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The history of the Rock of Gibraltar is one of repeated conquests and sieges, and its military dimension is the one that is best known outside Gibraltar. The history of this contentious Rock, however, has long had a social and cultural aspect, and it has certainly had a fascinating variety of influences in architecture and its horticultural development.

Architecturally, Moorish, Spanish, Italian (Genoese) and British influences are all present in the townscape. Botanically, the influence of Man through the centuries, through deforestation, cultivation and introductions have all played a part in flavouring the predominantly Mediterranean features of wild vegetation and of gardens.