Nations and other
In the early 2000s, many bookmakers and online gaming operators moved
Gibraltar to benefit from operating in a regulated jurisdiction
with a favourable corporate tax regime. However, this corporate tax
regime for non-resident controlled companies was phased out by January
2011 and replaced by a fixed corporate tax rate of 10 percent.
Tourism is also a significant industry.
Gibraltar is a popular port
for cruise ships and attracts day visitors from resorts in Spain. The
Rock is a popular tourist attraction, particularly among British
tourists and residents in the southern coast of Spain. It is also a
popular shopping destination, and all goods and services are VAT free,
but may be subject to
Gibraltar taxes. Many of the large British high
street chains have branches or franchises in
Morrisons , Marks "> Queensway Quay Marina, along with Ocean
Village , are two exclusive residential districts
A number of British and international banks have operations based in
Jyske Bank claims to be the oldest bank in the country,
based on Jyske's acquisition in 1987 of
Banco Galliano , which began
Gibraltar in 1855. An ancestor of
Barclays , the
Anglo-Egyptian Bank , entered in 1888, and Credit Foncier (now Crédit
Agricole ) entered in 1920.
Gibraltar enacted the Companies (Taxation and Concessions)
Ordinance (now an Act), which provided for special tax treatment for
international business. This was one of the factors leading to the
growth of professional services such as private banking and captive
Gibraltar has several positive attributes as a
financial centre , including a common law legal system and access to
the EU single market in financial services. The Financial Services
Commission (FSC), which was established by an ordinance in 1989 (now
an Act) that took effect in 1991, regulates the finance sector. In
1997, the Department of Trade and Industry established its Gibraltar
Finance Centre (GFC) Division to facilitate the development the
financial sector development . As of 2012 ,
Gibraltar has 0.103 Big
Four accounting firm offices per 1,000 population, the second highest
in the world after the
British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands , and 0.6 banks per
1,000 people, the fifth most banks per capita in the world.
The currency of
Gibraltar is the
Gibraltar pound , issued by the
Government of Gibraltar under the terms of the 1934 Currency Notes
Act. These banknotes are legal tender in
Gibraltar alongside Bank of
England banknotes. In a currency board arrangement, these notes are
issued against reserves of sterling . Clearing and settlement of
funds is conducted in sterling. Coins in circulation follow British
denominations but have separate designs. Unofficially, most retail
Gibraltar accept the euro , though some payphones and the
Gibraltar Post Office , along with all other government offices,
Demographics of Gibraltar The Roman Catholic
Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned was built in 1462 and is the
territory's oldest Catholic church. The
, opened in 2000 The
Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque was a gift from
Fahd of Saudi Arabia
Gibraltar is one of the most densely populated territories in the
world, with a usually-resident population in 2012 of 32,194
equivalent to approximately 4,959 inhabitants per square kilometre
(12,840/sq mi). The growing demand for space is being increasingly met
by land reclamation ; reclaimed land currently comprises approximately
one tenth of the territory's total area.
The demographics of
Gibraltar reflect the many European and other
economic migrants who came to the Rock over 300 years, after almost
all of the Spanish population left in 1704.
Origin of surnames in the electoral roll by percentage is: British
(27%), Spanish (26%, mostly Andalusian but also some 2% Minorcan ),
Genoese and other Italian (15%), Portuguese (15%), and Maltese (8%).
There are also small (less than 1%) populations of other groups such
as Moroccans , French,
Austrians , Chinese, Japanese, Polish and
USUALLY-RESIDENT POPULATION AND PERSONS PRESENT IN GIBRALTAR
UK and other British
Other Nationalities (*)
(*) Includes all nationalities different from Gibraltarian, UK and
other British and Moroccan.
Main article: Languages of
The official language of
Gibraltar is English, and is used by the
government and in schools. Most locals are bilingual , also speaking
Spanish. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which
reside there, other languages are also spoken on the Rock. Berber and
Arabic are spoken by the Moroccan community, as are
Hindi and Sindhi
by the Indian and the Pakistani communities. Maltese is spoken by some
families of Maltese descent .
Gibraltarians often converse in
Llanito (pronounced ), a vernacular
unique to Gibraltar. It is based on
Andalusian Spanish with a strong
British English and elements from languages such as
Maltese, Portuguese , Genoese Italian and
Haketia (a Judaeo-Spanish
Llanito also often involves code-switching to English, with
technical terms and complex ideas mostly expressed in English.
Gibraltarians often call themselves Llanitos.
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION BY RELIGION
Church of England
According to the 2012 census, approximately 72.1% of Gibraltarians
are Roman Catholics. The 16th century Saint Mary the Crowned is the
cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Gibraltar , and also
the oldest Catholic church in the territory. Other Christian
denominations include the
Church of England
Church of England (7.7%), whose Cathedral of
the Holy Trinity is the cathedral of the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar
Europe ; the
Gibraltar Methodist Church ,
Church of Scotland ,
Pentecostal and independent churches mostly influenced by the
House Church and Charismatic movements , as well as a Plymouth
Brethren congregation. Several of these congregations are represented
Gibraltar Evangelical Alliance. Cathedral of the Holy
There is also a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints , and two congregations of Jehovah\'s Witnesses . 7.1% advised
that they have no religion. The
Gibraltar Secular Humanist Society
also holds regular meetings.
The third religion in size is
Islam (3.6% of the population). There
is also an established
Hindu population (2%), members of the Bahá\'í
Faith and a long-established Jewish community , which, at 763 persons,
accounts for 2.4% of the population. As a share of the total
population, this is the second-largest Jewish population in the world,
Israel . There are four functioning Orthodox synagogues
Gibraltar and several kosher establishments.
Main article: Education in
Gibraltar The Arms of The University
Gibraltar generally follows the English model ,
operating within a three tier system . Schools in
Gibraltar use the
Key Stage modular approach to teach the National Curriculum .
Gibraltar has 15 state schools , a private school and a college of
On 31 March 2015 the government of
Gibraltar announced the adoption
of the University of
Gibraltar Act and The University of Gibraltar
opened in September 2015. Previously, there were no facilities in
Gibraltar for full-time higher education, and consequently, all
Gibraltarian students studied elsewhere at degree level or its
equivalent and also for certain non-degree courses. The Government of
Gibraltar operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for
students studying in the United Kingdom. All Gibraltarian students
used to follow the UK student loans procedure , applying for a loan
Student Loans Company which was then reimbursed in full by
the Government of Gibraltar. In August 2010, this system was replaced
by the direct payment by the government of grants and tuition fees.
The overwhelming majority of
Gibraltarians continue their studies at
Gibraltarians are entitled to health care in public wards and
clinics at the St Bernard hospital and primary health care centre. All
other British citizens are also entitled to free-of-charge treatment
on the Rock on presentation of a valid
British passport during stays
of up to 30 days. Other EU nationals are equally entitled to treatment
on presentation of a valid
European Health Insurance Card . Dental
treatment and prescribed medicines are free of charge for Gibraltarian
students and pensioners .
Gibraltar Health Authority is funded through the
Practice Medical Scheme . It employs around 900 people, handling
Tercentenary celebrations in Gibraltar.
The culture of
Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins.
While there are Spanish (mostly from nearby
Andalusia ) and British
influences, the ethnic origins of most
Gibraltarians are not confined
to these ethnicities. Other ethnicities include Genoese , Maltese ,
Portuguese , and German . A few other
Gibraltar residents are Jewish
of Sephardic origin, Moroccan , or Indians . British influence remains
strong, with English being the language of government, commerce,
education and the media.
Gibraltar\'s first sovereignty referendum is celebrated annually on
Gibraltar National Day (10 September). It is a public holiday, during
Gibraltarians dress in their national colours of red and
white. Until 2016, the tradition had been to also release 30,000
similarly coloured balloons, which represented the people of
Gibraltar. However, this tradition has now been ended because of the
threat that it poses to wildlife, particularly marine. The 300th
anniversary of Gibraltar\'s capture was celebrated in 2004 on
Tercentenary Day (4 August), when in recognition of and with thanks
for its long association with Gibraltar, the
Royal Navy was given the
Freedom of the City of
Gibraltar and a human chain of Gibraltarians
dressed in red, white and blue, linked hands to encircle the Rock. On
4 June 2012, the
Gibraltar Diamond Jubilee Flotilla , inspired by the
Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant , celebrated sixty years of the Queen
Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation operates a television and
radio station on UHF, VHF and medium-wave. The radio service is also
Special events and the daily news bulletin are
streamed in video. The other local radio service is operated by the
British Forces Broadcasting Service
British Forces Broadcasting Service which also provides a limited
cable television network to HM Forces. The largest and most frequently
published newspaper is the
Gibraltar Chronicle , Gibraltar's oldest
established daily newspaper and the world's second oldest English
language newspaper to have been in print continuously with daily
editions six days a week. Panorama is published on weekdays, and 7
Days, The New People, and Gibsport are weekly. Thousands of
Gibraltarians dress in their national colours of red and white during
Gibraltar National Day celebrations.
Gibraltarians have produced some literature of note. The first
in fiction was probably
Héctor Licudi 's 1929 novel Barbarita,
written in Spanish, chronicling the largely autobiographical
adventures of a young Gibraltarian man. Throughout the 1940s and
1950s, several anthologies of poetry were published by Leopoldo
Sanguinetti , Albert Joseph Patron and
Alberto Pizzarello . The 1960s
were largely dominated by the theatrical works of
Elio Cruz and his
two highly acclaimed
Spanish language plays La Lola se va pá Londre
and Connie con cama camera en el comedor. In the 1990s, the
Mario Arroyo published Profiles (1994), a
series of bilingual meditations on love, loneliness and death. Trino
Cruz is a bilingual poet originally writing English but now mainly in
Spanish, who also translates
Maghreb poetry. Of late there have
been works by the essayist
Mary Chiappe , such as her volume of essays
Cabbages and Kings (2006) and by
M. G. Sanchez , author of the books
Rock Black: Ten Gibraltarian Stories (2008) and Diary of a Victorian
Mary Chiappe and
Sam Benady have also published a
series of detective books centred on the character of the
nineteenth-century Gibraltarian sleuth Bresciano.
Charles Ramirez , the first
guitarist invited to play with the
Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music Orchestra,
successful rock bands like
Breed 77 ,
Melon Diesel and Taxi , while
Gibraltarian bassist Glen Diani played for Irish/British nu metal
One Minute Silence .
Albert Hammond had top 10 hits in the UK
and US and has written many songs for international artists such as
Whitney Houston ,
Tina Turner and
Julio Iglesias .
Gibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the
Andalusian Spaniards and the British, as well as the many foreigners
Gibraltar their home over the past three centuries. The
culinary influences include those from Malta, Genoa, Portugal,
Andalusia and Britain. This marriage of tastes has given
eclectic mix of Mediterranean and British cuisine.
Profiteroles , a
French choux pastry ball with a sweet filling of whipped cream, is
considered to be Gibraltar's national dish . These are often served
after a meal including
Calentita , a baked bread-like dish made with
chickpea flour , water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Main article: Sport in
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Gibraltar national football team lining up in their first
official match in 2013
In 2007, there were 18
Gibraltar sports associations with official
recognition from their respective international governing bodies .
Others have submitted applications for recognition which are being
considered. The government supports the many sporting associations
Gibraltar also competes in the bi-annual Island Games ,
which it hosted in 1995.
Football is a popular sport in Gibraltar. The
Association applied for full membership of
UEFA , but their bid was
turned down in 2007 in a contentious decision.
confirmed as UEFA's 54th member on 24 May 2013 as a result of Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitration and played in
qualifications. Their first match was a 0–0 draw against Slovakia.
Gibraltar applied for FIFA membership but this bid was
also turned down.
On 2 May 2016 the CAS upheld the appeal filed by the Gibraltar
Football Association regarding its request to become a full-time
member of FIFA. CAS ordered FIFA to stop blocking Gibraltar's
application for membership and allow it "without delay".
Cricket enjoys popularity in Gibraltar. The
cricket team won the
European Cricket Championship Division Two in
2000 and 2002. Rugby union is fairly popular and one of the fastest
growing team sports,
Gibraltar Rugby Union Football Union applied for
membership of Europe's governing body for rugby.
Gibraltar is believed
to be the birthplace of the rugby variant
Tag Rugby .
Gibraltar Rifle Association (GRA) was Gibraltar's most successful
team at the 2009 Island Games, earning four gold medals.
Darts is also a popular sport, with the
Gibraltar Darts Association
(a full member of World Darts Federation since 1977) running leagues
and other regular tournaments. In 2010,
Gibraltar hosted and won the
Mediterranean Cup, competing against France, Italy, Turkey,
A plaque in City Mill Lane marking the site of Gibraltar's first
telephone exchange. A Victorian post box of standard 1887 UK
design in use in Gibraltar's Main Street (2008). Main article:
Gibraltar has a digital telephone exchange supported by a fibre optic
and copper infrastructure; the telephone operator
GSM network. Internet connectivity is available across the
fixed network. Gibraltar's top-level domain code is
International Direct Dialling (IDD) is provided, and
allocated the access code
+350 by the International Telecommunication
Union . This has been universally valid since 10 February 2007, when
the telecom dispute was resolved.
Main article: Transport in
Gibraltar Cable Car
runs from outside the
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens to the top of the
Within Gibraltar, the main form of transport is the car. Motorcycles
are also very popular and there is a good modern bus service. Unlike
in the UK and other British territories, traffic drives on the right
and speed limits are in km/h, as the territory shares a land border
There is a
Gibraltar Cable Car which runs from ground level to the
top of the Rock, with an intermediate station at Apes\' Den .
Restrictions on transport introduced by Spanish dictator Francisco
Franco closed the land frontier in 1969 and also prohibited any air or
ferry connections. In 1982, the land border was reopened. As the
result of an agreement signed in Córdoba on 18 September 2006 between
United Kingdom and Spain, the Spanish government
agreed to relax border controls at the frontier that have plagued
locals for decades; in return, Britain paid increased pensions to
Spanish workers who lost their jobs when Franco closed the border.
Telecommunication restrictions were lifted in February 2007 and air
Spain were restored in December 2006.
The border control is the only road border control between two EU
members that is expected to remain indefinitely (Bulgaria,
Romania have border controls which are expected to be removed around
2020 ), however Britain plans to leave the EU. Motorists and
pedestrians crossing the border with
Spain are occasionally subjected
to very long delays.
Spain has occasionally closed the border during
disputes or incidents involving the
Gibraltar authorities, such as the
Aurora cruise ship incident and when fishermen from the Spanish
fishing vessel Piraña were arrested for illegal fishing in Gibraltar
Gibraltar International Airport
As at 2017,
Gibraltar maintains regular flight connections with
Bristol in the UK, and with
GB Airways operated a service between
London and other
cities for many years. The airline initially flew under the name
Gibraltar Airways". In 1989, and in anticipation of service to cities
outside the UK,
Gibraltar Airways changed its name to
GB Airways with
the belief that a new name would incur fewer political problems. As a
franchise, the airline operated flights in full British Airways
livery. In 2007,
GB Airways was purchased by easyJet , which began
operating flights under their name in April 2008 when British Airways
re-introduced flights to
Gibraltar under their name.
Manchester and also operated flights to
Liverpool between 2011 and 2012.
Monarch Airlines operates scheduled
Gibraltar and Luton ,
London Gatwick , Birmingham and
Manchester . It has the largest number of flights between the United
Kingdom and Gibraltar. The Spanish national airline , Iberia ,
operated a daily service to
Madrid which ceased for lack of demand. In
Ándalus Líneas Aéreas opened a Spanish service, which
also ceased operations in March 2010. An annual return charter flight
Malta is operated by Maltese national airline, Air
Malta . The
main road that crosses
Gibraltar Airport. The new terminal at
Gibraltar International Airport is consistently listed as one of the
world's scariest for air passengers. It is exposed to strong cross
winds around the rock and across the Bay of Algeciras, making landings
in winter particularly uncomfortable. Its location is unusual not only
because of its proximity to the city centre resulting in the airport
terminal being within walking distance of much of
Gibraltar but also
because the runway intersects
Winston Churchill Avenue , the main
north-south street, requiring movable barricades to close when
aircraft land or depart. New roads and a tunnel, which will end the
need to stop road traffic when aircraft use the runway, were planned
to coincide with the building of a new airport terminal building with
an originally estimated completion date of 2009, although it has not
been completed because of delays.
The most popular alternative airport for
in Spain, some 120 kilometres (75 mi) to the east, which offers a wide
range of destinations, second to
Jerez Airport which is closer to
Gibraltar. In addition, the
Algeciras Heliport across the bay offers
scheduled services to
Gibraltar Cruise Terminal receives a large number of visits from
cruise ships . The
Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar is one of the busiest shipping
lanes in the world.
Passenger and cargo ships anchor in the
Gibraltar Harbour . Also, a
Tangier in Morocco. The ferry between
Algeciras , which had been halted in 1969 when Franco
severed communications with Gibraltar, was finally reopened on 16
December 2009, served by the Spanish company Transcoma .
Ferries by FRS running twice a week from
provide access to the Moroccan railway system.
While railway track extends to the outskirts of La Línea from an
aborted rail expansion project in the 1970s , the closest railway
San Roque station , accessible via buses from La
WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
Water supply and sanitation in
Water supply and sanitation in
Gibraltar have been major concerns for
its inhabitants throughout its history. There are no rivers, streams,
or large bodies of water on the peninsula. Gibraltar's water supply
was formerly provided by a combination of an aqueduct, wells, and the
use of cisterns, barrels and earthenware pots to capture rainwater.
This became increasingly inadequate as Gibraltar's population grew in
the 18th and 19th centuries and lethal diseases such as cholera and
yellow fever began to spread. In the late 19th century, a Sanitary
Commission instigated major improvements which saw the introduction of
large-scale desalination and the use of giant water catchments
covering over 2.5 million square feet (nearly 250,000 m2). Today
Gibraltar's supply of drinking water comes entirely from desalination
, with a separate supply of saltwater for sanitary purposes. Both
supplies are delivered from huge underground reservoirs excavated
Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar .
Further information: Royal
Gibraltar Police and
Gibraltar Police car, 2012 Royal Gibraltar
Police , Marine Section
Gibraltar Police (RGP) and
Gibraltar Customs are
Gibraltar's principal civilian law enforcement agencies . Outside the
United Kingdom, the RGP is the oldest police force of the former
British Empire, formed shortly after the creation of London's
Metropolitan Police in 1829 when
Gibraltar was declared a crown colony
on 25 June 1830.
In general, the
Gibraltar force follows British police models in its
dress and its mostly male constables and sergeants on foot patrol wear
the traditional custodian helmet , the headgear of the British "bobby
on the beat". The helmet is traditionally made of cork covered outside
by felt or serge -like material that matches the tunic. The vehicles
also appear virtually identical to typical UK police vehicles, but are
left hand drive .
The force, whose name received the prefix "Royal" in 1992, currently
numbers over 220 officers divided into a number of units. These
include the CID , drug squad, special branch , firearms, scene of
crime examiners , traffic, marine and operations units, sections or
On 24 September 2015, the Freedom of the City of
conferred upon the RGP by His Worship the Mayor Adolfo Canepa.
Gibraltar's defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom
tri-services British Forces
Gibraltar . In January 2007, the Ministry
of Defence announced that the private company
Serco would provide
services to the base. The announcement resulted in the affected trade
* The Royal
Gibraltar Regiment provides the army garrison with a
detachment of the
British Army , based at Devils Tower Camp. The
regiment was originally a part-time reserve force until the British
Army placed it on a permanent footing in 1990. The regiment includes
full-time and part-time soldiers recruited from
Gibraltar as well as
British Army regulars posted from other regiments.
Royal Navy maintains a squadron at the Rock. The squadron is
responsible for the security and integrity of British Gibraltar
Territorial Waters (BGTW). The shore establishment at
HMS Rooke after
Sir George Rooke , who captured the Rock for
Archduke Charles (pretender to the Spanish throne) in 1704. The naval
air base was named HMS Cormorant. Gibraltar's strategic position
provides an important facility for the
Royal Navy and Britain's
allies. British and US nuclear submarines frequently visit the Z
berths at Gibraltar. A Z berth provides the facility for nuclear
submarines to visit for operational or recreational purposes and for
non-nuclear repairs. During the
Falklands War , an Argentine plan to
attack British shipping in the harbour using frogmen (Operation
Algeciras ) was foiled. The naval base also played a part in
supporting the task force sent by Britain to recover the Falklands.
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force station at
Gibraltar forms part of
Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar. Although aircraft are no longer
permanently stationed at RAF
Gibraltar , a variety of RAF aircraft
make regular visits and the airfield also houses a section from the
Met Office .
Gibraltar has an important role in UKSIGINT and provides a vital
strategic part of the
United Kingdom communications gathering and
monitoring network in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Merlin HC3 of
846 NAS with HMS Scimitar
Royal Navy 's base in Gibraltar.
TWIN TOWNS AND SISTER CITIES
List of Gibraltarians
* Chief Justice of
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Gibraltar B-24 crash
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Gibraltar was captured on 24 July 1704
Old Style or 4 August
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