Gibraltar

Because Gibraltar is located on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, I thought I would include it in this blog. Anyway, the Spanish contest ownership of the British colony! (though since they possess bits of the Moroccan mainland – Cueta & Melilla – I don’t think can complain).

Casemates Square

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory occupying a narrow peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. ‘The Rock’ is just that – a colossal chunk of ancient limestone that was thrust up from the seabed millions of years ago to form what is now the highly visible Rock of Gibraltar.

Its history is inextricably linked to its strategic position. Its first important military encounter was in AD 711 when Tarik-ibn-Zeyed led a huge Moorish army that was to conquer most of the Iberian Peninsula. Moors and Christians fought many battles here during the 14th and 15th centuries and the Spanish Christians finally succeeded in dispatching the Arabs back to Africa in 1462. British forces took the Rock in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession and British sovereignty over Gibraltar was subsequently recognised by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.

Gibraltar attractions include the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Some 500 species of small flowering plants grow there as does wild olive and pine. As far as fauna is concerned, there are rabbits, foxes and monkeys! Yes, monkeys inhabit the Rock – the Barbary apes are the only wild monkeys in Europe. Other attractions include St Michael’s Cave, the Moorish Castle and the Great Siege Tunnels.

Down in the town centre, Main Street is unmistakably British with Marks and Spencer, BhS, pubs and bright red post boxes. Nearby Casemates Square, however, has a more continental air with many open-air cafes.

Contrary to popular belief the majority of Gibraltarians are not of English or Spanish ancestry – Genoese, Maltese, and Portuguese formed the majority of the population when the Rock was ceded to Great Britain.

English is the official language, which is used for government and business purposes but many Gibraltarians speak Llanito, a mixture of English and Andalucian Spanish.

Robert Bovington
23 Nov 2011

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About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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One Response to Gibraltar

  1. Reblogged this on Spanish Impressions and commented:

    another reblog of an earlier article…

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