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Throughout the ages, the Rock of Gibraltar has cast a powerful first impression on those that have seen it. Whether approaching by land, sea or air, the Rock looms stark and isolated as it towers above the region. At the neck of the Strait of Gibraltar, it is the final signpost before the Mediterranean joins the Atlantic and thus has been an important site throughout European history.

Pre History

When the African Plate collided with Europe some 55 million years ago, the prehistoric sea that existed in the basin of the Mediterranean dwindled and dried up.Then 5 million years ago, the Atlantic waters burst through the Strait of Gibraltar and created the Mediterranean as we know it and isolating the Rock.


940 BC to 1500 AD

940 BC
The Phoenicians followed navigators from the eastern Mediterranean visiting the Strait, finding the city Carteia at the head of the Bay of Gibraltar. The Rock became a place of worship where sailors made sacrifices to the gods before entering the Atlantic.

1501 AD to 1790 AD

1501 AD

Queen Isabella, tired of the petty squabbling among her nobility, issued a decree on the 2nd December 1501 AD, making Gibraltarthe property of the Spanish crown.

1791 AD to 1900 AD

1793 AD to 1815 AD
The French revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars led to a considerable increase in the trade, prosperity and population of Gibraltar. The town, which had been destroyed in the Great Siege, was rebuilt.

1901 AD to 1991 AD

1922 AD
The City Council was established and the first elections held in Gibraltar.