Gibraltar is at the most important military location in the world. It is only a rocky outcrop off the south coast of Spain and serves as guard to the Mediterranean's only outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.
Gibraltar is only a very small British crown colony and is covered by a limestone mountain full of natural and man-made caves. The only land link is a small land (isthmus) which is 3km long to Spain.The airport was build on it.
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The rock covers the island and is steep on all sides. There is a cable car to ride to the summit. The highest point of the rock is 426m.
Gibraltar has very mild winter and very hot, dry summers. To avoid a water shortage the water is collected in winter and stored in underground reservoirs built into the mountain.
There are over 500 species of small flowering plans and very few large trees. The famous Gibraltar candytuft is unique to the island and grows nowhere else in the world.
Migrating birds use Gibraltar as a very convenient stop-over on their way to Africa.
Barbary monkeys for which the rock is also famous for has the only wild monkeys in Europe. They live on the upper slopes.
Gibraltar has no farms and all the food has to be imported. The local people work in shops, offices and hotels. The British currency is used and the stamps have the monarch on it. Tourism is a very important part of the economy.
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The population is a wide mix but very few are of Spanish origin. Their ancestry is mostly British, Italy, Malta, Morocco and Portugal.
Britain captured Gibraltar in 1704 after a battle with Spain and it is British ever since. Spain does not agree with it and there had been many confrontations either by demands from Spain or blockades.
British main interest in Gibraltar is that it provides a very important naval base guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea especially at war time.
The building of the Suez Canal in 1869 at the eastern end of the Mediterranean made it even more important to keep the British Navy base.
The Spanish town of La Linea is situated at the border of Gibraltar which rises almost sheer beyond the adjoining isthmus.