The Rock of Gibraltar – Pillar of Hercules
The Rock of Gibraltar is a geology miracle located on the British territory of Gibraltar, on the Iberian Peninsula. This magnificent monolith is owned by the United Kingdom, located on the southwestern tip of Europe. It also serves as part of the border with Spain. Most of the upper cliffs form a reserve, which, along with the flora, fauna and geology of the region, is a popular tourist attraction. The place became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules and the Romans called it Mons Calpe.
The Rock of Gibraltar is a huge cape consisting mainly of limestone. It also forms a peninsula that goes into the Strait of Gibraltar. Due to the limestone composition, parts of the rock slowly dissolve over time due to the action of water. This process often forms caves. In the case of the Rock of Gibraltar, there are more than 100 caves. The cave of St. Michael remains the most famous, and is also the largest attraction of the area. The monolith reaches 426 meters in height.
Natural Reserve Gibraltar Rock
As of 1993, approximately 40% of the total area of the Rock of Gibraltar now make up the reserve, and most of the flora and fauna found there is still important for conservation. The most famous of them are the Macaque Barbari, whose population within the reserve has 300 individuals – this is the only known population of wild monkeys in Europe. Other endemic species of significant interest are Barbary partridges and plant species such as the Gibriltar Iberis. The Rock of Gibraltar also serves as a major resting place for large populations of migratory birds.
The remains of Neanderthals were found at several sites in Gibraltar. In 1848, the skull of a Neanderthal woman was found in the Forbes quarry located on the northern side of the Rock. However, its value was not recognized until, in 1856, a type specimen was discovered in the Neander Valley. Excavations in the cave of Gorkham, located near sea level on the eastern side of the Rock, proved that the caves were used by Neanderthals, and the remains of plants and animals in the cave indicated a very diverse diet of prehistoric people.