|One of the famous locals|
|The Gibraltar Rock from Spain|
|The Moorish Castle today|
Spanish rule and the War of Spanish Succession- After Granada was conquered in 1492 the Spanish crown forced the Moors to either convert or leave while forcing all of Gibraltar's Jews to leave also. In 1501 the Spanish Queen Isabella issued a new set of royal arms to Gibraltar after remaking it a crown possession; the arms still being used today. Despite this as Granada no longer existed Gibraltar started going into decline as it lost its strategic value, especially after Marbella replaced it as the regions main port and Gibraltar came under siege during many wars after such as in 1607 by the Dutch but it was fortified after it was fought that England would siege the area but instead they attacked Cadiz which failed spectacularly and almost hysterically as the siege was lifted after four days when the English looted wine and got rip-roaring drunk while achieving nothing, (when empire building or boozing I can see their preference) . In 1704 the War of Spanish Succession broke out a coalition between a Dutch-English navy under the Duke of Marlborough captured Gibraltar. Under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 Gibraltar was seceded to the newly formed Britain alongside Minorca.
|A picture of the Duke of Marlborough at the start of the Great Siege Tunnels|
British rule- The British immediately started refortifying Gibraltar with it being Britain's only possession in the area. It went under siege when Spain declared war to retake it and in 1729 the Treaty of Seville briefly solidified Britain's rule over the area. When Spain and France entered the American War for Independence of the side of the US the Great Siege started on the 24th June 1779 and lasted until 7th February 1783. It was the longest siege ever done including the British armed forces and one of the longest in history with it only being lifted after peace was established in a treaty. Constantly it was battered by floating French batteries and Spanish cannons. During the Peninsular Campaign it was the main supply point for the British and was one of the first areas to know about the British victory in the Battle of Trafalgar before even The Times newspaper. When Franco took power in 1939 it forced the government to fortify the area in preparation for an invasion or possible alliance with the Axis powers. During the War Gibraltar was constantly bombed by Vichy French aircraft and the populace was evacuated to the UK, Jamaica, Canada and other safer British possessions. As apart of Operation Felix Hitler wanted Franco to enter the war and invade Gibraltar but Franco refused and Hitler abandoned the plan. Today there are many war memorials including the one below.
Post-war- After the war Gibraltar was rebuilt and its economy flourished. In 1967 Franco pushed for a referendum to return the place to Spain and when it was passed 12,138 voted to stay with the UK to 44 to join Spain. This caused Franco to block the border and called the city inhabitants 'pseudo-Gibraltarians'; the border being closed until his death in the seventies. Still tensions are still predominant between the Spanish and Gibraltarians. In 1988 the Provisional IRA targeted Gibraltar with a car bomb and it ended in controversy after the SAS shot all three PIRA members. As of the 1990s Gibraltar saw massive economic growth becoming a popular tourist destination with a new airport being built a million pound apartments by the sea. This even caused the city to be accepted into the UEFA league. The start of The Living Daylights was filmed on the Rock as well!
The Apes- Arguably the Rock's most famous inhabitants. Barbary Apes have lived on the Rock throughout its history, so much so that in legend it says if there are no apes left on the Rock that Gibraltar will cease to be British. This caused Churchill during the war to order the population to be replenished after their numbers grew few. Currently around 300 apes live on the Rock and are under the care of the military, (my stepdad had to look after them when he was in the Gibraltar regiment). How the apes got on the Rock in unknown with theories including the Moors introducing them or them crossing the land bridge before the formation of the Mediterranean, hence why they are also found in the Atlas Mountains.
|One of the apes that I saw|
Saint Micheal's Cave- This is the largest of the 150 caves open to the public and is 300 metres ,(980ft), above sea level. It was formed by erosion of the limestone and has been found containing cave drawings of ibex from its neolithic residents. The main section is now an auditorium and often small concerts are held with it holding 100 people. Yearly the cave attracts 1,000,000 people.
|A bad picture of the auditorium that I took|
Thanks for reading and please comment
|The flags of the EU, UK and Gibraltar|