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Gibraltar, a British dependency, is a strategic naval base; with the rock being something of a fortress.
Ancient Greeks called the two peaked rocks in the eastern Mediterranean the Pillars of Hercules.
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The northern pillar, the modern Rock of Gibraltar was known as Calpe, and the southern pillar, ancient Abila, is now called Jebel Musa; in Morocco's Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
The Phoenicians, early Mediterranean mariners, crowned the two rocks with silver columns to mark the limits of safe navigation.
After the Strait of Gibraltar comes the open sea of the Atlantic.
The Arabs called the Rock of Gibraltar Jabal Tariq, meaning Mount of Tariq, in honour of the Muslim general Tariq ibn-Ziyad who invaded Spain in 711.
Castillians captured Gibraltar in 1309, but the rock was soon regained by the Moors and held until 1462.
It was annexed to the Spanish Crown in 1502, and the rock was fortified after yet another north African invasion.
During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 combined English and Dutch forces captured Gibraltar, and the English commander took possession of the rock in the name of Queen Anne.
Gibraltar was blockaded by the French and Spanish during the European Wars in America, until the British destroyed the floating batteries of the besiegers on September 14, 1782.
In 1969 Spain closed its border with Gibraltar and travellers from mainland Spain had to take the boat from Algeciras to Tangiers and return on another one to Gibraltar.
The border with the Spanish mainland was fully reopened in February 1985.
The Rock of Gibraltar is Britain's little outpost at the mouth of the Mediterranean; where the Spaniards drink Lipton.
If you arrive by car, park as soon as you can and walk to see the main town area, or take a taxi tour to see the rest. The streets are narrow in Gibraltar and a complicated one way system operates.
The official language of Gibraltar is English, although Spanish is widely spoken.
Most of the civilian population are of Portuguese, Italian, Maltese, English, or Spanish descent.
We say civilian because Gibraltar is also a British navy base. The forces personnel swell the numbers and float their salaries into the bar economy.
The Gibraltar Chronicle has been published in Gibraltar since 1801. It became a daily in 1821 and is Gibraltar's oldest established daily newspaper and the world's second oldest English language newspaper to have been in print continuously.
An electronic version of Gibraltar's monthly magazine, The Gibraltar Magazine, contains features on Gibraltar, restaurant menus, local information and essential shopping guide.
The Caleta Hotel: Sir Herbert Miles Road, Catalan Bay.
Located in a spectacular location, alongside the Mediterranean, this large Gibraltar hotel stands on the eastern side of the rock; beside the fishing village of Catalan Bay.
An attractive haven for British and European tourists for many years the Caleta Hotel is a popular choice for dining, amongst the locals seeking a Latin atmosphere in Nunos Italian restaurant.
The Rock Hotel: 3 Europa Road, Gibraltar.
Built in 1932, by the Marquis of Bute, all rooms have a sea-view. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool with poolside menu. The main restaurant has panoramic views across Gibraltar Bay and the Spanish mainland. Also on site is the Lounge Bar, which opens out on to the Wisteria Terrace.
The Colonial-style Rock Hotel is located approximately two miles from Gibraltar Airport with views over the straits of Gibraltar to the Rif Mountains in Morocco.
If you prefer to base yourself in Spain and just visit Gibraltar for a day or two, you might want to consider staying in La Linea de la Conception.
Ohtels Campo de Gibraltar: Avenida Príncipe de Asturias.
This hotel is extremely well located for those who wish to spend a day in Gibraltar, for duty free shopping, or as a stop-off point to explore the rest of Cadiz and Andalucia.
Located in La Línea de la Concepción, Ohtels Campo de Gibraltar is a modern hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and terrace.
Established in 2004, Recruit Gibraltar is an established recruitment agency in Gibraltar offering a quality recruitment service, free of charge, for people thinking about working in Gibraltar.
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