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Pre-History: The African Plate collided with Europe some 55 million years ago. The Mediterranean became a lake, which in the course of time dried up until 5 million years ago when the Atlantic broke through the Strait of Gibraltar and flooded it again, isolating the Rock of Jurassic limestone.

150,000-24,000 years ago: Neanderthal man inhabited Gibraltar.

711 AD: 12,000 Arab and Berber Troops landed from North Africa. This conquest of the Iberian Peninsular begins – lasted seven centuries.

8th Century: Gibraltar’s first fort built by Moors.

1309 – 1333: Brief Spanish occupation.

1316: Second siege – Moorish recapture attempt fails.

1333: Fortification of Gibraltar by the Moors. Large castle, harbour, wall in the upper Rock, mosques, palaces and baths built. Third siege - after four months, Vasco Perez surrenders to the Moors. Fourth siege – Alfonso XI tries to recapture the Rock but fails.

1349–1350: Fifth siege – Alfonso XI tries again but dies of plague in March 1350.

1411: Sixth siege – Rock taken by forces of the Granadian Moorish kingdom from the Kingdom of Fez.

1436: Seventh siege – Henry de Guzman, Count of Niebla, fails to capture the Rock and is killed in the attempt.

1462: Alonso de Arcos initiates an attack and is joined by other Spanish forces before Gibraltar is captured in the name of the Duke of Medina on 20 August, St Bernard’s Day. Later in the year the Crown of Spain annexes it, the Duke giving up in protest.

1466–1467: Ninth siege – Henry de Guzman, son of Medina, captures the Rock after a siege of fifteen months.

1502: Queen Isabella of Spain embroiders coat of arms of Gibraltar, which has perpetuated to this day as the Coat of Arms of the City (the Castle and Key). 1506: Tenth siege – Third Duke of Medina imposes a blockade but gives up.

1540: Barbarrosa’s Turkish pirates land and pillage.