22 Gibraltar Facts: Exploring the Jewel of the Mediterranean

Gibraltar is a British territory, meaning it is under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom; however, it is not part of the nation technically.

Gibraltar is also a part of the European Union because of its connection with the United Kingdom, though today, it is outside of economic associations like the VAT area, the customs union, the Euro, etc.

So, in this article, we will now discuss some interesting facts about this unique part of the world called Gibraltar.

  1. It has the fifth-highest density

Gibraltar is just 6.8 square km in size and has a population of almost 32,000 inhabitants. Thus, it has the fifth highest density of any territory or nation in the world. Gibraltar uses the same time zone as Spain, GMT + 1, where its people drive on the right, similar to those of continental Europe.

  1. Its airport has one of the world’s strangest runways
World’s Strangest Runways In Gibraltar

Gibraltar Airport’s only runway is bisected by Winston Churchill Avenue, one of its busiest roads. The street closes whenever a flight departs or lands, with a pair of flimsy-looking barriers. That barrier is the only thing that prevents a nasty collision between a Ford Orion and a 747. also, this unique runway even extends out to the sea.

  1. The pound is the official currency of Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s official currency is the pound, and you can spend your UK coins and banknotes in the Gibraltar territory. However, you cannot use Your Gibraltarian pound coins or banknotes in the UK.

The official language of Gibraltar is English, but many people also speak the local language and Spanish. The local language of Gibraltar is known as Lianito, with a mix of Andalusian or Mediterranean words.

Speakers of this language seem to switch languages in the middle of a sentence, which makes it impossible for others to understand.

  1. Gibraltar has its own political system

Gibraltar has its own political system, and hence, it can make many decisions within the territory, although the government of the United Kingdom in London determines things like foreign affairs and defense.

Also, Gibraltar is a part of the EU or European Union because of its connection with the United Kingdom.

  1. In all of Europe, Gibraltar has the only wild monkey population
Gibraltar Has The Only Wild Monkey Population

Gibraltar is home to the Barbary Tailless Macaque, and it is the only population of wild monkeys on the entire continent.

Almost 300 of these monkeys are the descendants of the North African populations and were also introduced into the area by the Moors. These monkeys roam the Gibraltar Nature Reserve and sometimes “rip” the food from the tourists’ backpacks. 

  1. Gibraltar is a cradle of famous people

Gibraltar has not only been preferred and visited by famous foreigners. However, this small territory with a big heart is also the birthplace of the fashion designer John Galliano, the former Miss World crowned in South Africa in 2009, the beautiful Kaiane Aldorino, etc.

In Galliano’s case, he actually worked as head of design for significant luxury brands like Christian Dior and Givenchy. Now, he has his own famous and successful John Galliano label.

Moreover, some other famous Gibraltarians are artist Christian Hook, Amanda Carreras, Alison Nicholas, and many more.

  1. Gibraltar has the southernmost mosque in Europe
Europe's Southernmost Mosque Is in Gibraltar

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque was a gift from the King of Saudi Arabia and is one of the largest in a non-Muslim nation. Many citizens of Gibraltar were outraged when it was built in 1997, as many of the population is Catholic.

  1. It has one of the highest divorce rates in the world

For every 1000 citizens in Gibraltar, about three marriages meet an unhappy end each year, which is a much higher rate than all but seven places on the planet, such as Maldives, Aruba, Russia, Latvia, Belarus, Lithuania, and the United States.

The Maldives is way out in front, with almost 10.97 divorces per year per 1000 citizens. One of the most compelling reasons is that, as in other Muslim societies, where many marry young, where premarital sex is taboo and many more.

  1. In Gibraltar, John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married

Gibraltar has been popular with many celebrities over the years. This is where John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married, and Sean Connery was even married in Gibraltar. According to Lennon, this place is British, calm, and friendly.

Another surprising fact about Gibraltar is that Princess Diana and Prince Charles began their honeymoon in Gibraltar.

  1. Though Gibraltar is small in size, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tiny Gibraltar Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The famous Gorham Cave is part of a complex of four sea caves, one of the new additions to the ever-expanding list of UNESCO. It was included in the list in the year 2016.

The cave is one of the least known corners in Europe and contains 39000 years of ancient engravings, known as one of the earliest examples of abstract art.

  1. Gibraltar is an overpopulated territory

You would be making a mistake if you think of Mexico City or Cairo as overcrowded regions. The reason is that though Gibraltar is just 6.8 square kilometers, it has a population of around 33000 inhabitants.

These numbers make Gibraltar the fifth highest density of any territory or nation in the world, placed behind Macao, Monaco, Singapore, and also Hong Kong.

  1. There are very low taxes

In Gibraltar, there are very low taxes on products or goods. Although it depends a lot on the product, you need to purchase. For this reason, you can see tourists who buy alcoholic beverages and cigarettes in stores when leaving the country.

Let us compare the prices. A pack of 20 cigarettes in the UK costs almost 10 euros; however, in Gibraltar, it will cost you around 3 euros. A large bottle of good gin may cost you 25 esuro in the UK, while in Gibraltar, it will cost you almost 10 euros. These prices are actually subject to exchange rates with Gibraltar.

  1. There are red phone boxes
Red Phone Boxes In Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a part of Britain with a Mediterranean climate and sunshine on the Iberian Peninsula and also boasts the well-known red telephone boxes. It is unknown whether they actually work, but you can see several of them in several places on the rock.

  1. It has artificial beaches
Gibraltar's Artificial Beaches

There are six famous beaches along with the coast of Gibraltar, and they also are ideal for exploring and enjoying in the summer. However, the strange thing is that Gibraltar did not always have these beaches.

For instance, Sandy Bay Beach was ‘created’ in 2014 by importing about 50,000 tons of sand to make a new recreation area for citizens and visitors to Gibraltar.

  1. The rock is connected to Africa 

Although it has not been expertly or scientifically tested, a legend says that there is a secret natural tunnel from Gibraltar to Morocco, and it can be accessed from the depths of the cave of San Miguel. It is not proven, but there are many stories of missing individuals in the caves who were never found again.

According to another mythological legend, thousands of years ago, both continents were actually together, and for some reason, Gibraltar is one of the arms of Hercules, and the other one is Morocco’s Rif mountain.

  1. In Gibraltar, you will get to see a hotel with nostalgia
Gibraltar's Nostalgia Hotel

The Rock Hotel is an iconic area that is famous for several reasons. Many famous people from around the globe have been hosted there, and it is quite traditional and also a matter of delight to try the “afternoon tea” on the famous Wisteria Terrace. It is a very satisfying experience and a great view of Gibraltar.

  1. Several online roadhouses are based there

In Gibraltar, around 20 Gibraltar-based gaming companies have around 3000 employees, which is around a tenth of the population.

  1. Here is a giant floating hotel

Famous as a “super-luxury five-star superyacht hotel,” Sunborn Gibraltar has a seven-deck static cruise. It differs greatly from the traditional or old-fashioned image of Gibraltar and is one of the most modern curiosities of this beautiful region.

It is located in a region with restaurants and bars ideal for walking and also spending the day or the night, especially in the summertime.

  1. It was wanted by the Nazis

Operation Felix was the codename for Germany’s planned nabbing of this region during the Second World War. Hitler talked with General Franco about the proposal; even a plan was approved; however, Franco got cold feet.

Finally, Hitler said, “I would rather have four of my own teeth pulled out than go through another meeting with that man again.”

  1. Here, unwanted cars are rolled into the sea

According to Telegraph Travel’s Andrew Purvis, unwanted cars are just dumped into the sea off a cliff, down a chute, with full government approval.

Also, you will be surprised to know that Gibraltar is a heaven for birdwatchers. More than 300 bird species pass this region while traveling between Africa and Europe.

  1. They have adopted some Mediterranean tastes

The national dish of Gibraltar is a simple baked pastry. You can even plump for rosto, which is penne pasta in tomato sauce with vegetables, beef, and grated cheese.

  1. Sporting success is lacking here

Gibraltar’s football side is joint 206th in the FIFA world ranking, and though it is not represented in the Olympics, it does take part in the Commonwealth Games; however, it has never got a single medal. 

Also, this beautiful region, Gibraltar, has appeared in two of the famous films, the spy series about James Bond.

So, Gibraltar is a little yet unique country that has many amazing legends, rich history, interesting cultures, delicious cuisine, association with famous people, and many more. 

At the end of this article, we have come to know 22 interesting facts about Gibraltar that offer us a clear picture of this little but interesting country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.

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