Douglas Lookout, Gibraltar
Douglas point is a new and impressive 360-degree observation point. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 2.3 square miles and shares its northern border with the Province of Cádiz in Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region with a densely populated city area at it’s foot, home to almost 30,000 people. It is also the only spot where you can see two continents and two seas with the naked eye.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was an important base for the Royal Navy; today its economy is based largely on tourism, gambling, financial services, and shipping.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002. Under the constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the UK Government.
The Rock of Gibraltar, a 1398ft high monolithic limestone promontory, was one of the Pillars of Hercules and known to the Romans as Mons Calpe. Together with the other pillar on the African side of the Strait (disputed between Mons Abyla or Jebel Musa), marked the limit to the known world in ancient times, a myth originally fostered by the Greeks and the Phoenicians.
Most of the Rock’s upper area, about 40% of Gibraltar’s land area, was declared a nature reserve in 1993. It is home to African Barbary Macaques (more below) as well as a labyrinthine network of caves and tunnels. The Rock has also been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, because it is a migratory bottleneck, for an estimated 250,000 raptors that cross the Strait annually, and it supports breeding populations of Barbary partridges and lesser kestrels.