5/8/12

Gibraltar -- The Rock

Gibraltar was our first tour, & we were excited to get started.

Just a bit of history about Gibraltar.  It is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean.  It has an area of about 2.6 sq. mi. and a northern border with Andalusia, Spain.  The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region.  At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to about 30,000 Gibraltarians & other nationalities.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 & the territory was subsequently ceded to Britain "in perpetuity" in 1713.  It was an important base for the Royal Navy; today its economy is based largely on tourism, financial services, and shipping.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory.  This claim was rejected in 1967 & again in 2002.  Under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defense & foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the UK Government.

From this map, you can kind of understand why Spain thinks this should be part of their country.
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