British overseas territory, on the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain. Area: 2.25 sq mi (5.8 sq km). Population (2007 est.): 29,257. It occupies a narrow peninsula 3 mi (5 km) long and 0.75 mi (1.2 km) wide that is known as the Rock. It appears from the east as a series of sheer, inaccessible cliffs, which makes it strategically important. The territory is the site of a British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar. The Moors held Gibraltar from 711 to 1462, and in 1501 it was annexed by Spain. Captured by the British in 1704, it became a British crown colony in 1830. Gibraltar was an important port in World Wars I and II. The sovereignty of the territory has remained a source of constant friction between the United Kingdom and Spain, though residents voted in 1967 to remain part of Britain. Spain lifted its border blockade in the mid-1980s. Formal talks that began between the governments of Britain, Spain, and Gibraltar in 2004 helped to further ease tensions. Gibraltar is known for Barbary macaques, which occupy many of Gibraltar's caves and are Europe's only free-living monkeys.