Gibraltar – A Concise History

Gibraltar has been called many things – quirky and quaint amongst others, but whatever you think of Gibraltar there is one word that it rightly deserves – fascinating! What is undeniable is the sense of history that pervades this rocky limestone outcrop on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. Gibraltar is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, living and working side by side in an area that covers just 6.5 kilometres.

This eclectic mix of people cohabit in a multi-religious society that is based on a mutual tolerance bound together by their cherished status as British subjects. As of July 2011 the population count stood at approximately 28,956.

A tour around the streets of Gibraltar showcases the many diverse architectural styles that are testament to the different influences throughout its history from the 14th century Moorish Castle to the Genoese style patios and the constructions built by the British military. The name Gibraltar derives from “Tariks Mountain,” after Tariq-Ibn-Zeyad, the Muslim conqueror who invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711. The Moorish occupation of Gibraltar between 711 AD and 1309, and then again between 1350 and 1462, makes the occupation of Gibraltar by the Moors the longest in its history. The Keep of the Moorish Castle is instantly visible to visitors to Gibraltar as it stands overlooking the town from its strategic position on the side of the Rock. The Tower of Homage is the most visible part of the Castle and one of the last remaining remnants of Moorish architecture in Gibraltar dating from around 1333AD when Abu al-Hassan recaptured Gibraltar from the Spanish. [Read more…]