A map of Gibraltar Gibraltar is an overseas territory belonging to Britain. It has its own government and makes its own laws, but Britain is responsible for its foreign affairs and defence. It has a strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow strip of water at the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Nearly all of Gibraltar is squashed on to a tiny peninsula bordering the southern tip of Spain called the Rock of Gibraltar, which rises steeply from the sea. Only the western part is flat enough to build on; here, the town of Gibraltar lies surrounded by forts and a harbour. Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot, sunny summers.
People from Gibraltar are called Gibraltarians—although they call themselves “Llanitos”. Their language, Llanito, is made up of a mixture of Spanish and English words, along with some borrowed from Maltese, Portuguese and Hebrew. Most Gibraltarians are descended from British and other European migrants who arrived after 1704, when the British captured the Rock. Because there is so little space on Gibraltar, the city has to be built upwards and nearly everyone lives in apartments.
Gibraltar was named after its 8th-century ruler, Tariq Ibn-Ziyad, who named the rock “jabal tariq” (Mount Tariq) after himself in 711.
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