When you first see the Rock of Gibraltar from land, air or sea, it is the Rock’s impressive stature – dominating its surroundings - that causes the greatest impact. As the great continents of Africa and Europe collided they created Gibraltar and the narrow Strait over which it strategically stands.
This beacon, which attracted the early inhabitants, had many advantages as a home. The Rock is made of limestone that is geologically very different from the neighbouring landscape and is riddled with over 140 known caves. These made ideal shelters for our prehistoric ancestors. At a time when the Mediterranean Sea was a fl at sandy plain, these caves provided safe haven from which to venture out for food.
Today Gibraltar stands as a rocky peninsula at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, linked only by a narrow isthmus. Historically, biologically and even politically it has been referred to as an island, especially in recent times, but physically it is a peninsula. Inhabited by Ancient man, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Spaniards and the British, Gibraltar has a rich blend of Moorish, Mediterranean and British cultures. 300 years of British rule have left its mark on this impregnable fortress of the British Empire. Today, it stands a world famous symbol of strength at the gateway to the Mediterranean.
For environmentalists, historians, business people or tourists alike, Gibraltar is a fascinating place.