Wednesday 24 June 2009

Gibraltar views

Unused and undated.
V.B. Cumbo - Gibraltar.

Postmarked Gibraltar, dated 3 October 1979.
Panoramic view of city, Gibraltar.

Both these cards show more or less the same view of Gibraltar and both were probably bought at the same time.  My parents went on holiday there and my father came back with a number of vintage cards and of course they sent some greetings back to people, the second card here being one of them.

Gibraltar has a long and interesting history.  It is attached to Spain by a narrow strip of sand just at the point where the Mediterranean, once a lake, meets the Atlantic Ocean.  In the time of the Phoenicians, the Rock became a place of worship for sailors would make a sacrifice to the gods before setting sail into the ocean.  It was taken by a Berber chief in 711 and became part of the Arab kingdom of Seville.  It changed hands between Islamic kingdoms and Spain until declared part of Spanish crown property in 1501. 

Then in 1704, and Anglo-Dutch force landed, captured Gibraltar and declared it a "free port".  In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht gave Gibraltar to Britain "in perpetuity".  This continues to be disputed and "La Cuestión de Gibraltar" always figures in relations between Britain and Spain. 

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  1. Yes, I remember when the Mediterranean was once a lake. Until the British came and dredged out the western side. But that's water over the dam.

    Those in Spain who dispute ownership would do well to remember the outcome of the Spanish Armada's invasion of England. But perhaps it turned out differently in their history books.

    The main question, that I didn't see addressed (pardon the pun) in your post was where did the monkeys come from? Or whatever they are. More proof it was once connected to Africa, no? Don't make me look it up, please.

  2. Max, a wonderful memory you have, to be sure. :) There is an island off Morocco, 250 metres off Morocco, Perejil Island, along with a couple of cities on the mainland, over which Spain claims sovereignty. I don't myself see that Spain can insist that these remain Spanish while insisting equally that Gibraltar shouldn't remain British. But no doubt they see differently.

    The monkeys though, were possibly introduced by sailors, or were the remnants of old populations in Europe, or introduced as pets by Moorish invaders. I do have a photo of my husband with a couple of them clambering all over him. I don't think he really enjoyed it. :)

  3. love the vintage postcard colours!


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