Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting -- Gibraltar 世界走透透:直布羅陀

The flag of Gibraltar is unusual in that it has no British ensign. Rather, it boasts the Arms of Gibraltar, which were granted by Royal Warrant of Queen Isabella of Castille on July 10, 1502.
直布羅陀旗幟特別之處在於上面不見英國國旗,取而代之的是西班牙卡斯提女王伊莎貝拉於一五0二年七月十日頒授的直布羅陀紋徽。

Known colloquially as the Rock, Gibraltar looms impressively over the Gibraltar strait, the narrow divide between Europe and North Africa and the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Read on to discover more about this tiny, yet diverse Overseas British territory.

慣稱「岩山」的直布羅陀突出於直布羅陀海峽,這道海峽除了分扼歐洲與北非,也是連接地中海和大西洋的重要門戶。跟著我們一起深入探索這塊小而多元的英國海外屬地。

A Closer look 說古論今

Gibraltar is a corruption of Gibel Tariq, meaning "rock of Tariq" in Arabic. Despite being an overseas British territory, it has an exceptionally diverse population drawn from many parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. The most famous residents are the Barbary Apes, the only wild primates in Europe. They are actually monkeys. The misnomer comes from the fact that they are tailless. Since 1915, the British army or the local government has cared for the monkeys. They are named and registered at birth, given medical care and even have a food allowance! They are receptive towards interaction with humans, but it is strictly forbidden to feed them.

The Rock is formed of limestone and riddled with caves. One legend is of a naturally occurring 24km tunnel that links Gibraltar to Morocco (some people believe that this is how the Barbary Apes arrived). St Michael's cave is a large chamber that is often used to stage ballets, drama and concerts. Of particular interest is a fallen stalagmite, a cross section of which allows visitors to chart its growth through the centuries, including two glacial periods.

Gibraltar has a wealth of flora, including the Gibraltar candytuft and Gibraltar Sea Lavender. A trip out to sea is often enlivened by an entourage of dolphins and flying fish. Many migrating birds stop off at the Rock, and resident species are numerous, including peregrine falcons, owls, and eagles. 

(catherine Thomas, staff writer)

Gibraltar之名源自Gibel Tariq(阿拉伯文,意指高山─rock of Tariq)。雖是英國海外屬地,直布羅陀的人口組成十分多元,境內歐、非及亞洲各地的族群齊聚。最知名的住民就屬歐洲唯一的野生靈長目動物─Barbary Apes(叟猴),實為猴子的牠們因無尾而被誤稱為Apes。

自一九一五年以來,英軍和當地政府先後照料這些叟猴,他們除了為其命名、辦理出生登記,還給予醫療照護,甚至配給食物!儘管叟猴們不介意與人類互動,但有關單位嚴禁餵食。

由石灰岩構成的直布羅陀境內岩洞遍佈,傳說有一條長二十四公里的天然隧道連接直布羅陀與摩洛哥(有人認為這就是叟猴遷徙至直布羅陀的路徑)。面積較大的聖麥可鐘乳石洞常作為芭蕾、戲劇表演及音樂會的場地。最值得一提的是一支倒下的石筍,遊客可從石筍的剖面觀察它幾世紀來(包括兩個冰河時期在內)沉積的過程。

直布羅陀植物種類多樣,包括直布羅陀白燭葵和直布羅陀星辰花。海上行程也因海豚及飛魚隨行而充滿生氣。許多遠征的候鳥中途會在此歇腳;此外,包括遊隼、貓頭鷹及鷹在內的留鳥數目也不少。 (翻譯:林倩如)

Who Knew? 你知道嗎?


From 711 to the early 1462 the Rock was mainly under Moorish control. Gibraltar was ceded in perpetuity to Britain by Spain in 1713. In the 1950's Spain tried to reassert its claim to Gibraltar. In 1967 a referendum was held among the residents regarding Spanish sovereignty, resulting in a decisive 12,138 to 44 rejection. A further referendum on joint sovereignty was rejected with 17,900 votes to 187. Britain reconfirmed its position that it would never "enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes." However, it seems the real power lies in the hands of the Barbary Apes. A popular myth states that the day the Apes leave the Rock is the day that it will cease to be a British Territory.

西元七一一年到一四六二年初期,直布羅陀一直是摩爾人的勢力範圍。一七一三年西班牙把直布羅陀永久割讓給英國,但到了一九五0年代西班牙卻試圖奪回直布羅陀主權。一九六七年直布羅陀就是否回歸西班牙政權舉行公民投票,結果反對者以壓倒性的一萬兩千一百三十八票對四十四票否決成功。另一項主權共享的公投議題也以一萬七千九百票對一百八十七票遭居民否決。英國重申立場,表示「除非自由民意表決,否則絕不會把直布羅陀的主權移交他國」。然而,直布羅陀的實權似乎操控在叟猴手上。相傳叟猴離開的那天,就是直布羅陀脫離英國掌控的日子。

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