The Rock of Gibraltar is a tiny outcrop of Britain on the south coast of Spain. Since it was ceded to the UK from the Spanish in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht, the peninsula’s strategic position at the mouth of the Mediterranean made it into an invaluable military location. The surreal sight of British post-boxes alongside the native monkey population and the Andalucían climate contributes to a beguiling cultural mixture which has inspired artists and writers throughout the decades.
The visionary science fiction writer Jules Verne wrote a satirical novel named Gil Braltar where the monkeys take over the island. Anthony Burgess wrote A Vision of Battlementsin 1965, which was entirely set on the peninsula. More recently Steig Larsson set many chapters of his best seller, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest on the Rock.
Filmmakers are regularly drawn to the area. The Rock has provided locations for the James Bond classic The Living Daylights as well as The Silent Enemy. The Captain’s Paradise starring Alec Guiness is set entirely on Gibraltar and in Northern Morocco.
Mozart wrote a song for piano and voice for the area entitled Bardengesang auf Gibraltar.