Parque Botanico Country club & Resort
When you first see the Rock of Gibraltar, whether it is from the air, from the sea or from the Costa del Sol , it is its impressive stature, towering isolated above the surrounding countryside, that causes the greatest impact. It has had this effect on people for many thousands of years. Gibraltar is a beacon which signals the position of the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow neck which separates Europe from Africa and provides the only link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Through the following text you will be given a dated account of all the historical moments of importance involving Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is situated in latitude 36o07'N and longitude 05o21 and stands out, steeply and suddenly, from the adjoining low-lying Spanish Territory to which it is connected by a sandy gibaerialview.jpgisthmus about 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide. Five miles across the Bay of Gibraltar to the East lies the Spanish port of Algeciras and 20 miles across the Strait, to the south of Africa. The Mediterranean lies to the East. The distance to Britain is approximately 1,400 miles by sea.
The Rock runs from north to south for a length of nearly 3 miles. It is 3/4 miles wide and has a total area of 21/4 square miles. Although there has been a land increase due to reclamation, the use of square miles as a measurement of area does not reflect this difference or increase. Its highest point is 1,396 feet. The top of the Rock is a sharp, knife-ridge extending for about a mile and a half from the north escarpment, which is virtually inaccessible, and then sloping gradually to the south for about a mile, to terminate at the southern extremity, Europa Point, in perpendicular cliffs about a hundred feet high. The whole upper length of the eastern face is inaccessible and the steep upper half of the western slopes is uninhabited and has been designated a nature reserve.
Geologically, Gibraltar may be divided into two main parts. The first is the plain to the north which consists of sand to a depth of some 30 feetgeog_gorhamscave.jpg, followed by some 4 feet of clay, a bed of coarse sand 21/4 feet thick and lime-stone. The second is a mass of the Rock itself southwards from the north cliff to Europa Point consisting of compact grey limestone probably of Jurassic age, overlaid in parts with dark shale, limestone breccia or sands.
There are no permanent natural water supplies in Gibraltar, main sources used to be the water catchments on the rock face, which collected rainwater and supplied the reservoirs hollowed out inside the Rock, and wells on the sandy plain to the north. The main supply is currently provided by an efficient number of distillers, distilling sea water located at the North Mole.
The climate of Gibraltar is temperate. During the winter months the prevailing wind is from the west often north-west and occasionally south-west. Snow or frost is extremely rare. The mean minimum and maximum temperatures during this period are 13oC and 18oC respectively.
The prevailing wind in the summer is from the east. A warm breeze laden with moisture, known as the 'Levanter', strikes the eastern face of the Rock, condenses in the sky above it and causes a cold pall to hang over the city and bay. During this period the climate is humid. The mean minimum and maximum temperatures in the summer are 13oC and 30oC respectively.
Vegetation in Gibraltar is rich and varied on the western upper slopes and in the Alameda Gardens. Over 600 species ogibstraits.jpgf plants, exclusive of ferns, mosses and lichens have been listed as growing on the Rock, six of them, including the Gibraltar Candytuft, being found nowhere else in Europe. Vegetation is at its best between the months of October and May. The hot sun and scanty rainfall tending to give the Rock a somewhat barren appearance during the summer months.
Over 270 species of wild birds have been recorded in Gibraltar. Some are resident on the Rock, like the Barbary Partridge which is not found anywhere else on the European Mainland. The majority are migrants which congregate at the narrow neck (the Strait of Gibraltar) which separates Europe from Africa. Among these the best known and most spectacular are the migrations of birds of prey of 15 species and 50,000 White Storks cross the Strait. In addition, the Rock holds populations of mammals, including bats, reptiles and insects, and marine life some of which
are of regional interest.
Broadly speaking, the population concentrates mainly of the western side of the Rock resulting in the densely populated town area and in the slightly more spacious residential estates which have been developed to the north of the town. More recently the large harbour reclamation (over 30,000 sq metres) has permitted further land to be developed for large scale housing projects. On the east side of the Rock is Catalan Bay, a small village, with some 350 inhabitants.
The natural features of Gibraltar preclude all possibility of agriculture and major industrial production. Gibraltar is however admirably suited and situated for the development of a flourishing tourist trade and every effort is being made to this connection to ensure speed and comfort in communications.