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File:Gibraltar sm05 5260.gif

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, located on the southern tip of Spain, and was where the Moors first landed (its name may be derived from the Arabic phrase Gebal al-Tariq, Tariq's rock, after an early leader of the Muslim conquest of Iberia), dominated by the famed Rock of Gibraltar.

It probably had lions at some point.

It's famous for the Barbary Macaque or "Barbary Ape" (actually monkeys), which are the only European monkeys. Legend has it that during Spain's Great Siege during the American Revolution, a rather trope-heavy defence of the fortress and Britain's only major success of the war, Moroccan blockade runners opposed to Spanish power brought limes in their dhows... and monkeys. In this way the monkeys became symbols of British rule, and when during the Second World War the monkey population was in decline, it is said the Winston Churchill authorised Emergency Monkey Relief. Perhaps this is not true. But it should be. These days, the monkeys primarily steal food from tourists.

The British conquered the place in 1704 from Spain. The Spanish want it back, or at least dual sovereignty. The locals are highly against that (rejecting the proposal received just under 99% of the vote, and Britain has stated they will not enter into any agreement not backed by the locals), and they back up their argument rather convincingly with a piece of paper signed in 1713 by Spain at Utrecht giving up possession of Gibraltar "for ever."

AKA The Rock, it remains an important military location for The UK Armed Forces. As one of the Pillars of Hercules, it as a vital access point from the Med into the North Atlantic. (Rather ironically, one of the proposed African Pillars of Hercules is...Monte Hacho, in Ceuta, which is a Spanish territory that would but for the vagaries of history be in Morocco. Naturally, the Moroccans are about as pleased with this arrangement as the Spaniards are about Gibraltar.)

During World War II, Hitler tried to convince Franco to join the Axis forces, promising him Gibraltar as part of the deal. Franco however was so demanding (among other things he claimed all of French North Africa for Spain, as well as demands for material and military resources that Germany could never provide) that Hitler and all of the ambassadors sent to negotiate with Franco absolutely hated him, and soon refused to negotiate. Historical opinion remains divided as to whether Franco simply overplayed his hand by bargaining for too much, or deliberately inflated his demands to avoid having to join the Axis, which ultimately ended up preserving his regime.

Examples of Monkeys Lions and Annoyed Spaniards include:


  • In Das Boot, when the German U-Boot is ordered to enter the Mediterranean from the Atlantic, the sailors are sure they are going to die, as the British used Gibraltar to close off access.
  • In Sky Blue, the characters spend most of the movie talking about the wonderful lives they'll have when they go to Gibraltar after the fall of Ecoban.
  • In the Emberverse, Gibraltar survived, and became the launching pad for British recolonisation of western Europe. Sir Nigel Loring, wait, no, just Nigel Loring, was offered Governorship of Gibraltar.
  • The first scenes of The Living Daylights show a military exercise on Gibraltar, in which the 00s participate.
  • The Sandbaggers had an early episode set on Gib.
  • In advertising, an image of the Rock of Gibraltar has been used by Prudential Insurance ( now Prudential Financial Services) since the 1890's, along with the slogans "The Strength of The Rock" and "Get a Piece of The Rock".

The Gibraltarian flag

File:125px-Flag of Gibraltar svg 1958.png
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