Although located in the Mediterranean Sea, at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar is a British Overseas territory. At only 2.6 square miles, It is home to around 30,000 people, mostly Gibraltarians, and some British citizens. Most of Gibraltar is home to the Rock of Gibraltar, and the citizens live in a small town at the base of the enormous landmark. In addition to these details, here are three more interesting facts about Gibraltar.
Gibraltar Was Once a Part of Spain
Up until 1704, Gibraltar was part of Spain. It was taken by the Anglo-Dutch in 1704, but they didn’t hold on to it for long. Gibraltar was given to Great Britain in 1713 as part of the Treaty of Utrecht. Spain tried vigorously to regain control of Gibraltar, and three wars were fought between Spain and Britain over the British Overseas Territory. The last attempt to regain control of Gibraltar by the Spanish was in the late 1700s. It was also a very important Royal Naval Base for the British during World War II. Most of the inhabitants of Gibraltar had to be evacuated to London so that Gibraltar could serve as a military stronghold and provide supplies to Malta.
The Rock of Gibraltar Has Underground Tunnels
From the outside, the Rock of Gibraltar is gorgeous. Clouds emulate waterfalls cascading down the side of the rock. It is also teeming with much interesting wildlife and plant life. However, one of the most fascinating facts about the Rock of Gibraltar is that there are hidden passageways underground, and they are manmade. They are nicknamed the Great Siege Tunnels or The Galleries, and the first tunnel was built by the British during the Great Siege from 1779-1783.
After the war, The Galleries were finished in 1797, and are now there are nearly 1000 feet of passages that tourists can visit and walkthrough. Many people travel to Gibraltar each year to walk through the underground tunnels.
The People of Gibraltar Are Very Religious
There are many different religions within the small town of Gibraltar. With just over 30,000 people in the town, there are several different faiths practiced. Dominating the religious population is Roman Catholicism, with over 70% of Gibraltarians of that faith. The second-largest religious population is the Church of England at nearly 8%. Only 7% do not claim religious faith.
There are also many other religions including Judaism, Hinduism, Bahá’í Faith, Mormonism, Church of Scotland, and various other Christian denominations.
Although it takes up a very small space on Earth, Gibraltar is full of amazing and beautiful natural and manmade treasures. There is even a Gibraltar Football Association, although it is not currently a member of the UEFA or FIFA. They do, however, host many games against other countries, such as Slovakia. Gibraltar draws approximately 10-12 million visitors each year, and it is accessible by land, sea, and air. In addition to football matches, tourists can also enjoy gambling at casinos in the city, and shopping is duty-free – read article on gibraltar rock tours cost.