Is on the border with the town of La Linea de la Concepcion (Cádiz).
Gibraltar, a Genoese town.
Windows with green and blue shutters, pastel facades, arched doors…
In some corners of Gibraltar you feel like you are in a Genoese village … in northern Italy.
The visitor will not find in this city the narrow streets of white houses typical of Andalusia.
Nor are the Victorian brick houses and smoky chimneys typical of a British town.
The Ligurian air of Gibraltar responds to the influence of one of the oldest…
And most numerous communities in the territory.
The history of Gibraltar.
In 1753, 34% of the local population was of Genoese origin…
The largest group in the city at that time.
There are several explanations for this migration:
Commercial and fishing interests.
And the fact that Gibraltar was a common stopover on the journey to America.
Even today, Italian surnames make up 20% of the census.
And some of those names became illustrious.
The current ruler, Fabian Picardo, is one of them.
So are former Miss World Kaiane Aldorino and fashion designer John Galliano.
In this sense, the influence on the architectural plan seems logical.
After the great siege of 1779 and 83…
The town of Gibraltar was razed by the cannon fire of the Spanish.
By the batteries of La Línea.
Then, the city was razed and was in ruins.
Then a family came from Genoa, the Moschetti , who were architects.
Were bricklayers and the governor gave them the mission to build the town again.
Then they introduced the Italian influence.
Gibraltar, where the monkeys are free.
Gibraltar claims to be the only place in Europe where monkeys are found in the wild.
The around 200 specimens of Gibraltarian macaques.
Also known as Barbary monkeys.
Are one of the main tourist attractions of the Rock.
The theories about their origin are diverse:
From the local legend that says that they arrived from Morocco…
Through an underground tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar.
Of which there has never been evidence to the one…
That says that they were brought from their original habitat in North Africa.
During the Arab occupation of the Iberian Peninsula between 711 and 1492.
Or the hypothesis that they were brought by the British army.
After taking the Rock in 1704.
In 2005, a study by the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zurich…
Gave scientific clues about its origin by revealing…
That the Gibraltar colony of macaques was founded by specimens…
From two different populations of Algeria and Morocco.
During World War II their numbers were considerably reduced.
So perhaps not to tempt popular beliefs and to boost the morale of the British troops…
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered more overalls…
From Morocco and Algeria so that the population would not fall .
The tunnels of the Rock.
That a rock, the Rock of Gibraltar, has 52 kilometers of tunnels.
But given the small area of Gibraltar (five kilometers long and one kilometer wide).
Much of its infrastructure is underground.
During World War II there came to be a true underground city with miles and miles of tunnels.
Not only water and fuel tanks and electricity generators.
But also telephone services, butchers, bakeries, and even hospitals.
The English found out that there was an invasion plan by the Germans.
And Gibraltar being so small they said:
Here we can’t get out of the way when the bombing starts, we have to go underground.”
Thus, after evacuating women, children and the elderly.
They began to tunnel inside the rock so that the entire military garrison would protect itself.
Everything was designed “to last nine months without depending on anyone.”
In addition, much of the earth that was removed to excavate the tunnels.
After that, was thrown into the sea and used to build the airstrip.
Afterwards, that was key to the invasion of North Africa during the war.
Gibraltar became like a giant aircraft carrier.
Today a good part of the tunnels are closed.
Others are still for the exclusive use of the British arm.
While others are used for civilian purposes such as storing water or fuels.
We have everything inside the rock, the oil, the gasoline …
You can’t see those things from the outside, but inside it’s another world.