Gibraltar is a unique place for the curious traveler. Take time to explore the caves and tunnels especially those not meant for tourists! The inside of the rock is an absolute labyrinth with secret internal roads and tunnels four times longer than those on the surface. Military presence and security in this otherwise deserted area is strong but almost invisible.
In Greek mythology Gibraltar was Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules, which marked the edge of the Mediterranean and the known world. In 711 Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Muslim governor of Tangier, landed at Gibraltar to launch the Islamic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. The Rock took his name - Jabal Tariq Mountain of Tariq eventually became Gibraltar.
Strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded in perpetuity to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. Spain continues to hassle and harass Gibraltar in a so far fruitless effort to grab this territory that has been loyal to the British crown for more than 300 years. In referendums held in 1967 and 2002, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to stay a territory of the United Kingdom. On 10 June 2004, citizens of Gibraltar voted for the first time in the UK MEP Member of the European Parliament elections, as part of the South West constituency.
The topmost part of the Rock is still a British military installation, and off-limits to the public.