Gibraltar Information - Page 2
It was thought that Neanderthal man, who lived in Asia and Western Europe around two hundred thousand years ago, became extinct about thirty thousand years ago. However, evidence has been uncovered which proves that a group lived in Gorham's Caves in Gibraltar, much later, between twenty-eight and twenty-four thousand years ago.
Gibraltar is a strategic point between Europe and Africa and was visited by seafarers such as Phoenicians and Romans.
The Rock was captured by an Arab army under the leadership of Tariq Ibn Ziyad in 711.
In 1501 Gibraltar was annexed to Spain.
During the War of Spanish Succession, in 1704, Spain lost Gibraltar to Britain.
Gibraltar was formally ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
During the American War of Independence Spain and France attempted to take the Rock.
In 1805 Admiral Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar against the French and Spanish, near the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.
Gibraltarians gained full British citizenship in 1981.
Gibraltar is a small Territory covering an area of 6.5 square kilometers.
Economic activities include financial services which account for 20% of the GDP with 20% of UK motor insurance based in Gibraltar. Tourism accounts for £10m a year and on-line gaming provides jobs for over 3,000 people.
Shipping is important with its geographical position and history; Gibraltar has been a UK military base for over 300 years.
At a conference in September 2019 Gibraltar's minister, responsible for maritime services, pointed out that bunkering volumes, with over four million tonnes of fuel deliveries each year, meant that Gibraltar had a lot to offer the maritime industry including supply of provisions, spares and lube oils, salvage operations, underwater hull cleaning, crew changes and ship repair as well as being an attractive port of call for cruise liners.
In an interview with Dr Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Dr Garcia acknowledged that Gibraltar has a land problem, but said that the best use is made of land available, the government interacting with private developers; there are affordable housing developments, new schools and projects like Ocean Village. In fact, a new hotel, a Holiday Inn, had just opened. The Ministry of Defence also
puts out property for tender.
Dr Garcia said that Gibraltar preserves as well as develops, merging the old and the new; Gibraltar has many interesting heritage buildings and monuments.
The Deputy Chief Minister certainly appeared to be very focused on the work in hand and was pleased with the economy which is growing at a rate of 10% per annum.
Dr Garcia said that the growth of Gibraltarís economy also provides work for those across the border in Spain who come to Gibraltar to work; there are 13,000 frontier workers. Neighbouring Spain also benefits from Gibraltarís growth with building materials coming from Spain.
Discoveries in the Gorham's Cave Complex will give a boost to the economy; there is the potential for some economic growth and the creation of jobs in the heritage sector. All this ties in with Gibraltarís new university and studies in subjects such as palaeontology and tourism. (Interview with Dr Garcia, No 6 Convent Place, Gibraltar, July 2018)
Cultural institutions include Gibraltar's Theatre Royal, and John Mackintosh Hall which houses a theatre and exhibition galleries.
St. Michael's Cave, known to the Romans in the first century, is used for drama, ballet and concerts.
Other organizations are the Gibraltar National Choir, the Gibraltar Philharmonic Society and the Gibraltar Regiment Band.
A variety of events take place in Casemates Square.
Sports played are cricket, football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, netball and tennis. Teams take part in international competitions including the Commonwealth Games.
King's Bastion, part of the former defence system of Gibraltar, is now a leisure centre with a bowling alley and indoor ice rink on the floor above.
Popular water sports in Gibraltar are swimming, sailing and windsurfing. Stand Up Paddleboarding also takes place in Gibraltar.
The bi-annual Island Games in Gibraltar took place from 6th to 12th July 2019. The NatWest International Island Games brought together 2,500 athletes from twenty-four countries, hailing from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic to the Caribbean. There were fourteen sports including football, basketball, volleyball, shooting, sprinting and swimming.Competitors are as young as thirteen years of age.
Joseph Garcia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar, emphasised that this is good news for Gibraltar; the Games leave a legacy of infrastructure including a new football stadium allowing Gibraltar to compete in the football European Championships and World Cup. The School of Sport students at the University of Gibraltar also benefit from the new Europa Sports Complex.
Easter, Christmas and all religious holidays are celebrated.
Other holidays include New Year's Day - 1 January, Commonwealth Day - 13 March, May Day - 1 May, and National Day - 10 September (1967).
News from Gibraltar is available from Newslink.
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