Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has an area of 6.8 sq km (2.6 sq mi) and a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar between 128,000 and 24,000 BC has been discovered at Gorham's Cave, making Gibraltar the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicians, around 950 BC. Subsequently, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals. The area later formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD. Seven centuries of Moorish control ended when Gibraltar was recaptured by the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1462 as part of the Spanish Reconquista.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch force captured the town of Gibraltar. Under the terms of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in perpetuity. Spain unsuccessfully attempted to regain control in 1727 and during the Great Siege of Gibraltar which lasted from 1779 to 1783. Gibraltar became a key base for the British Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, due to its strategic location.
During World War II, Gibraltar's civilian population was evacuated and the Rock was strengthened as a fortress. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco's reluctance to allow the German Army onto Spanish soil frustrated a German plan to capture the Rock, code named Operation Felix. In the 1950s, Franco renewed Spain's claim to sovereignty over Gibraltar and restricted movement between Gibraltar and Spain. In 1969, Spain completely closed the border with Gibraltar and severed all communication links. The border with Spain was partially reopened in 1982, and fully reopened in 1985.
In a referendum held in 2002, Gibraltarians rejected by an overwhelming majority (99%) a proposal of shared sovereignty. A process of tripartite negotiations started in 2006 between Spain, Gibraltar and the UK, ending some restrictions and dealing with disputes in some areas.
Alternate versions of Gibraltar have been discovered in the multiverse:
- Gibraltar (Dai-tō-a)
- Gibraltar (Groß-Deutschland)
- Gibraltar (The Era of Relative Peace)
- Gibraltar (Scotland says "Yes")
Gibraltar also forms a major part of:
- Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar (UK-Malta)
- Spain (Great Nuclear War)
- Main article: Gibraltar (Great Nuclear War)