Back ]


Old GI Photos
GI Maps
Jan S. Krogh's Geosite: The Gibraltar-Spain Border (ESGI)    Under construction
Gibraltar Airport

The frontier between Gibraltar and Spain is a de facto border. The land border is 1200 metres long and one of the shortest in the world.
(Click on the image to get up a high resolution picture.)

The author on the borderline (August 2013). At the entry to Gibraltar. Left foot on the Gibraltar side and right foot on the Spanish side. At about 1910 the British side built their fence at this point. (Earlier the line was further south.1)) Between 1969 and 1982 the Spanish gates were completely closed, and Gibraltar got their food supplies and workers from Morocco. Gibraltar is, as the UK, not participating in the Schengen Area, and therefore there are both passport control and customs.  
Here on the departure from Gibraltar. Spain on my left. Beforehand the construction of the 1910 fence the British informed their Spanish side and ensured that the fence would be built 1 metre inside the British part of the neutral territory.  Later the Spanish side regretted that according to them it was 1-2 metres on the Spanish side.  After the World War II the Spanish ruler Francisco Franco wanted to gain full control over Gibraltar.  The Spanish interpretation of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) 2) does not give the British side any jurisdiction over the Rock. The border must therefore, despite the heavy fence, be considered to be undemarcated.   
1977 image from the Frontier  
The situation at the Gibraltarian border between 1969 and 1982. Absolutely nobody was allowed to pass the frontier. In 1982 local pedestrians were permitted, and in 1985 a normal regime was reestablished.  Photo: Elmar Reich.  
From GI towards ES  
From the Gibraltar side. Notice the border columns. (The Gibraltarian is the taller.)  
From ES towards GI  
Pictured from the Spanish side. Notice the Gibraltarian border column with a cannonball on the top.  
Overview from GI side.  
Overview from the main checkpoint seen from the Gibraltar side.  
  1. In pictures: The story of the Gibraltar/Spanish border
  2. Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht 13 July 1713

This page was first time published on 10 Nov 2014.  This page was last time updated 15/11/14 .