Country - Gibraltar
Gibraltar Country Information
Iberian Peninsula, which is the second biggest in Europe, is mainly shared by Spain and Portugal but a part of it also comprises Andorra, a portion of France along its north eastern periphery and a British Overseas Territory called “Gibraltar” on its south shore.
Being an overseas territory of United Kingdom, the official language of Gibraltar is English. Due to its geographical nearness to Spain, one can find Spanish too as the second most widely spoken language in Gibraltar. In addition to Spanish, there are other languages used unofficially like Llanito (a mixture of British English, Andalusian Spanish, Portugese, Maltese, Italian and Haketia).
The culture in Gibraltar is a mélange of heterogeneous races, predominantly influenced by British and Spanish civilizations. Existence of Spanish culture may be attributed to the two-century rule of Spain between 1501 and 1704. The control of the land was yielded to the British Crown subsequent to the War of Spanish Succession 1704. The prime religion is Christianity with majority of followers pursuing the principles of Roman Catholicism. There is century-old presence of Hindu Indians, Moroccan Muslims and Sephardic Jews too.
The territory of Gibraltar is eponymous with the monolithic mountain that haughtily occupies 6.8 square kilometers. Also known by the historical title “Pillars of Hercules”, the calcareous Rock was used as military hedge to launch attacks on enemies in the World War II. The size of the Rock is so uber-imposing that it can be seen from many miles far away. The strategic geographical features earned significance to the strait of Gibraltar which is a narrow passage of water junction (flowing between the two continents Europe and Africa) that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The strait acts like an entrance to the Mediterranean Sea for the seamen from the Atlantic Ocean, as voyagers find Europe to their left and Africa to their right.
Gibraltar is a unique place in the world for international tourists for reasons more than one. The mountain peak of the rock attracts the attention even while you are very much airborne in the flight. Once you reach the top of the rock, the 360 degree panoramic view will hold you breathless in astonishment. First time visitors will be taken by surprise on coming to know that there are worth seeing places in the caves dug at the base of the rock. One such St.Michael’s cave looks like a mini auditorium with a plethora of seats arranged in perfect geometrical lines. The craggy interiors of the cave are brightly illuminated to add to the beauty of the stony grotto.
The mosque at Europa Point is a white walled monument with spherical dome and a vertical single minaret. The praying site serves as a token for existence of multitude of different cultures in Gibraltar. The land of Gibraltar has too many monuments to visit in spite of the small size of the territory compared to its neighbours. The Royal Memorial Plaque (Queen Elizabeth II), The Pillars of Hercules, Nelson’s Statue, British War Memorial, The Evacuation Monument and Moorish Bath House are some of the sites of tourist importance.
Unlike other places where culture of a single race is more conspicuous, Gibraltar is a land of unconventional and zany mixture of many different creeds and ancestries.